While in San Francisco, be sure to explore the LEATHER & LGBTQ Cultural District.
Our volunteers are working to create an actual walking tour guide that will enable you to hear about the current and historically-important locations. But meanwhile, please explore these highlights of our unique neighborhood:
The Ringold Leather History Walk: – A block-long tribute to the people, places and institutions that made the South Of Market Area of San Francisco (“SOMA”) historically important, culturally fascinating, and a lot of fun!
Eagle Plaza – The World’s First and Only Leather-Themed Public Plaza.
The Oasis — Once a bathhouse with a swimming pool, today a nightspot with the best in Drag and All-Male revues.
Wicked Grounds – Possibly the World’s first, and definitely the best loved, combination coffee-house and kink culture and education center. Check out their books and toys, too!
Today’s Leather Bars – All four of our classic queer & kinky drinking establishments are now fully reopen from the pandemic: Powerhouse, the SF Eagle, the Lone Star Saloon and the Hole in the Wall are each unique, friendly places for leather folk and kinksters, and those who enjoy drinking with them.
Yesterday’s Leather Bars, Bathhouses and Sex Clubs — Visit the locations of the Slot, the Barracks, FeBe’s, Blow Buddies, The Stud, the Ambush, and dozens of other gone-but-not-forgotten leather hangouts. You can get a sense of what the neighborhood was like back then from this Walking Tour of South of Market in the 1970s.
The 11th Street Entertainment District – These nightlife venues (including the famous DNA Lounge) mostly cater to non-LGBTQ folks, but they can be fun anyway.
The Murals of the LEATHER & LGBTQ Cultural District – Formal murals, casual street art, and even billboards help enliven the District. Check out our informative map.
The back streets and alleys of SoMa — The blocks between the big blocks are filled with interesting architecture and amazing history.
Our shops, restaurants and cafes — Most businesses have now reopened as fully as possible following the COVID-19 Shelter in Place.
Resources for queer and kinky folks — Many important organizations – including social clubs, fetish organizations, and progressive institutions – call our neighborhood home. Get informed; get involved!
And much more. A fine guide to the Leather History of San Francisco is available (thanks to Hunter Fox and the Bare Chest Men History Project) here. You might also check out the maps on our postcard or our (somewhat older) brochure, and explore on your own.