“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

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

Mona's 440 Club

"Where Girls Will Be Boys" - 440 Broadway

Mona's 440 Club Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, April 7, 2018
1. Mona's 440 Club Marker
Inscription.  Originally opened in 1934, Mona's Club moved to 440 Broadway in 1939 and is credited with being San Francisco's first openly lesbian club. The venue featured female entertainers dressed as men, an inverse to the transgender theme of nearby Finocchio's which brought a new form of sexual tourism to Broadway. Mona's popularity among a lesbian, bohemian, and tourist clientele paved the way for more lesbian clubs to open in North Beach, contributing to a liberal convention that would influence later generations. Mona's 440 Club became Ann's 440 Club in 1953, serving a similar clientele as an entertainment venue.
Erected 2018 by Top of Broadway Community Benefits District.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EntertainmentIndustry & CommerceWomen.
Location. 37° 47.894′ N, 122° 24.279′ W. Marker is in San Francisco, California, in San Francisco City and County. Marker is on Broadway west of Montgomery. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 440 Broadway, San Francisco CA 94133, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are
Mona's 440 Club Marker - Wide View image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, April 7, 2018
2. Mona's 440 Club Marker - Wide View
The marker is visible here, mounted in the sidewalk directly in front of what is now The Cosmo Bar and Lounge.
within walking distance of this marker. The Jazz Workshop (within shouting distance of this marker); Lupo’s Restaurant (within shouting distance of this marker); Peter Macchiarini Steps (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Lusty Lady (about 300 feet away); Finnochio's (about 300 feet away); Devil's Acre & Battle Row (about 400 feet away); The Old Broadway Jail (about 500 feet away); San Francisco Brewing Company (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Francisco.
More about this marker. This is one of ten historical markers installed by the Top of Broadway Community Benefits District in the Spring of 2018.
Also see . . .
1. Mona's 440 Club (Lost Womyn's Space). "Mona's 440 Club is generally credited as being the first lesbian bar in the United States. (Although Chicago's Roselle Inn and Twelve-Thirty Club were very close in age and may in fact have been older. We're also assuming that various "ladies bars" that even preexisted these 1930s places did not function as lesbian gathering points.)" (Submitted on April 8, 2018.) 

2. Mona's 440 Club (Wikipedia). "Mona's 440 Club was the first lesbian bar to open in San Francisco, California in 1936. It continued to draw a lesbian clientele into the 1950s. Mona's and the gay bars of that era were an important part of the history of LGBT culture in San Francisco." (Submitted on April 8, 2018.) 

3. LGBTQ America: A Theme Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer History (NPS).
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"With the nationwide repeal of Prohibition in 1933, bars catering exclusively to gays and lesbians could be found in most major American cities. San Francisco’s touristed vice district of North Beach was home to Mona’s 440, an early lesbian nightclub that featured female waiters in tuxedos and entertainment by male impersonators, including noted African American lesbian blues singer Gladys Bentley.... One of the first and most popular lesbian bars in the country, Mona’s advertised itself as a place “where girls will be boys.” Its success encouraged similar bars to open in the neighborhood, which became a well-known lesbian enclave." (Submitted on April 8, 2018.) 
Additional keywords. LGBT LGBTQ
Credits. This page was last revised on February 13, 2019. It was originally submitted on April 8, 2018, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 147 times since then and 41 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 8, 2018, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.
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Aug. 13, 2020