This San Francisco sports bar is a home run for the LGBTQ+ community
For LGBTQ+ sports lovers, Hi Tops has been a cornerstone for the colorful city of San Francisco. Founded and co-owned by Jesse Woodward, Hi Tops was created with one mission in mind: to provide a welcoming space where everyone is accepted.
Packed every week with sports enthusiasts and league teams, Hi Tops is San Francisco’s first bar specifically for LGBTQ+ sports lovers. “It was important as it proves that the LGBT community likes the same things as everyone else,” Woodward said.
Hi Tops is a bar for everyone, and has quickly become a gathering spot for the entire city. Whether you’re looking for a place to watch the game, hang out with friends, or just to get good quality food, Hi Tops has you covered.
It’s hard to believe a sports bar for the LGBTQ+ community did not exist in San Francisco before Hi Tops, which opened in 2012. The city has a thriving LGBTQ+ community, and has a rich history of rights and activism. The Castro District in San Francisco was one of the first gay neighborhoods in the United States. For Woodward, Pride in San Francisco is extra special, as the entire city embraces the celebrations.
“Pride is not just a Castro thing,” Woodward explains. “The whole city embraces it. There are rainbow flags all over the city for the whole month of June. There are a lot of events, from private companies to museums, you name it!”
Hi Tops hosts regular fundraisers to support local LGBTQ+ sports leagues, including the women’s football club, the gay rugby team and the gay soccer league. They even have a sports-themed drink menu, which includes drinks named after local athletes and post-workout, alcoholic protein drinks.
Although sports and the LGBTQ+ community are the most unique elements that make Hi Tops a hub for Pride, Woodward emphasizes that the welcoming environment is what truly makes Hi Tops special.
“You don’t have to be gay, you don’t have to be watching sports; it’s just a place with great food that speaks to all different people.”
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