KevinGoebel

Kevin Goebel, 49M. Co-founder/co-owner of the Big Gay Frat House in San Francisco's Castro area.

San Francisco, California
Joined May 2009
99 Followers 94 Following

31 Loved Places

Listings

  • Lookout Bar The Castro, San Francisco
  • Midnight Sun The Castro, San Francisco
  • The Mint Karaoke Lounge The Castro, San Francisco
  • Pilsner Inn The Castro, San Francisco
  • The Cafe The Castro, San Francisco
  • KevinGoebel
    KevinGoebel reviewed Super Duper Burger Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Good food, poor condiment selection
    I was a little annoyed the first time I went that you have to pay extra to get lettuce and a tomato on your burger. Sliders has a much better condiment bar, but Super Duper's actually hamburgers are much better -- for burger joints, surpassed in the Castro only by BurgerMeister. Some day I want to try their sundae with bacon.

  • KevinGoebel
    KevinGoebel reviewed The Castro Theatre Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Best place for oldies
    The iconic Castro Theatre is starting to show the occasional first-run films, but it's really best visited on a Friday or Saturday when they are showing a classic film. That's when the organist plays the wurlizer organ, always concluding with the song Jeanette MacDonald made famous, "San Francisco." Truly a special SF experience.

  • KevinGoebel
    KevinGoebel reviewed Midnight Sun Over a year ago
    Hates it

    Good when flying solo
    This was one of the first gay bars my friends took me to (back in the '80s), and for many years it was the only one I'd go to by myself. I could just watch the videos and not be self-conscious about being a wall-flower. Although it can be nice to come watch shows like "American Idol" and the Oscars with a crowd, the chatter from other patrons can make it hard to actually hear. But then, if all I really wanted was to watch TV, I could do that at home.

  • KevinGoebel
    KevinGoebel reviewed Dawn Ranch Lodge Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Miss Fife's but found Dawn Ranch to be comfortable
    I stayed here once when it was Fife's and brunched here many times back then, and I really do miss the gay crowds. But now that it's Dawn Ranch Lodge and is catering to straights and weddings, it's still a nice place for a quiet cabin away from the parties at RRR and elsewhere. We thought it would be nice to go out elsewhere and then have a quiet place to come home to, and never felt intimidated or discouraged by the staff. I hesitate to reveal what I hoped would be our little secret, so don't tell anyone that cabin 302 is an amazingly comfortable, secluded hideaway for ~4 people.

  • KevinGoebel
    KevinGoebel reviewed Rainbow Cattle Co. Over a year ago
    Loves it

    I highly recommend the rootbeer floats
    The Rainbow Cattle Company has a special drink called a rootbeer float, similar to a long island ice tea in that they are both concoctions of different spirits. Both are served in ginormous mason jars (quart size, I believe) for a steal at only $8. The rootbeer float really does taste like the non-alcoholic namesake, but a caution for those who are lactose-intolerant: it does include cream. It has a smooth taste, and hardly seems like it includes any booze, but be careful: it packs a wallop and one drink will do you all afternoon. Fortunately, our bartender wisely asked us which of us was the designated driver. He stuck to club soda with a splash of cranberry.

  • KevinGoebel
    KevinGoebel reviewed The Mint Karaoke Lounge Over a year ago
    Hates it

    Challenging venue even if you do like karaoke
    First of all, it's almost pointless to review this place unless you adore karaoke bars, and I do not. But having been dragged here several times in recent months, I'm reviewing for all the folks willing to get passed that for the sake of their friends. Even if you can ignore the karaoke (and you can if you maneuver to the right places), it's still an incomfortable venue. Despite being labeled a gay bar since 1968, the year I was born, it's overwhelmingly straight. Mostly gaggles of girls in college drama departments who bring the occasional gay bff or reluctant boyfriend. It's way too crowded and the horseshoe bar in the middle of the room occupies way too much floor space. It's hard to get attention at the bar, only to end up with a relatively small/weak drink by Castro standards. And that's a major flaw, because seriously, the only way to halfway tolerate this place is to be way too drunk to notice.

