The Bubbles Situation: T.L. Bartender Fired For Refusing to Serve Queer Fellow


Meet Bubbles. Bubbles, also known as Anthony Torres, is what you might call a unique-looking individual. Bubbles has blond dreadlocks, a fu manchu, and a healthy chest. By most standards, perhaps even our own, Bubbles is what the churchgoing set might call a freak.

Bubbles is also a 6 a.m. regular at Ace's, a blue collar sort of sports bar at Sutter and Leavenworth streets in the Tenderloin. (It's a New York Giants bar.)

And it was sometime after 6 a.m. on Thursday that Bubbles was apparently denied service at Ace's for the way Bubbles looks, as Broke Ass Stuart first reported. 

And while it's still not entirely clear what happened, the bartender who denied Bubbles another pour has since been let go, Ace's management confirmed Friday.

[jump] Here's an audio clip of the encounter. It's not clear when this went down, but we assume it was sometime after Bubbles's 6:05 a.m. check-in at the bar, one of San Francisco's fewer-and-fewer 6 a.m. watering holes, on Thursday morning. 

There it is. Bubbles can't have another drink because Bubbles looks weird. Bar policy, by the sounds of it. 

Now. Bubbles sounds a bit intoxicated. And we have no idea what happened before this unfortunate encounter — how many drinks poured, any of it. But the bartender, unidentified in the clip, does indeed come across poorly.

“So I can't get another drink?” Bubbles can be heard asking, before inquiring as to why.

“Because of the way you look!” the bartender says. “How does that grab you? I don't know! What the hell. It's not mine.”

“So it's because of the way I look?” Bubbles asks.

“Yeah! I guess! I don't know.”


Efforts to reach Bubbles were not immediately successful, but it appears Ace's has taken the initiative and fired the morning bartender — without much investigation, according to co-owner Scott Broccoli, reached Friday afternoon at the bar, who has yet to speak to Bubbles directly about the incident.

“He [the ex-bartender] completely misrepresented ownership,” Broccoli said. “It's not acceptable… Shit, man, this is the Tenderloin… It's really just stupid to think that we're not going to serve someone because of the way they look.”

“There's no question, what he should have said was, 'You're being an asshole — I don't want to serve you.' Then we would not even be having this conversation,” he added. “He was poked and prodded into agreeing it was [Bubbles's appearance] was why — but that's neither here nor there.”

“It sucks that it happened, and I feel awful. I hope to be able to talk to Bubbles sooner rather than later and apologize.”

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