With a new leather bar just opened and more on the way, the SF Chronicle is heralding a “return to SoMa’s lost glory.”
“SoMa in those days was more than just a leather nexus – it was the epicenter of the gay sex scene at a time when it was still illegal for two men to hold hands. For the next two decades, SoMa reigned as one of the most important leather neighborhoods in the world. Then came the 1980s and the HIV/AIDS epidemic, which ravaged the community and forced the closure of most of the bars and all of the bathhouses. Dance clubs moved into many of the old leather bars, which never reclaimed the area they made famous.
Until now, that is. On Friday, David Morgan threw open the doors to Chaps II, the most recent indication that leather is making a comeback in SoMa. “There’s a resurgence happening,” said Morgan, 39. “A lot of people have been saying the leather scene was dead, but there just wasn’t a place for people to meet up. … Gearing up in leather and going to a bar where you’re the only one dressed is kind of like a woman going to a bar in a ball gown while everyone else is in T-shirts.”
The story doesn’t mention what other bars are opening around Folsom Street. Anybody know? I just hope business stays strong at my beloved Powerhouse, where I had my going away party on my last day in San Francisco.