The Week (US)

The view from a local bar


“When was the last time you thought to yourself that you were happy to be standing on aged carpet in a dive bar?” asked

Peter-Astrid Kane in At Aunt Charlie’s Lounge in San Francisco, every customer on last month’s reopening day seemed to have that thought. Aunt Charlie’s is historic: It’s the oldest queer bar in the Tenderloin District now that the many others have vanished. Yet it’s also “very much a working-class neighborho­od joint,” with a cast of regulars and a $7.75 bourbon and ginger. On that first afternoon, there was no drag queen show. The bartender, though, was enjoying getting to repeat a joke every time he checked a customer’s temperatur­e. “You’re normal,” he told each of us.

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