Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Update: Fag Fridays Moving to Pink!

This past weekend I got an email from David Peterson, who, along with his partner Jose Mineros, have been the impresarios behind Fag Fridays at the End Up. David saw my posting about the end of Fag Fridays and contacted me to set the record straight on some rumors that were swirling around, and to also let me know that Fag Fridays might be leaving the End Up, but was ready to start anew at Pink. The boyfriend and I met David and Jose for some drinks at 440 Casto and found out some interesting info about the history of Fag Fridays, and well as plans for the future.

David started working at The End Up in 1994 as the general manager, and soon afterward hired Jose to work as a promotions manager. One thing led to another and in 1996, while sitting on the beach together, the two of them came up with the concept for Fag Fridays, from the name right down to what they wanted it to achieve; as Jose put it, if they could bring one couple together on the dancefloor, and have a relationship blossom from that experience, they would consider the whole undertaking to be a success. Eleven years later they are probably responsible for more gay men hooking up together than craigslist, what with anywhere from 400 – 700 guys turning out every Friday night to get down.

In their eleven year run they’ve seen lots of change in the gay club scene, including the great club crackdown of 2001, which led to the super-strict, bummer security pat-down routine patrons now have to endure at the door. They have also seen The End Up change hands, passing last year from the last surviving brother of the original owner to an east-coast LLC that owns the business, if not the building. And here’s the reason for the passing of Fag Fridays; not that the boys have given up on the scene, or that they’ve broken up (a rumor they find particularly amusing). Rather, the new owners just want more money for the use of the space and the bar guarantee, to such an extent that running the night is no longer economically viable without jacking up the cover to $20, a price that they think would change the nature of the night in ways they don’t want.

David and Jose had considered just saying that’s it, we’ve had a good run and it’s over now; David even went so far as to find another job for himself, now working as Sales Manager for the revived Temple club. But as soon as word got out, offers started coming in from several promoters, including one very prominent club owner, to bring Fag Fridays to their spaces. After considering all the possibilities, the boys settled on Pink.

As one of the bastions of San Francisco house Pink seems like a good fit for Fag Fridays; there will be challenges too, though, since Fag Fridays is, in some ways, inherently connected in people’s minds with the End Up space. There’s also the issue of how the upcoming generation of gay clubbers relate to the Fag Fridays house sound. One the other hand, moving to Pink will allow David and Jose to do some things that they’ve wanted to do for a long time, like drop the cover charge down a few bucks. Pink will also not enforce their usual dress code for Fag Fridays, and just because the booze has to stop flowing at 2AM doesn’t mean the music will stop. Jose emphasized to me that one of the things they always wanted with Fag Fridays was to create a more intimate space that was in contrast to the big mega club event, and Pink seems ideally suited for this.

The new Fag Fridays at Pink is scheduled to take off on October 19, with New York’s Tedd Patterson (famed for his Vibal parties at Cielo in the Meatpacking District) headlining. It promises to be an event, and I’ll be anxious to check it out and see how Fag Fridays adapts to its new home.

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