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Historic Brass Rail in Hillcrest changes name to ‘The Rail’ and adds kitchen to renovations



You cannot begin talking about LGBT history in San Diego without mentioning The Brass Rail.

In 1957, the bar was located on Fifth and B downtown inside the Orpheum Theatre where it was an established gay bar despite homosexuality being illegal and subject to frequent raids by the police in paddy wagons.

It was moved to Robinson and Fifth Avenue in Hillcrest in 1963, the same year President Kennedy was assassinated, where it still stands as a neon piped art deco LGBT landmark.

Recently The Brass Rail has undergone some renovations, or “light touch-ups” as they say on their Facebook page, and is scheduled to re-open as “The Rail” on Friday, August 12.

They have also put out a “help wanted” post on their social media feed calling for, “Kitchen managers, cooks, bartenders, barbacks, food runners, security and VIP hosts.”

This will  be the first time the bar has served food since the 1990’s. 

General Manager Dustin Santillan says that there was already an existing space for a kitchen, he only had to purchase new equipment. 

The club has many special events throughout the week including the 80’s and 90’s flashback party called “Manic Monday,” and the R&B infused “Hip Hop Fridayz.”

Every fourth Thursday, a popular drag show takes over the space called “The Sinful Dames.”

As of this writing, The Rail is scheduled to re-open on Friday, August 12. 

The Brass Rail (The Rail)  is located at 3796 5th Avenue, San Diego,  CA 92103.

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