LEATHER COLUMN APRIL 2007
A MESSAGE FROM THE OWNERS OF THE EAGLE AND THE HOLE IN THE WALL BARS IN SAN FRANCISCO
The Hole In
The Wall Saloon has become famous since it opened some thirteen years ago. At
the depth of the AIDS epidemic, when gay South of Market seemed to be dying,
“The Hole” became a joyous retreat for our community with an accent on art, fun
and music. A thinking man’s man’s bar…………….
Anyway, the building where it lives now is rapidly falling apart.
For years we’ve been looking for a more secure location, and in October of 2006 we bought a suitable property of Folsom St.
thereafter, a man named Jim Meko handed us a letter. Allegedly, he had already
delivered a copy to the seller’s realtor before we bought the property. We’d
never seen this letter. It stated that he and the neighborhood did not want
another bar in the South of Market area (despite the fact that we had already
been here for twelve and a half years). So we held a neighborhood meeting and
presented our plans. We assured everyone that we would address all concerns with
haste and sincerity. Still, Mr. Jim Meko countered that if he stood at the
intersection of 8th and Folsom streets, he could hear loud music from inside
Hole In The Wall on any given night. He stated that The Eagle Tavern, our second
establishment (which has been a gay bar for more than twenty-five years now) was
a terrible nuisance and that he was constantly annoyed by the commotion from its
Sunday community benefits. He finally stood up and exclaimed the following to
our new neighbors: “Don’t trust these guys! They’re bad bar owners!” This last
accusation cut the deepest. We’ve tried hard over the years to be a positive
force in our small corner of the world. We clean and police the streets in front
of our establishments. We donate time, money, and energy to charities and clubs
that we see making a difference. Most importantly, we respect our employees as
human beings with rights. Since the beginning, we’ve provided them with health
insurance, paid vacations, and a yearly retreat at The Russian River. Despite
Mr. Jim Meko’s characterization of it as a nuisance, The Eagle Tavern raises
tens of thousands of dollars for charities and civic organizations each year.
Finally, we can’t count how many gay men have sworn they met their life partner
at the Hole In The Wall Saloon and consider it a sacred place. We’re proud of
these things and believe ourselves to be far from “bad bar owners”.
We were soon informed that a hearing was being insisted upon by a second neighbor at the urging of Mr. Jim Meko and that others had now been persuaded to oppose the bar’s relocation project. We personally called this second neighbor. He had never been to Hole In The Wall. He had been to The Eagle Tavern once.
At this point, the future of the Hole In The Wall looks grim. The floor and foundation are in bad shape. The bar’s days are numbered. We can’t afford to purchase another building; and in any case something similar to all of this would be the certain outcome. South of Market, in the hands of the small-minded, has slowly turned petty and intolerant. Not only is Hole In The Wall certain to close if we can’t re-locate, but the future of The Eagle is in doubt as well. Mr. Jim Meko’s main complaints were directed against it, and he sits on the city’s Entertainment Commission.
What we’re asking for is your spiritual and verbal support. We need testimony from people who know the Hole In The Wall and The Eagle Tavern and consider them important. A short letter sent directly to President Dwight Alexander, San
Francisco Planning Department, 1660 Mission St., 5th Floor, San Francisco CA
be wonderful. Your presence and willingness to speak for a minute or two at our
hearing on Thursday May 10, beginning at 1.30 would be of immense help. It will
be at City Hall, Room 400. In any event, the destiny of both
the Hole In The Wall and The Eagle Tavern are up to their fans now… As is the future and spirit of all of South of Market. Sincerely, John Gardiner & Joseph Banks.
So, all those of you who read
this and have fond memories of those bars please write that letter. Henry and I
were married in The Eagle and Alan Selby and I and the other Daddies raised over
a million dollars for charities there so we all have the fondest of memories of
The Eagle. I was not a Hole aficionado but many of my friends were and we
certainly don’t want to lose either or both of those bars.
Speaking of fund-raising, you should know that in San Francisco The 7th Annual Breast Cancer Emergency Fund Dinner on March 31st. raised well over $10,000, thanks to Mama for all her hard work. She and her family are being recognized: The Harvey Milk Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Democratic Club has unanimously voted to bestow upon Mama and her Family their Outstanding Community Service Organization Award, to be presented at their 29th Annual Award Dinner on Thursday May 24th. Cocktails begin at 5:30 PM at the former Ramada Hotel on Market and 8th Street. So any of you who can be there to cheer them on, please try to go to that event. Also Family members Mark Palidini and Pilar Leano received the winning number of votes of the Leather/Fetish Community at a meeting at the San Francisco Pride Center this evening and are the new Leather Pride Marshals for 2007. They will ride in the 2007 Pride Parade, as part of the SF Leather Pride Contingent. Congratulations to both of you, your selection was well deserved!
Mr L.A. LEATHER.
Mike Gerle of West Hollywood was selected as Mr. Los Angeles Leather 2007 on Saturday, March 31. Gerle earned his chance to compete at Mr. LA Leather by winning the Mr. Oil Can Harry's Leather 2007 title early February. Jeff Sekido, Eagle LA Mr. Leather 2007, placed 1st Runner-up and Raynard Pace, Faultline Mr. Leather 2007, placed 2nd Runner-up. Tom Wang, Mr. Christopher Street West Leather 2007 was awarded the Brotherhood Award by his class of competitors. Gerle will go on to compete at International Mr. Leather 2007 in Chicago this Memorial Day weekend.
