San Diego's oldest gay bar was closed during most of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As California gears up for its re-opening on June 15, San Diego's oldest gay bar, The Rail (formerly The Brass Rail), has announced that it will resume operations on Thursday, June 17.
While many of San Diego's LGBTQ bars re-opened during the pandemic, operating within strict COVID-19 protocols such as outdoor seating, table service, masks, and a food requirement, The Rail remained closed during much of the year. Many community wondered if and when The Rail would re-open, and were pleased to learn of next week's re-opening.
Considered San Diego’s first gay bar, The Rail originally opened for business in the 1930’s in Downtown’s historic Orpheum Theatre building. It quickly became a popular lunch spot for business professionals, heating up in the evenings as a top meeting spot. Back then, law enforcement was known to have entered with flashlights demanding “All hands above the bar!” to keep men from holding hands.
Since relocating to Hillcrest in the early 1960’s, customers continue to be drawn in by the bar's recently renovated and inviting surroundings in a lounge-style atmosphere. The furnishings are modern, yet reminiscent of the bar's rich history as a post-Prohibition-era establishment with details of brick, wood, corrugated wall treatments, inviting indoor/outdoor patio areas and uniquely designed private venue spaces.
The Rail will re-open on Thursday, June 17 with a new event to be held every third Thursday called "Thurst." On Saturday, June 19, the popular Sabados en Fuego Latino/a night will return. Sabados en Fuego is now considered to be the longest running Latino/a dance night in town. County Dance at The Rail (CDR) will return on Thursday, June 24.