San Francisco in San Francisco City and County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
The Black Cat Café
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, Music • Civil Rights • Entertainment.
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. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 710 Montgomery Street, San Francisco CA 94111, United States of America. Touch for directions.
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 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). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Francisco.
More about this marker. 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 LGBTQ
Credits. This page was last revised on February 13, 2019. It was originally submitted on September 24, 2016, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Lamorinda, California. This page has been viewed 426 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on September 24, 2016, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Lamorinda, California.