Lone Star Saloon

Lone Star Saloon

San Francisco's famous bear bar

Average Reviews

About

The Lone Star Saloon first opened its doors in 1989 on the corner of Howard and 7th. At first it was a bar for old gay hippies. We didn’t even have a liquor license. Just beer and wine — oh yeh, and sake, fresh from the microwave. They were humble beginnings indeed but at a time when HIV/AIDS was ravaging our community it was more about a sense of place than anything else. And in general, the bar’s founder, Rick Redewill, was helping to foster an atmosphere that appealed to working class men who felt more at home in SOMA than the Castro.

On October 17, 1989, the Loma Prieta earthquake struck. The bar, only 6 months old, was rendered unsafe and had to be demolished. Like a proverbial phoenix it rose up at its current location at 1354 Harrison St. The space, with its ample main room, nooks, crannies, and soon-to-be legendary patio, appealed to the biker crowd that previously made The Ambush — the notorious leather bar once located directly across the street — their HQ. The leather/biker crowd soon began to merge with the bear scene, which was gaining its momentum as the Lone Star settled into its permanent home. Needless to say, the fringe scenes fit together seamlessly even as the bear movement become the bar’s calling card.

Then along came the internet. With some cutting edge (at the time) social uses for it, the bar gained a reputation around the world. If you saw someone wearing a Lone Star t-shirt in London, Sydney or Tokyo you knew what it meant. It was like a secret club. And what did it mean? Many things to many people: Older likes small, big likes big, small likes furry, and on and on. But above all it meant you were proud to identify as a bear.

The Lone Star has been open for business and serving bears ever since. It is fair to say the bar has a very special place in a lot of people’s heart, countless encounters started here, some lead to marriages that are still strong to this day. That’s something we are very proud of, it means we have done our job.

Most recently, the bar has been purchased by two of the longtime bartenders Bruce (19yrs) and Charlie (13yrs). Bruce and Charlie, as well as their crew, are determined to make you comfortable and show you a good time. You can learn more about them from their bios on the Bar Staff page.

