Gangway, which has identified as a gay bar since 1960, has transferred its liquor license, signaling the end of an era. The location of the Gangway has been serving alcohol since 1910 and remained open through Prohibition.
Signs that the venue was looking to close its doors began in January 2016 when owner Jung Lee was part of a deal to sell the bar following a death of a long-time manager and a lawsuit regarding wages.
Patrons of the establishment have bonded over recent news; sharing stories of the bar's near-60 year run. One patron told the San Francisco Chronicle it was “full of relics and homages to our struggle... a living museum.”
The bar's liquor license will be transferred to one Sam Young, owner of the controversial "Kozy Kar" a few blocks up the road. As of now, the plan is to turn the location into a laundromat titled "Kung Fu Action Theater and Laundry" where Kung Fu movies will be shown while patrons wash clothes.
This follows an unfortunate trend of traditional gay bars closing in the city. However, this trend has been attributed to San Francisco's changing demographics and a widening acceptance of LGBT people and values throughout the community.
841 Larkin Street won’t be the same. The Gangway is reportedly #sanfrancisco ‘s oldest operating gay bar. This #Tenderloin gem, famous for the boat jutting from its facade, closed over the weekend for good. There had been rumors about the fate of the #LGBTQ establishment that dates back to 1910 (but didn’t identify as a gay bar until 1961). The Chronicle reports it will become a “Kung fu-themed laundromat” #shuttered #thistownaintwhatitusedtobe 🙁🏳️🌈🏙⚓️⛴🍺🍺🍺🥃🍷