Goings and comings back: 222 Hyde closes, SF Eagle returns. plus: Stacey Hotwaxx Hale, Delhi 2 Dublin, Paris is Burning, more parties
SUPER EGO As Maria von Trapp sang at the climax of The Sound of Music, "Whenever the goddess closes a rave cave, somewhere she reopens a gay leather biker bar."
That sad closure is upon us, as the wonderful 222 Hyde (www.222hyde.com), the city's thumping bass-ment in the Tenderloin, wings into history. Owner EO emailed me a couple Saturdays ago to tell me he was closing the precious, risk-taking little venue due to pressure from the ABC state liquor board over a license technicality and uncertainty about cooperation from the 222 building's new owners. In short: sucks.
But EO's off to pursue his musical destiny — he killed it playing live at Robotspeak at Saturday's Lower Haight Art Walk — as one half of upcoming analogue electronic duos Moniker (with Kenneth Scott) and Polk and Hyde (with Jonah Sharp). And you can say farewell to the lovely space, rumbly Turbo Sound system, twinkly LED dance floor ceiling, and gorgeous staff this week: a special guest superstar (cough DJ Fark Marina cough) is supposed to drop by Thu/7, the As You Like It crew brings in Dutch techno wiz San Proper on Fri/8 (9pm-2am, $20) and 222 hosts a huge closing blowout on Sat/9 (10pm-late) full of surprise guests, gushing tears, and yummy pizza. The space itself has an amazing history — as the "Three Deuces" from the 1940s-'60s, it played hst to jazz greats and wild gals. Whatever it becomes now, 222 will live 444 ever in our raving hearts.
Throwing open its gay SoMa leather biker bar sash, however, is legendary rock 'n roll watering hole SF Eagle (www.sf-eagle.com), reopened after a final passing grade on inspections last weekend, just in time for a Sunday beer bust of epic proportions — and 45-minute-wait lines — celebrating the victory of our new Mr. SF Leather, Andy Cross. (The true crown, I heard, went to anyone who made it through the four-hour Mr. SF Leather competition.)
I latched on my Nasty Pig kneepads and checked out the space (and the returned staff!) on Saturday night, and happily found myself there all Sunday as well. New owners Alex and Mike, inheriting the gutted space once slated for a pizza restaurant, have really opened it up by exposing the vaulted ceiling of the interior, pushing the main bar against the wall, and removing the trees from the patio (sad face). Everything is painted semi-gloss black — it looks like a beerhall designed by Anselm Kiefer. Although the mirrored bar is a wee bit ultralounge and there is as of yet no crusty, comfy decor, that good ol' Eagle spirit is alive and well-drink drunk.
The beer bust was roiling delightfully with grateful scruffs and old school fetishists. Indie kids will rejoice at the return of Thursday Night Live on Thu/7 (8pm, $7, www.tinyurl.com/thursnightlive) with bands Beard Summit, the Galloping Sea, and Reliic, hosted by the Eagle's ace music programmer Doug Hilsinger. (The space's new layout is perfect for live music, and more regular parties will pop up soon, I'm sure). The Eagle reopened on the final weekend of fabulously festive Hayes drag dive Marlena's, set to become another concept bar eesh, and the tail end of Soma's fetish-friendly Kok Bar, also closing very soon. It's a bittersweet trade-off for sure. Meet me at the Eagle's patio trough and we'll commiserate.