Party Earth Review It’s a party every night at SF Badlands, a Castro institution for young boys who love to dance and older men who aren’t afraid to stare. Heavily discounted Happy Hour specials draw patrons in by the early afternoon, and... ... read full review
4121 18th Street
San Francisco, CA 94114
MUNI KT, L, M Lines: Metro Castro Station
Castro, San Francisco –
It’s a party every night at SF Badlands, a Castro institution for young boys who love to dance and older men who aren’t afraid to stare.
Heavily discounted Happy Hour specials draw patrons in by the early afternoon, and Sunday’s regular all-you-can drink beer busts even inspire a few uninhibited straight guys to sidle in.
Bartenders tend to be barely outside of twenty-one, and their normal attire of cut-offs and tiny jeans proves the brick behind the bar isn’t the only thing exposed in here.
The front lounge fills up first with tight-shirted college students and buffed-up older bears chilling on the well-worn couches, but the TV-strewn dance floor in back is the biggest draw.
By 7pm the wooden floor is a sea of gyrating toned men, shirtless locals, and women who’ve discovered they can dance at a gay club without a single person hitting on them – at least not a single guy.
Weekend visits to the club are invariably a sweaty venture, when dancing is often limited to the small space between the sea of shoulders, and condensation drips from the disco balls above. Laser lights erupt from the corners of the room, while multiple flat-screens flicker images of music videos along with the blare of Top 40 and dance hits.
Visually exciting from its TVs to its sticky boys, SF Badlands continues to make getting down and dirty an undeniably uplifting experience.
Mostly gay mix of college kids, young professionals, barhoppers, dance hounds, ladies looking to club without getting groped, and straight guys discovering what getting groped feels like, 20s to late 30s with a few older queens in the corners.
Mostly Top 40 and contemporary dance hits, interspersed with old stalwarts from the likes of Cher and ABBA. TVs tuned to music videos at night and local sports by day.
No food. Cash only. Small smoking patio out front. Happy Hour daily 3–8pm.
Cover charge $0–$5. Beer $4–$6, wine $5–$7, cocktails $5–$7. Coat check $2.
Casual: tight t-shirts, jeans, ball caps, tank tops, cute dresses, and comfortable dance attire.
Fridays and Saturdays after 7pm for wall-to-wall boys and beats, or Sundays for the $8 all-you-can-drink beer bust.
QBAR (456 Castro Street) is another popular bar/club with daily Happy Hour deals and different dance-related themes every night.