Pilsner Inn Remodeling – Reopening Date Pushed

Pilsner Inn Mid Remodel

Pilsner Inn Mid Remodel.

One of the last of the old school neighborhood gay bars, The Pilsner Inn (225 Church St.), has been shuttered temporarily since November 24th as it undergoes a bit of a facelift.

The old girl has remained the same for as long as anyone the Biscuit knew to contact could remember.

The venerable bar, a Castro Queer ‘Cheers’ type establishment where everyone knows your name, has been a home away from home for generations of Duboce Triangle and Castro residents.

It has withstood the areas changing demographics and outlasted all its former local gay bar competitors: The Transfer (now Churchill), The Expansion Bar (now Blackbird Bar), Piano Zinc (now The Residence) and the Crows Nest (defunct bar within Church St. Station/Home Restaurant).

The Pilsner boasts a working class ethos — deco-inspired, tin-pressed ceilings, an old school early 20th century, worn-wood, full-length, railcar-designed bar, and a beloved patio that’s seen the comings and goings of the neighborhood.

Pilsner Inn Remodel NoticeIt’s also host to countless charity events, has sponsored LGBT sport teams, is home base to a vibrant pool league, and the place many sport fans make a beeline for come the start of a San Francisco Giants, 49ers, Warriors, or Sharks game ┬áto watch with like-minded devotees and have a pint or two.

Signage originally stated the bar would be open by November 29th but the date has now been pushed to December 6th.

I hope the remodel is cosmetic. I would hate to see the old phone booth removed or bar altered, though most wouldn’t mind heaters on the patio and perhaps some fresh paint. We look forward to seeing whats happened and we’ll keep readers in the loop.

The panoramic view of the Pilsner's classic long bar.

The panoramic view of the Pilsner’s classic long bar.

Waiyde Palmer

Waiyde Palmer loves San Francisco, social activism and punk rock(ers). His work has appeared in Handbook Magazine. SF Bay Times, The Advocate, Diseased Pariah News and American Music Press . He also has an extensive and repeatedly redacted FBI file.

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12 Responses

  1. rblack says:

    Pilsner is easily one of my favorite bars, but it is desperate for a facelift.

    It easily has the best jukebox in town and the cutest bartender ever (you’ll know who he is when you see him).

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  2. SeanC says:

    Sadly, the phone booth has since been relegated from inside to a corner of the back patio. (Thus, now exposed to the elements, doesn’t stand much of a chance for surviving much longer.) Goldmine that it is, unfortunately The Pilsner has been in a state of neglected decline for the last several years. The beer taps desperately need purging and recalibrating. (Especially the Guinness!). Flat barely cold beer isn’t tasty. Likewise they need to again start serving mixed drinks that don’t automatically taste watered down like they’ve been left sitting for 10 minutes. Alas, while sweet, much of the staff are Lifer Indifferent. And despite all this, it’s not exactly the cheapest place to drink. (How difficult is it to offer a proper happy hour?) The patio is another squandered opportunity. It screams cheerfully promoted beer busts, charity events and drag performances. (Maybe entertainment licenses are pricey. But they’d more than earn it back.) I know they do this to some degree. But most would never know it.

    This used to be my Go To Bar for years. But I rarely have set foot in recent years because of the unsatisfactory drinks and general air of neglect. I too hope the renovation is for much needed infrastructure upgrades behind the bar. They would be foolish to monkey with such a gorgeous interior otherwise. I truly hope this is the breath of fresh entrepreneurial air this beloved place desperately needs.

    FYI: Way before it was a gay bar it used to be a Danish sailor bar. For realz. Back when SF truly was a port city.

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  3. > it used to be a Danish sailor bar.

    OMFG. turn back the cock…er, I mean “clock”!

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  4. KC Dare says:

    The defunct bar, “Crow’s Nest”…. inside referenced Church St. Station, was also formally known as “The Hideaway Bar” featuring many friendly barkeeps & fans. Among the infamous…”Mr. Pat Monclaire”*, Imperial Majesty & Absolute Empress XXIV de San Francisco, kept the patrons entertained. ~KC Dare

    *RIP …

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  5. Elsewhere says:

    You left out one competitor that The Pilsener outlasted; The Galleon, with Bobby Sandner at the piano. It became quite tame towards the end, but in younger and wilder days….

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    • KC Dare says:

      Many GOOD TIMES were had @ The Galleon Bar & Restaurant!
      From banquets, Leather Night, Bob Sandner on Piano, great Prime Rib, big events & cozy, private room celebrations. The Best of Times could always be found!

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  1. December 14, 2013

    […] reported last week that the Pilsner Inn, one of the oldest gay bars in the Castro, was closed for renovations for the […]

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