Photos

Reviews

Lone Star Saloon
4.5
Based on 369 reviews
Frank M.
07:12 02 May 24
Lone Star Saloon it's a nice bar. The atmosphere is the typeI like. Very friendly crowd. The barman was super nice. The drinks are really good and the...
sarah Le roux
07:04 03 Apr 24
I don't recommend this bar, we paid $34 for two beers and two shots, it doesn't accept card payments or small change, you have to withdraw with a $10 fee.Then the atmosphere is zero. then we arrived at 11:30 p.m. knowing that it was written that it closed at two in the morning but it closes at midnight.
Joseph Michaud
17:58 24 Mar 24
My partner and I had a great time at the Lone Star Saloon when we were Visiting San Francisco.I highly recommend you checking it out
Ryan Manning
05:06 12 Mar 24
One of my favorite spots to go. I will say that the cash only part is a bit annoying, but the drinks are always good, the crowd is always fun and the atmosphere is enjoyable.
Alex D.
01:29 27 Jan 24
Australian bar tender was rude as hell. I tipped him earlier in the night (it's a cash bar) and before I could tip him the second time, told me "I needed to...
Robert Reynolds
22:45 28 Nov 23
Charming daddy bartender with a great smile. A very chill vibe generally, more of a chatty spot than a dancey spot.Cash-only, godspeed in 2023. Would love to tap to pay.
Trevor Milbery
07:40 14 Nov 23
Place is either packed or is virtually empty. No in-between. Cubcake is always a good time
BearLordFran
03:39 13 Nov 23
The Big Bear Lone Star is amazing has Great events to check out and experience and the staff is so amazing and Friendly
Matt Flores
08:03 10 Nov 23
Tonight was my 3rd and final night going to this place. I'm always patient and wait for a bartender, and there is always some rude, entitled person that just walks right up and cuts. Bartenders don't ask who was first and serve the white person, but tonight was more insulting. After serving the white guy - who cut me, the bartender walked away. Another bartender came over, unfortunately, no Stella in a bottle or grenadine for a cocktail. I'm tired of the way this spot makes me feel, so I'm not going back.
K. Howard
02:57 29 Oct 23
Great bar!They (bar) hosted the full queer wrestling event. What a show - hillarious. 😂Bartender was great as was the bar and the entertainment - priceless.
Mindia Mindia
07:26 18 Oct 23
Amazing place with the fantastic music, people and of course super awesome Bruce
P S
05:01 07 Oct 23
I could not say enough good things about this bar! We live a few blocks away and it’s the perfect spot for happy hour, or drinks with friends later in the evening. The owner is so sweet and remembers us. The other bartenders remember us too and are so friendly. It’s dog-friendly and has a great selection of beers on tap and liquor. We go at least once a week. Thank you, Lone Star for being so welcoming!
Chris N.
12:35 02 Oct 23
My favorite gay bar in SF, lots of bears, cubs and everything in between. Well priced drinks and great service from all of the staff.
Jobie Jacomine
21:20 25 Sep 23
I was really craving my bear space during Folsom.. well I found it here!!!! 😍 friendly guys and strong drinks make for a great space!!
Ed U.
20:11 28 Jul 23
I used to come here. Like a lot. Back when they opened in the early nineties and I was seriously carded. It was a true bear scene back then, and the patio...
Jargalsuren
15:39 26 Jul 23
Worst service ever and really low quality cocktail. Really not an inclusive space for straight people because of the bartender’s comments, and if you are straight, just pls don’t go. And remember to bring cash as it is cash-only place, and if you don’t they will yell at you all over the bar and call you that you can’t afford it before they offer you to use the ATM.
Quinn Calhoun
22:30 17 Dec 22
First time here! 5 stars from me, safe space and love the vibe!For someone who has a lot of anxiety in public spaces (especially bars) I found this space to be very inviting, welcoming & friendly amongst patrons and bartenders. I love the outdoor area in back and the wide open space in the front indoor area with high ceilings, making it feel not nearly as claustrophobic as some other venues.What I also love about this bar is that it's very body-image positive & everyone is encouraged to be themselves. I find a lot of gay bars in SF are quite the opposite. But this place is unique and stands out. If you're walking here alone or foreign to the area, just be cautious of your surroundings. A lot of sketchy characters hang nearby & look for easy targets. But by all means go to this Bar. It's a safe space for both men & women.Looking forward to my next visit and surprised I haven't visited this bar sooner!
Daniel Silva
17:39 29 Nov 22
This bear bar is so chill. The owners are down to earth. The customers are just awesome.
Lee W.
04:23 17 Oct 22
I have always loved this bar, on recent visits the bar staff were lovely and friendly too. The crowd seems to have changed from the past where the best...
Steven Collins
04:05 17 Oct 22
I want to like it here, but I really don’t. There’s nothing unique about it. Other neighborhood bars are more interesting with a better crowd and friendly bartenders.
Star motion592
06:59 14 Oct 22
Around 10 pm this night I asked the bartender "BRUCE JENNISON" if had a charger to charge my phone. He didn't, so I left. I came back later to use the restroom, and after he asked if I wanted a drink. He said cash only. I was a little confused, but before I couldn't even ask to use the ATM, he kicked me out without giving me a reason. Very rude, seems the decision was racial motivated
CHARLES JARRETT
01:03 18 Sep 22
It's actually a very nice bar I was able to get a parking spot right in front bartender was super nice I would come back again soon
Jonathan Somerville
18:25 12 Sep 22
Great local gay bear bar. Bartenders are friendly. Nice patio out back. Fun atmosphere.
Nicholas P.
08:15 20 Aug 22
