Marlena's, San Francisco's Coolest Drag Bar, Sold

Categories: LGBT, Local News

Not performing her swan song just yet
We panicked when we read the news that Marlena's, the city's most delightfully tacky bar, was closing down.

However, we're now relieved after talking to Marlena over at the bar, who tells us that the watering hole (we love double entrendres!) has been sold, and, yes, it will close in March, but only for a month or so while the new owners remodel.

When it reopens, it will be the same dive-y drag bar where you've been conceiving hangovers for years. What we don't know for sure is whether the bar's name will remain the same. But who cares, as long as we can still be entertained by men who look like women crooning Tammy Wynette and Patsy Cline and still not pay a cover.

If you don't believe us that this bar is worth the hangover, take it from Grub Street, which gives readers the breakdown on why Marlena's is so goddamn important to the gay community.

The bar takes its name from the longtime drag persona of owner Garry 'x' McLain, who holds the title of Empress XXV of SF's Imperial Council. ... The bar opened shortly after the Loma Prieta earthquake when Hayes Valley still was in the shadow of the Central Freeway. For many years it's played host to a weekly drag show on Sundays, and has famously been decked out to the point of excess for various holidays -- most famously at Christmastime, when McLain pulls out his collection of 1,400 Santas and covers every inch of wall space with them.

We'll keep you updated on this very pressing community issue.





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