  • KevinGoebel
    KevinGoebel reviewed Cliff's Variety Over a year ago
    Loves it

    A little bit of everything
    Several months ago, my aunt and her family stopped by for dinner and she asked me if there was anywhere in the neighborhood where she could get a feathered boa. "Oh, sure," I said. "There's a hardware store just down the street." It didn't strike me until she started laughing how odd that was. But the truth is, Cliff's really does have a little bit of everything: hardware, lumber, paint, gardening supplies, kitchen supplies, toys, arts & crafts, drag accessories. The Castro is a pretty self-sufficient neighborhood, but mostly because Cliff's single-handedly rounds out most of the gaps.

  • KevinGoebel
    KevinGoebel reviewed Blackbird Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Out of the ashes...
    Out of the ashes of the old dive bar The Expansion, briefly reincarnated as The Metro, comes another new spot in the Castro's refreshening nightlife: Blackbird. The decor is deliberately rustic chic, which could easily have looked like a stodgy bar my Grandfather would have gone to without the elegant touches that makes this probably the best decor of any Castro gay bar (even beating Trigger in some respects). I went once on a Monday evening, when it was pretty busy (on a Monday, no less!), and again on a Friday when it was jam packed. Nice place to meet friends and visit, but surprisingly easy to mingle despite the long bench and rows of chairs. Another excellent addition to the Castro.

  • KevinGoebel
    KevinGoebel reviewed Starbelly Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Amazing food
    One of the Castro's newest restaurants (replacing Askew Grill, but old-timers will remember it as the site of Josie's Cabaret & Juice Joint), Starbelly offers "California comfort food" seven days a week. We went for brunch and I found the open-faced fried egg sandwich (with starbelly bacon & two year aged cheddar) to be amazing. We plan to go back for dinner for a friend's birthday. They have an extensive beer and wine list as well as some specialty cocktails, but I could not tell if they had a full bar or not.

  • KevinGoebel
    KevinGoebel reviewed Thick and Thin Pizzeria Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Try the all-you-can-eat-pizza Tuesdays
    Dined here a few times and have ordered appetizers at the bar, but this was the first time I had a chance to try the "All You Can Eat Pizza Night" on Tuesdays for only $10. (You can still order from the regular menu if you'd prefer.) They have five pizzas coming out in rotation, like a pizza version of dim sum. Our night included 4 cheese pizza, ham & pineapple, tomato basil, BBQ chicken, and a sausage/pepperoni. The slices are a little smaller, making it easier to sample a lot, but I still can't believe I ate SEVEN slices (getting the BBQ chicken and 4 cheese twice). Each one was awesome. They also have a nice wine list plus a full bar.

  • KevinGoebel
    KevinGoebel reviewed Lookout Bar Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Constantly innovative
    When the Metro occupied this spot, it was a quiet little happy hour/post-brunch bar whose main draw was the balcony. Now the new owners of the bar now called the LookOut are regularly creating new event nights to keep it fresh. Different forms of music, drag shows, trivia nights, charity fundraisers, jocks in jocks with jell-o shots, and some of the friendliest bartenders in the Castro. I've seen go-go boys on pedestals, in showers, and in cages (though usually there aren't go-go boys at all). Love that you can order from the adjoining pizzeria from the bartenders, and still love the balcony (though the seats are getting ricketty and maybe should be repaired or replaced).

  • KevinGoebel
    KevinGoebel reviewed Dolores Park Over a year ago
    Loves it

    The "gay beach" in the Castro
    Love sitting in the sun reading on the grassy slope on the 20th Street side of the park. Locals call it the "gay beach," and it's fun to see all the cute guys lying out in their shorts (or underwear) soaking up the sun. And it also has an awesome view of downtown San Francisco.

  • KevinGoebel
    KevinGoebel reviewed New Conservatory Theatre Center Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Great place for gay plays
    Conveniently located less than a block from the Van Ness MUNI stop, the New Conservatory Theatre shows quite a lot great gay-themed plays in their three auditoriums. They now have a liquor license and allow drinks to be brought into the theater. It was once nicknamed "The Nude Conservatory Theatre" because so many gay plays include nudity as an audience draw, but it's been a long time since I've seen a play there with nudity.

  • KevinGoebel
    KevinGoebel reviewed Kabuki Springs & Spa Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Baths without the bathhouse
    For a relaxing soak, Kabuki is an awesome communal baths facility. But note that they are communal baths, but not a bathhouse, so don't expect to be fooling around. Most days are single-sex, alternating men on one day and women the next, so check the schedule before going.

