You’ve got drinking to do, and before you get to the shots of Everclear you might as well have a real cocktail at the Lush Lounge, once voted Best Pickup Bar in San Francisco. Our favorite part about this place, aside from the ragged hookers and drug addicts who occasionally wander in to try to pick your pocket, are the quotes from dead and elderly comedians on the wall. “My idea of exercise is a good brisk sit.” – Phyllis Diller.
Nick’s Crispy Tacos
You should probably get something to eat before going too far. The guacamole laced tacos at Nick’s Crispy Tacos (Polk and Broadway), admittedly more Russian Hill than Polk Gulch, but the eating is good. It doubles as Harry Denton’s Rouge nightclub after 9 PM, so one side, where the tacos and burritos are served, becomes to lounge area for the other side, where the bar is along with a bunch of chandeliers.
Charlie Horse, the Friday midnight drag show at The Cinch (1723 Polk) is well-poised to pick up where SoMa’s infamous Trannyshack will leave off when it closes this summer. It tends to be more Kathleen Hanna and the Breeders than Barbara Streisand and the Supremes, and we dare say it makes Trannyshack look, uh, polished. Plus, there’s a tranny cocktail waitress who curses like a sailor and has an entire wardrobe stolen from the set of Dynasty. Anna Conda’s always good for a laugh, and when Ethel Mer-man comes on and does her renditions of Nirvana songs, in the style of Ethel Merman, we eat that shit up. (For the occasional, more traditional drag or rock show there’s always Kimo’s [1531 Polk]. It’s dark, dirty and filled with tweakers and old men, but if you’re expecting a classier joint, go back to the Castro. One the plus side, their bathroom has a sign that reads “No drugs in the bathroom” which clearly means they won’t be shocked when they find you doing them.)
Tranny Hooker Row
full and a little drunk, so share the love by spending fifty bucks for
a blowjob up on Tranny Hooker Row, a.k.a. Larkin St. between Bush and
Sutter. If that doesn’t float your boat, but you still want to gawk at
some fabulously non-bio females, try Divas
on for size (1081 Post Street). This club would be more trans than
tranny, so whatever you do don’t call their midnight show a drag show.
And actually, unless you’re a straight-ish guy who digs tits, we’d
actually suggest just downing a drink, tipping your waitress generously
with a wink, and heading up the street for your entertainment.
While not technically on Polk Street, Deco Lounge one street over (510
Larkin) has plenty of the Polk Gulch charm, by which we mean aging drunks, crummy strippers and a handful of
gaygeousie looking for a little down-and-out-fun. To boot, you can buy Oxycontin
off the street nearby (say, on your way from an overcrowded Aunt
Charlie’s) and really live out the recession in style.
Before You Pass Out …
A good homosexual doesn’t eat carbs, but a great homosexual might very well spend 2AM drunk and at Bob’s Donuts (1621 Polk Street), whose pastries really do transcend the form (yours). Better yet, the Grubstake is one of those rarities in sleepy, old-timey SF: a diner open after midnight. They serve until 4 AM, and have been catering to a crowd of hustlers and fags and drag queens since the late 60s (these days there will be a large post-college straight crowd lining up after the bars close around the corner, but you can take ’em).
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