A typical Monday night may consist of cooking dinner and plopping down on the couch to watch the beginning primetime shows for the week. After all, the weekend’s just ended and there is not much to do. Local DJ’s Richie Panic, Key&Kite and Q Bar are changing this with a night they like to call "Wanted".
Thrown weekly, Wanted puts a different spin on the typical Castro night out. By incorporating self-made remixes, on-the-fly mixing and the latest in indie-dance music, Wanted has become one of the most popular nights in San Francisco, regardless of the day of the week.
“There’s just not this kind of music being played in the Castro,” says Panic. “It’s rad to know that we’ve tapped into an actually pretty big market in doing so.”
Wanted has also succeeded in another area where other bars in the Castro have failed; in bringing in a varied crowd of both gay and straight people. Doing this has made Wanted one of the most successful nights in the city, period.
“I’m stoked to be playing this music in the Castro to a mixed crowd,” said DJ Key&kite. “It’s awesome that the people that come out are from all walks of life.”
And the music being played at Wanted is drawing not only a mixed crowd, but a large one. Wanted packs the average-sized Q Bar every Monday night to its full capacity. And Wanted is one of the only weeknights in San Francisco where one can find people waiting in line to get into a bar.
“What else could you want?” says patron Ryan Greko, 27. “You’ve got great music, cheap drinks and an overall good time. There’s just no pretentiousness there.”
“I’ll walk in and I’ll see this guy making out with another guy, and then he’s making out with a girl, and then he’s grinding on another guy,” says Panic. “It’s crazy but it’s awesome. You can’t really get that anywhere else.”
While Wanted has become very popular, the question of overcrowding has become a slight concern. Q Bar itself is not by any means a big club and as Wanted’s fan base grows, so do its number of patrons. “It’s impossible to get around in that place sometimes,” says Xander Cook, 22. “It’s like you can’t breathe there are so many people.”
DJ Key&Kite believes the crowded dancefloor is due to the sheer energy and uniqueness of the night. “It’s so crowded because people like what we’re doing,” Kite says. “If we aren’t able to pack people into the place, then it’s really not worth coming to, right? So, we figure the more the merrier. Sometimes it gets a little crowded but, that’s part of its appeal.”
Despite growing crowds, Wanted will continue to offer all well drinks for $1 and charge no admission. To do so, in the creator’s eyes, would taint the openness of the night.
“We make minor changes, but we really want to keep it, for the most part, the way it is,” said Panic. “It’s easy to get to, it’s open, and there’s a spot for everyone. That’s what makes it so fun for us to do and for people to come to.”
Wanted happens every Monday night at Q Bar, on 456 Castro Street, San Francisco.