About

The Rail originally opened on the corner of 6th and B downtown in the Orpheum theatre building. It was a popular lunch spot for business professionals and the evenings turned into the hot spot for gay men to meet and enjoy the piano bar. Law enforcement used to walk in with flashlights and demand “All hands above the bar” to keep men from holding hands. When the building was sold in the early 1960s, The Rail was moved to the current Chase building on 5th and Robinson. The customers followed the comfortable surroundings of their Piano Bar and Hillcrests gay community took root. Ten years later, redevelopment forced the owner across the street to our current location.

The Rail has stood the test of time, going through a large expansion in 1993 and a major remodel in 2007. Each year brings something new for the customer to look forward to, while remaining an Icon in San Diego as the oldest known gay bar. A huge part of our success in that we are family owned and operated for the last 55 years, by only two families. We are dedicated to the community that has supported us for so many years.

The nightclub industry is forever changing and The Rail has kept pace with those changes constantly reinventing the club while staying true to our Hillcrest roots. State of the art lighting, modern yet inviting atmosphere, some of the best talent San Diego has to offer in DJs, artists and dancers keep our customers coming back. The longevity of our staff is a true testament to The Rails continued success.

We look forward to many more years on the corner of 5th and Robinson, in the heart of Hillcrest. A heartfelt thank you to the many customers that have visited us over the years and to the many that come see us so regularly. A visit to San Diego is not complete if you have not stopped by The Rail!!