  • KevinGoebel
    KevinGoebel reviewed Fitness SF, Market Street Over a year ago
    Hates it

    Smaller than the SOMA branch but easier to get to
    This two-floor gym is smaller than their Brannon Street location but a lot easier to get to (and for me, convenience is a key motivator). I'm told it's rather cruisy, though no one has ever hit on me! (Kidding.) One warning for guys who are shy: the showers are in one big open room, not private stalls.

  • KevinGoebel
    KevinGoebel reviewed Pilsner Inn Over a year ago
    Hates it

    Love the patio
    I rarely go to the Pilsner Inn, as it is a little off the beaten path for me (other Castro bars are closer) and can sometimes be a bit quiet (I've always said it's a "bring your own crowd" kind of place). The patio in the back looks like it could be someone's backyard (in a good way), with lots of potted plants and a small koi pond. But my favorite bit about the Pilsner is that they have lemonade on tap, which is a delightful mixer with vodka on a hot afternoon.

  • KevinGoebel
    KevinGoebel reviewed Catch Over a year ago
    Loves it

    I always bring out-of-towners here
    I'm not a huge seafood fan, but whenever I have guests visiting from out of town, I invariably take them here. It's one of the nicer upscale restaurants in the Castro. I love the salmon dinner (it has a slightly orangy marinade). The eggs benedict for brunch is slightly different than other places ... and oh so yummy.

  • KevinGoebel
    KevinGoebel reviewed Toad Hall Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Don't smoke but I still love the patio
    When our regular haunt (The Cafe) closed for remodeling, Toad Hall opened not long thereafter. I love the patio in the back where smokers and their friends can sit around tall wooden cabaret tables. One of the best happy hours in the Castro (though I find it odd that the drink prices vary depending on the mixers -- vodka soda is cheaper than a vodka cranberry). When I want to hang out with my friends for a happy hour drink, this is our favorite place to go.

  • KevinGoebel
    KevinGoebel reviewed The Cafe Over a year ago
    Loves it

    My "Cheers" bar
    I have a lot of loyalty to this place, as it was both my happy hour and late night hangout before the remodel. Boy Bar on Fridays has been one of my favorite bar events for years. I do like the expanded floorplan of the remodel, but wish there was more seating (even if it was just portable ottomans, like Trigger's, that can be removed during busy evenings). Looking forward to them returning to a more normal schedule next month.

  • KevinGoebel
    KevinGoebel reviewed Clover Grill Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Great late night dining
    We came here twice, both times after leaving the bars. I can't vouch for how the food would be when sober, but I imagine it's great. I had a waffle the first time and bacon & eggs the second. My friend had pork chops the first time and loved it so much he insisted we come back the next night so he could get it again. Good thing we didn't discover til later that they also have a liquor license, as we had already imbibed too much.

  • KevinGoebel
    KevinGoebel reviewed Oz Over a year ago
    Hates it

    Not as busy as it used to be
    My previous visits to NOLA were during holidays, so of course everything was packed. But I had always heard that even during non-holidays, this was the premiere dance club in the city. We were surprised that it wasn't busier. Happy hours were dead, so we mostly did that at the Bourbon Pub. But even Friday and Saturday nights weren't exactly packed. Perhaps the crowds found a new hot spot?

  • KevinGoebel
    KevinGoebel reviewed Corner Pocket Over a year ago
    Hates it

    Cute but hungry dancers
    This place held fond memories for me, as eight years ago it was the first place I ever tipped a go-go boy. At the time I was naive and didn't realize they were looking for customers willing to pay more to get more. This time, the bloom was off the rose. The dancers are cute but VERY aggressive about hustling for tips and more. The boys don't just wait for you to flash a dollar, they'll actively court you for tips. That can make it a fun place when you wanna tip and touch, but uncomfortable if you don't plan to tip.

  • KevinGoebel
    KevinGoebel reviewed The Bourbon Pub and Parade Over a year ago
    Loves it

    My new fave in NOLA
    Just returned from my fourth vacation in NOLA, the only one that wasn't during Mardi Gras or Southern Decadance. In previous visits, I could barely enter this place because of the holiday crowds. This time I was able to enjoy it in the middle of the day as well as busy evenings. Friendly staff (shout out to our favorite bartender, Lawrence), nice crowd of all types, and cute go-go boys who don't hassle you for tips. My favorite bar in New Orleans.