Bars & Clubs

map of Bars & clubs

Despite being one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country, Silicon Valley’s gay bar scene is strikingly minuscule. Today, there are only three bars left (Mac’s, Renegades, and Splash) – which is in stark contrast to 1986, when 14 gay bars were in operation. There is speculation about the reasons for the decline of the gay bar scene in Silicon Valley over the years: the early frequency of police raids and interference, a suburban and ‘family-based’ lifestyle, the HIV/AIDS crisis, the closeness to San Francisco, and the rise of the internet. All these may have contributed to its small stature today. The map below contains some of the significant areas of gay nightlife in Silicon Valley and how widespread it used to be.
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Gail Reflects on Mac’s Club

Queer Silicon Valley is proud to present an interview with one of the most influential people in the bar scene — Gail Chandler-Croll Interview conducted by Ken Yeager Author’s note: …
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Jim and Mac’s Club

Jim Michl, both a patron and manager of Mac’s Club, discusses his time at the long-established gay bar and how it has impacted him and the community. Rafael CuilanGail Chandler-Croll …
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Bartending at Mac’s with Rafael

Rafael Cuilan was a very popular bartender at both Mac’s Club and later Renegades. Rafael was always great with faces and drinks, so no matter how long it had been …
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Whiskey Gulch and Stockton Strip with Whayne

From the Whiskey Gulch in East Palo Alto to the Stockton Strip in San Jose, the gay community was widespread in Silicon Valley. Whayne Herriford describes community life and the …
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Sal Accardi and the Watergarden

In the Spotlight: Sal Accardi By John Follesdal, Esq. From South Bay Times, February 1989 Sal Accardi is the President of the Board of the Watergarden bathhouse in San Jose …
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Claudia and the Savoy

For more than twenty years Claudia Thomas was the house DJ at The Savoy, a women’s bar located in Santa Clara. In addition, during the 1990s Claudia played at several …
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An Insight Into the Bar Scene With Darlene

Known throughout the gay community for her signature “beehive” hairdo and fundraising skills, Darlene Lutz Montalbano became a member of the San Jose area LGBTQ community in 1969. She began …