Beloved San Francisco bar Virgil’s Sea Room announces closure

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Another bar has bitten the dust because of the Covid pandemic. Although only opening in 2013, Virgil’s Sea Room in (3152 Mission Street) in San Francisco established a loyal following as a neighborhood bar that welcomed everyone.

Patrons loved its cocktails, trivia quiz nights, eclectic jukebox and outdoor patio. It regularly held Pride events and other queer-themed parties.

Virgil's Sea Room
(Photo: @vigilssf/Instagram)

Yesterday, owner Lila Lexington posted to social media a message stating the business was having to shutter for good after months of closure.

“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we announce our closure. We are another victim of the times. After a year of constant loss, not enough help from the feds, and a mental fatigue that can’t quite be described… Virgil’s has made the tough decision to close.

“It is truly heartbreaking when we were so happy with our business, our staff and of course our most fabulous patrons! We will miss you all! A huge thank you to everyone that ever worked at Virgil’s and came through the doors. We will never forget the unique magic of that time and place.”


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Many regulars and former staff were quick to respond.

“Life changing experience to work here along side some of my favorite humans out there. Not to mention awesome folks I got to serve drinks,” said @dick_dreamz on Instagram.

Those who ran the much-loved quiz nights said, “Hosting trivia on Mondays at Virgils was so magical – there’s no space or community quite like it. It was the coziest queer space in the city, and was home to so many events and connections and so much irreplaceable community.”

Related: Gay bars in San Francisco

Another former worker, Jovan Quintero (@_jov4n_), said, “Virgil’s Sea Room will forever be an important landmark in my life. It’s super sad experiencing the closure of such a little gem in San Francisco, things would’ve been so different if COVID-19 didn’t have such an impact as it has, and still is happening.

“The greatest takeaway I’ll take from my time here is how it opened my life up to a different side of the LGBTQIA+ community. How we can coexist with our allies if all different walks of life, our regulars, our neighbors, the list can go on. It super connected me to the Latin community, and it exposed me and many of my coworkers to non-profits from around the county of San Francisco. This establishment also housed and provided a safe and different experience during pride week, Halloween, & New Year’s Eve events. I’m super sad, I miss all my coworkers and my amazing boss, my regulars, words can’t explain.”

A fundraiser to offer some financial assistance to the bartenders, barbacks, and door staff is accepting donations on GoFundMe.


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More than two dozen well-loved LGBTQ bars have closed across the US over the last year of the pandemic, and many remain temporarily closed due to local restrictions. San Francisco establishments to close include The Stud and Badlands.

For a list of closures, check ‘The iconic venues that won’t be returning after COVID-19