AsiaSF restaurant, a beacon for the SF transgender community, to close after 26 years

AsiaSF restaurant, a beacon for the SF transgender community, to close after 26 years
via AsiaSF
Bryan Ke
February 14, 2024
AsiaSF, a bar and restaurant that also serves as a beacon for transgender inclusivity in San Francisco, is closing its doors permanently next month.
Breaking the news: The San Francisco Asian fusion restaurant broke the news in a Facebook post on Feb. 7, announcing that it will be closing on March 31, adding, “After nearly 26 years of unforgettable memories, we have made the difficult decision to retire from the business.”
AsiaSF thanked its patrons for their “unwavering support throughout the years,” adding that the restaurant “would not have become the legendary institution it is today without” their “patronage and enthusiasm.”
What happened: Larry Hashbarger, the 72-year-old co-owner of AsiaSF, told the San Francisco Chronicle that it has been difficult to maintain the restaurant after it reopened in January 2021 after closing down during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m still a little numb right now because it’s tough to step away from something you’ve been a part of for so long,” Hashbarger told SFGate. “It’s heartwarming to know that we’ve touched so many people in such a significant way. I will miss every element of it.”
About the restaurant: First opened in 1998, AsiaSF is a bar and restaurant known for hosting cabaret shows, like the “World-Famous Transgender Ladies Of AsiaSF.” Hashbarger noted that the restaurant was inspired by friend’s gender transition in Thailand.
Since then, AsiaSF has become a safe space for and educating ground about the transgender community.
Last year, Mayor London Breed gave the restaurant a plaque and proclaimed April 17 AsiaSF Day for the establishment’s role in supporting the LGTBQ+ community during its 25 years of business.

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