Marlena's - CLOSED
San Francisco, CA 94102
- Daily 12pm-2am
- Patio/Sidewalk Dining
SF Weekly's Description
As soon as you see the glass cases that flank the walls, you realize Marlena's is a place that loves it some kitsch: a rotating cast of figurines, which change with the season, is on display in the cases. During the summer, you might think you wandered into a Disney Store. In the fall and close to Halloween, Harry Potter collectibles take over. At Christmas, more than 1,200 Santas fill the bar. When it's time for the Mr. Hayes Valley leather competition, scepters, news clippings, tiaras, and other drag-queen memorabilia gussy up the place. Active in the community with their own softball and pool teams and having hosted Mr. Hayes Valley for 10 years, Marlena's is a straight-friendly neighborhood gay bar, a sass-free, mellow option for the veteran drag queen and down-to-earth Hayes Valley resident alike.
In a city where drag performers tend to favor the postmodern where drag becomes arch-ironic "drag" the Saturday night Follies at Marlena's offer a refreshingly unself-conscious alternative: old-school ladies sing Tammy Wynette and Patsy Cline for a crowd that includes the pre-Stonewall set and the Hayes Valley gentrifiers. You'll never pay a cover, the drinks are potent, and... More >>
In a city where drag performers tend to favor the postmodern where drag becomes arch-ironic "drag" the Saturday night Follies at Marlena's offer a refreshingly unself-conscious alternative: old-school ladies sing Tammy Wynette and Patsy Cline for a crowd that includes the pre-Stonewall set and the Hayes Valley gentrifiers. You'll never pay a cover, the drinks are potent, and the clientele isn't liable to give you any attitude. (Fresh young things from the Castro probably won't find a hot buck to take them home, but that's why God created Saturday nights at the Underground aka Drunk and Horny just a few blocks uphill.) As for the bar's famous seasonal decorations: Yes, they're completely insane. A holiday visit will treat you to hundreds of Santa dolls plastered on the walls, suggesting what might happen if Paul Lynde got his hands on a Franklin Mint catalog and a week's supply of meth.
Tips from foursquare
Catch the Saturday night drag show
If you're looking for a place with laid back atmosphere, friendly conversation even when you're alone check out Marlena's. The drinks here are great and will do the trick for sure. :)
bring your doggie and enjoy a cocktail after work
Amazing bar. Small but open and friendly. So sad to see it close soon.
Check out the no-cover drag shows on Saturdays and 1,400-strong collection of Santa dolls every December.
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Reviews and News
It's been about a week since the annual Santa-splosion has happened at Marlena's, the gay/dive bar on the main drag in Hayes Valley. This year... More on Marlena's »
The odds of seeing a fistfight at the Hayes & Vine Wine Bar are roughly equivalent to those of President George W. Bush changing his middle name... More on Marlena's »