Aunt Charlie’s Lounge is the Tenderloin’s last drag bar, a historical landmark, and a symbol of the city’s vital queer and trans culture. The business closed its doors in March due to COVID-19. Without your financial support, Aunt Charlie's will not survive and will close for good on August 1st.
Your donations can SAVE AUNT CHARLIE’S so it can continue to serve its unique community. We are calling upon YOU to raise funds during this difficult time until it can re-open and thrive. Invest in our community space: to keep the drag queens lip-syncing, bartenders SERVING, the dancers dancing all night, and YOU living your authentic life in a REAL atmosphere.
After the SIP Order, the bar’s owner, William Erkelens, applied for a PPP loan and received only a fraction of the requested funds because the business is just “too small.” Erkelens has been paying rent and utilities out of his own pocket. All money raised will go towards direct business expenses: rent, utilities, and operations. Any funds received beyond our goal will be invested in the long-term sustainability of your favorite community gathering place.
Here’s a little Aunt Charlie’s history: the Lounge opened in 1987 near the corner of Turk & Taylor when the Tenderloin neighborhood was bustling with gay nightlife. Aunt Charlie’s is known for Sunday fundraisers and weekly drag and disco parties: Hot Boxxx Girls, Tubesteak Connection, and Angels (formerly High Fantasy and Chasers). In 2014, the block where Aunt Charlie’s is located was renamed to honor Vicki Marlane, a beloved performer and bar regular. Aunt Charlie’s remains an important intergenerational working class queer space that supports the neighborhood’s senior population. It is one of the few LGBTQ+ spaces open 365 days a year. Saving Aunt Charlie’s will ensure that our community will continue to have a place to safely gather.
At a moment when historical queer spaces are closing, reach into your pockets to Save Aunt Charlie’s! Contribute whatever you can—no amount is too little.
Thank you for your generosity,
Myles Cooper, Katie Conry, Kyle DeMedio, Brittany Newell, Silk Worm, Marissa Patrice Leitman, & Darwin Bell. We are patrons of Aunt Charlie's- a group that include community organizers, photographers, drag artists, and DJs.
Want to help spread the word? Use the hashtag #saveauntcharlies and #savequeervenues
Support Queer Nightlife!
Preserve San Francisco History!
Save Aunt Charlie’s!
Press contact: [email redacted]