Three years before The Saint opened in New York as the ultimate in gay disco excess, the Trocadero Transfer in San Francisco set the template for drama and theatrics. Opening in a converted TV studio in , the club was a fantastical palace. DJ Bobby Viteritti worked the Graebar sound system with mind-blowing energy, lighting man Billy Langenheim created a kaleidoscope of colour through a cluster of mirrored disco balls, and high on a mix of uppers and psychedelics, the Trocadites as regulars were known screamed for mercy. The Trocadero was the brainchild of Dick Collier. Born in , Collier studied drama at Maryland where he earned a B.
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For the first time in nearly four decades operators of traditional gay bathhouses can once again seek permits to open in San Francisco. The city's public health department has rescinded the restrictions that have kept such businesses from operating in the city since the mids. A legacy from the height of the AIDS epidemic, bathhouses in San Francisco until now could not have private rooms with locked doors and were required to monitor the sex of their patrons. Those regulations, when put into effect, resulted in a de facto ban on gay bathhouses in San Francisco, leaving residents to have to travel to such businesses in Berkeley and in San Jose. While gay sex clubs without private, locked rooms continued to operate in the city, most eventually closed their doors. Whether it is significant on the ground depends on if entrepreneurs with the vision and financial capacities and the savvy to open can and operate one of these," said gay District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman of the lifting of the old bathhouse rules. Mandelman, who represents the Castro, spearheaded rescinding the outdated sex venue rules last year.
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San Francisco health officials were supposed to rescind by January 1 the restrictions that have kept traditional gay bathhouses from operating in the city since the mids. But they failed to meet that deadline and have asked for a day extension. The Bay Area Reporter had inquired with the city's Department of Public Health last week prior to the new year about the status of the rule revision for adult sex venues. Due to the holiday, with staff out on vacation, the department responded January 4 that it needed more time. It did not explain the reason for the delay, but health officials have been dealing with a surge in COVID cases since November.
When you think of downtown bars, you probably immediately think "Tenderloin. The history of Tenderloin bars is long and storied, with bars like the Gilded Cage at Ellis, which featured Charles Pierce on stage for six years before it closed in the late s. But from the mid-'60s through there was another type of downtown bar - the businessman's bar. These bars varied widely in their styles and included Chuck Holmes' high-end Trinity Place, which was patterned after "gentlemen's clubs" and in fact inhabited the old Le Domino Club on 25 Trinity Place described by GQ in as having "a continental menu and walls covered with paintings of nudes". A drag queen's delight.