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Another Beloved Queer-Friendly Space in San Francisco Is Closing

About two years after opening on Valencia in the Mission, coffee shop Milk SF will close

Two people.
Katey “Scoots” McKee and Sharon Ratton will close their cafe Milk SF on October 8.
Milk SF, Lady Nigel Butterfly
Paolo Bicchieri is a reporter at Eater SF writing about Bay Area restaurant and bar trends, coffee and cafes, and pop-ups.

Milk SF, owned by local stylist and metalcaster Katey “Scoots” McKee and Sharon Ratton, will close on October 8. According to Mission Local, sales at the cafe — which sought to provide high-end coffee and a daytime gathering place for the queer community — were down 30 percent over the last three months, and the finances just weren’t making sense anymore. Milk SF was known for crafting inventive coffee such as Fruity Pebble Pride month lattes and decadent sandwiches, stocking sex-positive art and products, and hosting ongoing events series including poetry readings and art shows.

The cafe and gallery was integral to the Valencia Street business community as McKee also owns legendary salon Glama-rama! next door, and the owners’ presence in the city’s gay and queer communities is sprawling. Like SoMa’s Wicked Grounds before it, Milk SF was important as a welcoming place for any and all in the wide diaspora of queer folk. “We hope with the closure that we will see more ‘third spaces,’ as the community we served truly needs and deserves such spaces,” McKee told Mission Local. “We’re really sad to see it go.”

Quirky North Beach bar loses liquor license

A photo of Hawaii West on October 5, 2023.
A photo of Hawaii West on October 5, 2023.
Shirin Ghaffary

A liquor license suspension photo is posted to the window of the decades-old Hawaii West bar on Vallejo Street. According to a license report from the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), the suspension is due to a collections issue and was posted on September 29.

Classic East Bay LGBTQ bar vandalized

Oakland’s Port Bar had its glass door and windows shot on the night of October 3 in what the police described to owner Sean Sullivan as an intentional attack. The Bay Area Reporter writes that the bar, located at ​​2023 Broadway, opened in 2016 and is not only gay-owned but also a destination for drag shows.

Persian and Mexican restaurant opens in SoMa

Movida, a new fusion restaurant with craft cocktails from former tech CEO Bobby Marhamat, opens on October 5 in the former home of bar Lord George. The Chronicle reports the vibe is meant to invoke New York’s now-closed restaurant Bagatelle, so guests can expect DJ sets spinning upon arrival.