I stopped by here on a Friday evening while traveling. The space and atmosphere is great. Liquor and beer options are good and the bartender is friendly...
Gerardo Angeles
04:30 13 Aug 22
This is one of the best bars they are supper friendly and make you comfortable
Dale Phurrough
01:39 10 Jul 22
Classic bear bar 🐻, friendly staff, Paul Goodyear playing a good set, though somewhat strange to be served a whiskey neat in a long drink glass.
Carlos Valencia
17:02 26 Jun 22
Love this place! All the staff is awesome everytime I go.
Mark Hull
02:44 02 Jun 22
An Icon! Thanks for the beer and great music!! Hope to be back soon!!
Bernard Matthews
21:39 01 Jun 22
We had a great time in this bar. Charlie and Bruce were great hosts. I’d certainly recommend if your visiting San Francisco. Till the next time guys ! Bernard and Brendan from the UK 🇬🇧
Tony V
04:32 14 May 22
I was an out of town visitor and although this bar was relatively dead I enjoyed myself on a Friday night. That being said. 1 bartender charged me $15 for a double Tito's and soda. The other bartender charged me $20 for a single Makers neat. I guess what I'm trying to say is go for vodka and not whiskey........
Joe Valasko
21:36 06 May 22
Great locationEasy access from highway. Good staff.Strong drinks 🙂
Simon L.
22:00 17 Mar 22
The owner has a dog that's in and out of this place. It's not sanitary for venues that provide food
Sia Azari
06:40 21 Feb 22
It was alright. The gogo daddies looked very bores. Might have been a bad night for me. Would I go back? Yes, it’s a different experience.
Chris Short
00:05 15 Feb 22
Ricky is a great looking and talented bartender tip him well, he deserves it.
ricky guzman
23:37 07 Feb 22
Great place for drinks, hanging out, playing pool, and meeting bears. There's always great music on the weekends with local DJ's keeping the vibe fun. Definitely one of my favorite gay bars in SF.
Person Garcia
05:15 19 Jan 22
Can’t believe it took us this long to stop by here. This is already one of my favorite gay bars in SF! The crowd is on the older side and overall such a chill vibe across the bar. There’s pool, a little disco vibe, a little grunge, and a beautiful back patio!
Jamie D. Bauchery
07:58 18 Jan 22
Fun bear bar, can be cruise-y at times
Drew Heinecke
07:17 23 Dec 21
One of those San Francisco bars that actually got cooler over COVID. An awesome queer space that tends to avoid attracting non-lgbtq folks, which is plus compared to some gay bars.
Kevin Campbell
17:52 18 Nov 21
Went in for an early evening drink and loved the place. Lovely atmosphere, reasonable prices and bar man was friendly. The lady who was with me also liked the atmosphere.
Dave G.
15:25 14 Nov 21
Um, wow. There are few bars where service is more cheerful and friendly. I don't know how the detractors came up with their conclusions. If they wore...
Mralladatshyt
20:37 07 Nov 21
It's a good bar being forward will get you a long way.
Ellen T
08:33 05 Nov 21
Strong drinks, great patio, fun crowd. What more can you ask for?
Dan Palansky
22:02 09 Oct 21
Great bartenders, reasonable prices, great crowd. Had a great day meeting new people.
Chih Yen L.
23:30 23 Aug 21
Went there around 10 pm on Friday, and it was pretty spacious. I would say it's not crowded but with the right amount of people. I was out at the patio, and...
Alexander Hernandez
05:06 17 Aug 21
A nice fun bar for bears and their fans. The best part of this bar is their patio, which has a good fun vibe when it’s not too crowded. The drinks are pretty strong so bring your friends and enjoy.
Michael S.
15:47 10 Aug 21
So, guess what! Ya boi is officially mentally handicapped. It pains me to say it, but it's true - I went to the city to run some errands with my buddy at...
Mark Ebelt
04:05 03 Aug 21
Love this on place on Sunday Evenings!
David Chen
04:21 11 Jul 21
Spacious bar and hang out area. Really good and chill vibes. Great selection of draft beers.
Ray Tilton
00:21 08 Jul 21
Best place. Period
Avery Couchman
00:34 28 Jun 21
I mean Charlie is pretty cute.
Harold Joseph Smith, Jr. (Joe)
04:39 27 Jun 21
Been there since Day One, and the patio is as fun as ever. If you go during a slow time, you get the feeling of a "weird industrial peace" that makes the neighborhood a joy, and the crowded times are convivial. Great place to smoke, hang, make out, occasionally get lucky.
Larry Cadloff
21:10 24 Jun 21
The archetypical bear bar, now fully open since California loosened pandemic rules. I used to hang out there a lot years ago; I stopped going after the place was sold and became noticeably less bear-friendly. It’s changed hands again and is now owned by former bar staff, and it’s back to its glorious old self.
Keith Law
17:37 24 Jun 21
Best patio in Soma!
Joshua Muñoz (SDHokie)
06:19 16 Jun 21
Friendliest of bartenders. Chill atmosphere. Friendly people. I love that this is my neighborhood bar.
John S.
17:12 10 Jun 21
The Australian bartender was so nice to us! Loved the experience and the attitude free environment. Will definitely be back!
Joe V.
21:30 29 May 21
I am so so happy that Lone Star Saloon has reopened. Such a great bar!Great service and a good crowd (within temporary occupancy limits).Good selection...
Salem E.
19:27 16 May 21
Bruce Jennison just walked into a different establishment and was an abusive asshole to the bartender. You owe Jen an apology. Update: Thank you, Bruce....

Reviews from Google Maps, Yelp and WhereIs.Gay

Last Updated

4 July 2021

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04:00 PM - 02:00 AM
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    04:00 PM - 02:00 AM
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  • Wednesday
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  • Thursday
    04:00 PM - 02:00 AM
  • Friday
    02:00 PM - 02:00 AM
  • Saturday
    12:00 PM - 02:00 AM
  • Sunday
    12:00 PM - 02:00 AM

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