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Where to Rub Elbows with the City's Republicans (They Do Exist!)

Red Territory

Photo of Alfred's Steakhouse by Daniel Morris

Republicans. 
In this hippie-loving, capitalism-loathing, Left Coast haven we call home, what could be more counter to our culture? Here’s where to rub elbows with the city’s more conservative residents, since the Bohemian Club is members (and men) only.

NEW AGE
The local chapter of the Young Republicans group meets monthly at German beer hall Schroeder’s. The lure of Wiener schnitzel, a regularly updated polka schedule, and a website with a German translation tool proves a special calling to conservatives who nervously mix, awkwardly mingle, and host political speakers. The monthly SFYR happy-hour gathering, open to the public and posted on SFYR’s website, is downtown, so Patrick Bateman banker types don’t have to walk too far in their new wingtips.

THE OLD GUARD
Dark, old school, and oddly romantic, the bar at Alfred’s Steakhouse serves martinis with back-up shakers. Here you’ll find the city’s elite, middle-aged Republicans perched on stools, loosening their Wind-sor knots, and pontificating on policy verboten in other sections of the city. Tucked away on a little side street, it’s a slightly secret spot for men (who spend more time on their hair than most) to woo women in pearls with the old line “I’m a social liberal. I’m just fiscally conservative.” While Alfred’s isn’t an official Republican meeting spot, it’s a favorite watering hole of anyone who has a selfie with Dan Quayle.

GAY OLD TIME
Believe it or not, the city’s Log Cabin Republicans meet every month at a yellow-painted, 1970s-style pizza and pasta parlor called The Sausage Factory, where, like the Young Republicans, they bond and fawn over an invited speaker—usually a local Republican notable or political pundit. Sure, it makes sense for San Francisco’s gay-friendly right wing group to meet in the Castro (provided that you are willing to accept the words “gay” and “Republican” used together make any sense at all), but the choice of The Sausage Factory is so cheeky that they must have done it on purpose. And how can you not love that? They are Republicans in what is arguably the country’s most liberal city, and in the Castro no less. They’ve got nothing to lose. Or, rather, nothing to win.

This article was published in 7x7's July/August issue. Click here to subscribe.