Another day, another local institution closes its doors. Open for 33 years in the Mission District, beloved dive bar Esta Noche has been taken over by the team behind Wish Bar and Lounge, a “New York style lounge featuring the best local House music DJ’s in a […] sexy den of wood, leather, red velvet, and glowing candles.” Just last year, the only Latino gay bar in San Francisco had overcome some financial woes with a successful Indiegogo campaign, but the celebration was only temporary. It’s a tremendous loss, and it’s hitting a lot of people in the gut, as KQED blogger Emannuel Hapsis has noted:
“Something about this news feels personal. A bar dedicated to the gay Latino community in what used to be a predominantly Latino neighborhood is wiped away for a vaguely pornographic-sounding cocktail lounge for fancy straight people who like house music. It’s a slap in the face.”
Legendary in the bay, Esta Noche received some wider exposure this year, with the bar making cameos on HBO’s new hit show, Looking (Patrick’s new fling, Richie, is a doorman there). Now, Richie’s future is uncertain too:
The new owners, who will take over next week, plan to run Esta Noche as is for a few more months until they begin their heavy renovation.
“There’s a lot of history in that space, and we definitely want to preserve that,” says new owner Callum Hutchins, who notes that some of the details of the gritty ambience will remain intact but the space will definitely make a turn for a more “loungey” experience (BECAUSE WE DON’T HAVE ENOUGH OF THOSE.)
We may never recover from the loss of a place where you can go to a Selena drag tribute:
But, we’ll grieve the best way we know how: drinking cheap fruity cocktails, dancing with beautiful drag queens, and soaking in the spirit that has made Esta Noche a diamond in the rough.