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San Francisco in San Francisco City and County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

The Black Cat Café

710 Montgomery

 
 
The Black Cat Café Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, July 22, 2016
1. The Black Cat Café Marker
Inscription. For 30 years (1933-1963) The Black Cat Café was at the heart of the City’s Bohemian life – providing a welcoming saloon for artists, gay people and North Beach characters, often entertained by the operatic voice and bawdy humor of Jose Sarria, later known as “The Widow Norton”
 
Location. 37° 47.748′ N, 122° 24.198′ W. Marker is in San Francisco, California, in San Francisco City and County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Montgomery Street and Washington Street. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 710 Montgomery Street, San Francisco CA 94111, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. First Jewish Religious Services (within shouting distance of this marker); The Montgomery Block (within shouting distance of this marker); The Banking Firm of Pioche et Bayerque (within shouting distance of this marker); Site of the Bank of Lucas, Turner & Co. (within shouting distance of this marker); Hotaling Building (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Western Headquarters of Russell, Majors, and Waddell (about 300 feet away); Bummer and Lazarus (about 300 feet away); The Salvation Army (about 400 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in San Francisco.
 
More about this marker.
The Black Cat Café Marker - Wide View image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, July 22, 2016
2. The Black Cat Café Marker - Wide View
The marker is located in front of Bocadillos restaurant.
The marker is set into the sidewalk and is relatively small, and is thus difficult to see from any distance.
 
Also see . . .
1. José Sarria at The Black Cat. The GLBT Historical Society presents a 2-minute clip of Sarria performing at the Black Cat. Note that the clip was shot on 8mm film and the sound is abysmal. (Submitted on September 24, 2016.) 

2. How the Black Cat Café Launched Gay San Francisco (Thinkwalks). "The Black Cat was by far the best place for a wild drunk that an adventurer could hope for, but the place changed hands and the new owner encouraged the fruit and the place went to hell." — Henry Evans in Bohemian San Francisco (1955)

The Black Cat Café was a bar, a dance hall, and a revolutionary seed in the lumpy cultural soils of San Francisco. At a time when the Castro District was a blue-collar, family-oriented neighborhood, the legal right to operate a "gay business" was won for the first time right here at 710 Montgomery Street. The straight owner fought all the way to the California Supreme Court (1951) to keep his liquor license.

This is where the drag queen Imperial Court, still active today, was birthed. This is the Bohemian Bar in Kerouac's book On the Road. This is the place where writers and artists, bohemians and beatniks gathered, partied and schemed for thirty years....
(Submitted on September 24, 2016.) 
 
Additional keywords. LGBT
 
Categories. Arts, Letters, MusicCivil RightsEntertainment
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 83 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page was last revised on September 24, 2016.
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