‘Sit On My Face’ fundraiser helps San Francisco gay bar survive pandemic

Laser-etched bar stools at the Lone Star Saloon in San Francisco
Regulars paid to have their faces laser-etched on to bar stools at the Lone Star Saloon (Photo: Supplied)

The Lone Star Saloon in San Francisco is the most famous gay bear bar in the world, with a history dating back to 1989.

However, like so many other LGBTQ venues, the COVID-19 pandemic has seriously impacted business. So much so, its management has been forced to come up with some novel ways to help raise much-needed funds to survive.

Related: The iconic venues that won’t be returning after COVID-19

The bar has always done a steady sale of Lone Star T-shirts and other merchandise, but facing months of closure, they’ve asked their loyal regulars to go further. The ‘Sit On My Face’ fundraiser offered people the chance to have their name and face laser-etched on to the legs of the bar stools.

Although costing $250 per leg, very quickly, all the available stools were snapped up. Most people used an image of their face, while some used images of pets or logos (eg. Bears of SF).

Lond Star Saloon bar stool
(Photo: Lone Star Saloon)

“It went really well,” Lone Star co-owner Charlie Evans told Gay Cities. “We have 12 stools, with four legs each for a total of 48 and we did all of them. I was surprised and humbled by the response. The stool jokes wrote themselves and never failed to make me laugh.”

(Photos: Lone Star Saloon)

Related: Gay bars in San Francisco

Of course, having now sold every stick of bar furniture, the business still needs support. To this end, it’s just launched a memberships scheme.

(Photos: Lone Star Saloon)

“We have been closed for six months now and we are starting to feel the pinch. With this in mind, we have set up The Lone Star saloon 500 Club.

 

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“Our loyal customers can become a member by purchasing a handmade key strap. Each key strap is individually numbered and the limit is set at 500. When all this shit is over, and we reopen, members of the Lone Star 500 Club will receive free entry to [monthly club promotion night] Cubcake for a year, two free annual beer busts and a bunch of stuff we haven’t even thought of yet.

“Support from our customers is vital to us right now and we can’t wait to show them our appreciation when we reopen. We love our customers, every fuckin’ one of them, and together, we will get through this.”