By December 3, 2011 0 Comments Read More →

Ladies and Gentlemen: Presenting the World Renowned Brave Bull

BarView-  Brave Bull

Ladies and Gentlemen: Presenting the World Renowned Brave Bull

By: Kate Serpa


A detour past the usual downtown bar circuit and a brief trip down the 9th Street bridge will lead you head-first straight to a glowing pink martini (on your right-hand side) and your new holiday star destination.  I’ve heard the Brave Bull be called many things, and truthfully, they’ve not always been good, but in my honest opinion, I genuinely believe the Brave Bull to be, above anything else, a really, really fun place with really, really fun people.  The Brave Bull is not a serious place, or a quiet place, and may not be the most ideal location to take your grandmother out for her birthday.  However, if you’re into dancing, drinking, and enjoy people who are into the same, and if you aren’t afraid to take it all with a heavy shot of sarcasm from Kaysi, the bartender, you might find a new favorite at the Brave Bull.

The two people you really don’t want to mess with are father and daughter duo Casey and Kaysi respectively, who have chosen to omit their last names, stating: “We’re just like Cher.”  Together they, along with Suzanne and Gary, operate huge venue featuring two pool tables, a gratuitous dance floor, tons of disco balls, a stripper dance pole, a heavily stocked bar, a scattering of flat screens, an (unrelated) taco truck parked out front, a sizable back patio, old-school Pac-Man and Centipede arcade games, and a partridge in a pear tree.

The Brave Bull is the longest running still-standing disco nightclub in California, featuring a neon pink-triangle-bearing disco booth that Donna Summer would be proud to rock.  The venue opened in 1973 on, bluntly, one of Modesto’s meaner streets.  The Brave Bull was previously the Klassy Kat, which was what a klassy person such as myself would refer to as a strip joint. Where did the name ‘Brave Bull’ come from?  Casey stated they wanted a simple, catchy name, and for some reason ‘bull’ seemed to be memorable for people.  I have no idea why.

Casey originally launched the bar because his gay friends had nowhere to go.  We forget sometimes that the openness we have in our society now (though still not completely open, and I hope that will be resolved soon) was not always the same way.  The Brave Bull opened at a time when two men couldn’t dance together in clubs and Casey wasn’t able to advertise or order entertainment for the establishment.  “It wasn’t easy,” he stated. “There was a lot of gay bashing for a while.  We didn’t let that go on very long.”  Despite up-tight speculation, the Brave Bull is a safe bar.  There’s one bouncer, and that happens to be the owner.

The lovely lady behind the bar nearly every night is Kaysi who, once you get into a conversation, will unhinge all sorts of interesting facts and salacious stories.  Kaysi states: “Bartending is the best job.  Through the fighting and the crazy **** that goes on, you still have a great time.”  She and her no-sass attitude do an excellent job of pouring out the liquid-courage that can coax even the most timid individuals into a good time.  And speaking of…

As I rule I do not dance, but I have danced at the Brave Bull; and if you were unawares, it’s an excellent place to dance. When the DJ starts playing, the dancers don’t get off and the dance floor stays packed all weekend.  “And we play dance music, “ states Kaysi, “no trance, no house… we play dance music.”  And though the music can sometimes legitimately be heard from the 9th Street Bridge, “We’ve never had a noise complaint.”

“This will be your bar if you come and dance with us one night.”  True story people; I’ve been three times this past week and I am currently typing out this article like wild-fire because I’m going to the drag show tonight as soon as I finish.  The Brave Bull is open and welcome to everyone: straight, lesbian, gay… Anyone, “Who isn’t an *******,” says Casey, is welcome.  If you haven’t been, I think it’s time you tried something new.

And good news: I finished this baby with enough time to make it to the show!

Fun Fact: Famous people who have dropped by the Brave Bull include Harvey Milk and Divine (who visited more than once more than once).


Wed: Karaoke

Thurs-Sat: DJ

Sun: DJ O, best Drag Show around

HappyHour: Tues-Thurs 8-10 pm, featuring $2.50 well


For December:

Open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

Annual Enormous New Years Party- $10 cover (the only night there’s a cover charge at the Brave Bull all year)  Check out their Facebook for more information


701 South 9th Street Modesto, CA 209.529.6712


Recipe – <<clip and save>>

The Brave Bull – “Perfect…. if you’re an alcoholic.”

Items you will need:

–      A glass.  Any size will do.

–      Ice

–      Kahlua

–      Tequila

This is a complicated one, kids, so pay close attention.

Get your glass.

Fill it with as much ice as you please.

Fill half the glass with Kahlua, and the other half with tequila.


You’re done!

Why do they call it the Brave Bull?: “Finish that one and they try to order another.”

Posted in: featured, food & drink

About the Author: