El Rio Malcolm Thornley Robert Nett Dawn Huston San Francisco San Francisco Brazil El Rio Malcolm Thornley Robert Nett Dawn Huston San Francisco San Francisco Brazil

Iconic San Francisco gay bar reopens after being shuttered for a year

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El Rio, in the Mission district, is now allowed to open its patio for drinkers. According to a posting on its Facebook page, it will do so from 4pm today … and many loyal regulars are already lining up to welcome it back.Related: Gay bars in San FranciscoEl Rio has a history going back to 1978 when it was opened in the Mission district by Malcolm Thornley and Robert Nett as a Leather Brazilian bar.

They retired in 1997 and the bar was taken over by Dawn Huston. It’s now famed for welcoming a diverse LGBTQ crowd.It reopened to offer a takeaway service at weekends in February, but today marks the first time groups can sit and drink on the patio (maintaining social distancing between tables).El Rio has managed to just about survive 12 months.

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