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Picture of guests at the Hole's outdoor patio with the old Hole sign above

OUR hiSTORY

The Hole - San Diego is one of the oldest LGBTQ+ bars in the United States. Its history dates all the way back to 1924 when it was known as Murphy’s Beer Garden, so we've been here a minute.

The bar sits in a depression dug in the early 1900s to access an aqueduct that ran between Mission Bay (then called False Bay) and San Diego Bay. It was a speakeasy during Prohibition and began to earn a reputation as a safe space for the city’s local LGBTQ+ community in the 1940s. Situated across the street from the Sail Ho Golf Club it was known at "The 19th Hole."  But those in the know called it just "The Hole".  It was one of the “secret handshake” bars in San Diego. Men who were interested in hooking up with men or just taking advantage of an opportunity frequented The Hole - so much so that The Hole was listed as off limits to all Military Personnel.

In the 1960’s when ownership changed, the 19th Hole became one of San Diego’s first few openly gay bars. The name was simplified with tongue in cheek to "The Hole" and a new era toward the 1970's and throughout the 1980's, The Hole was a popular hangout. It was during this time that the formidable Hole Sunday Beer Bust was born. Fresh fried chicken was served in the early years to a throng of men. 

Having had a few owners throughout its life, it has always remained an LGBTQ+ safe haven.  It’s been owned and operated for the past five years by Crosby Roper and his team.  The fried chicken is gone, but those famous "Flaco Burgers" have been a Hole staple for decades.

Picture of guests in the Hole's outdoor patio
Black and White photo of the hold entrance to the Hole
Guests on the outdoor patio with a man pointing at the camera
a night-time view of guests on the outdoor patio

Our future

Behind its nondescript entrance on Lytton Street, you’ll find an outdoor, tropical patio space that has a large and loyal following. It’s a truly hidden oasis.  With Weird Wednesdays, Karaoke on Thursday, Fridays and many Saturdays, Monthly events like Dirty Bear and Out&ABT plus special theme nights throughout the year, The Hole is still going strong!  After 100 years of serving up a great time, we aim to continue the trend of providing a fun, lively LGBTQ+ space.  Check out our events page to see what's coming up next at The Hole!

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