The 41 year old Gerle is a Management Specialist for the City of West Hollywood. He works closely with the City Manager and Mayor. Gerle is also a dedicated athlete and community activist. He ran in last year's AIDS Marathon in Honolulu and Los Angeles Marathon. He also completed his first AIDS LifeCycle in 2006 and is ready to ride it again this June from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Fundraising for these events went to fund AIDS research and assist those living with the disease. Gerle has also participated in fundraising efforts for the Van Ness Recovery Center, the LGBT sober convention, Alcoholics Anonymous LA, and has been the web master for the West Hollywood Recovery Center.
Another highlight of the LAL 2007 weekend is the Southland Honors Awards held on the Friday night. Honorees were recognized for their dedication and participation in the Southland leather community.
> Business of the Year -- Eagle LA Bar
> Club/Organization of the Year -- Palm Springs Leather Order of the Desert
> Event of the Year -- Palm Springs Leather Pride
> Fundraiser of the Year -- Dr. Lawrence Burden
> Jeff Burnam Most Supportive Individual of the Year -- Will Hildreth
> Mentor of the Year -- Mistress Cyan
> Person of the Year -- Bob Johnson
> Chairman's Award -- Rob Henning and Richard Denton
Over 10,000 people attended the LAL 2007 weekend of events: Salute to Leather; Hell on Wheels III; Roast & Toast; Southland Honors; Hard Tribe 4.0; Leather Seminar Series; Mr. LA Leather contest; Military Max; Grunt; and StreetFest. Ten contestants competed for the Mr. LA Leather 2007 title at the Aratani Japan America Theatre. The LA9 class of 2006 reunited on stage for a group appearance as they performed a dance routine to the Village People's "In The Navy." The beautiful and contemporary Miyako Hotel served as the weekend's host hotel. Both venues will be home for the LAL event through 2009 and are located in Little Tokyo, Downtown Los Angeles, within a block of each other. Details for LAL 2008 will be at www.MrLALeather.com.
MEN IN GEAR GET- TOGETHERS in SAN FRANCISCO
Saturday April 21st The Eagle Tavern. 10pm to closing
Sunday April 29th Powerhouse “Sunday After Beer Bust Cruise” 6pm-10pm
MEN IN GEAR is not about entertainment, speeches, contests, surveys or fundraising. MEN IN GEAR is all about leather, uniforms, rubber/latex, boots, cigars, sports gear, masks, harnesses, armbands, jeans…whatever your fetish and whatever turns you on. Meet some other men, have a few beers, cruise, relax. In addition to two weekend evening gatherings for the next two months, there is a new weeknight MEN IN GEAR gathering.
Get horny on Wednesday? Can’t wait for the weekend? Need some face to face action during the week? No man smells coming from the online profile?
Remember the Wednesday night MEN IN GEAR gathering at the Lone Star Saloon back in January? Well, mark it on your calendar – starting Wednesday March 21st MEN IN GEAR gather every Wednesday at the Lone Star Saloon from 8pm to Midnight, featuring:
Bike parking in front…Cigar/smoking patio in the back…Drink specials for every man geared up…Rotating DJ’s to rock the house by DJ Kalerra and DJ Liebe…
Get off work, grab some gear, come out from 8pm to Midnight every Wednesday for some horned up face to face gear/fetish action.
Working to confirm a regular bootblack and coatcheck, and will be hosting a different leather/bdsm/fetish club every week. All these clubs do so much work during the year with fundraisers, meetings and committees…it’s time they have a little cruise action…and what a better day – hump day. NO MICROPHONES, NO SPEECHES, NO FUNDRAISING or RAFFLES….
And, David mixes a mean drink…don’t complain about the strong drinks ‘cause he’ll be bartending.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SIR AND
Boy 2007 Putting SEX back into leather! The Heat Is ON! 20-22 April, 2007.
In the world-renowned style of Palm Springs hospitality Dake Breunig and The Barrack are proud to announce that “The Heat is ON” in Palm Springs, California as the Southern California LeatherSIR and Leatherboy 2007 Regional Contest will be held April 20-22 weekend.
For your enjoyment, the contestants will be appearing at the host bar for this weekend of events, The Barracks Bar, located at 67-625 East Palm Canyon, Cathedral City, CA 92234 (www.TheBarracksBarPS.com). Join them for the opening kick off Friday night with their Big Black Boots Party including an action packed Big Black Boots Contest and the Contestant Meet and Greet will be held on at 10 pm on Friday evening followed by the contest on Saturday night, scheduled to begin at 10 pm, with the on-stage Sexual Cruise Wear, Fantasy and the always favorite Jock Strap category. The theme for the Weekend and Contestant Fantasies will be “Military”, look out GI Joe, here we come!
Serving on this years Judging Panel will be International LeatherSIR 2006 Master Kalan, International Leatherboy 2006 boy marshal, rick yarbrough, Southern California Leatherboy 2006, Luc Benech, Mr. Tool Shed 2006, Othello Cuena, 2007 President LA boys of Leather and as a special surprise this year’s Master of Ceremonies will be Rik Jammer.
This year’s Silent Auction will prove to be one of great interest and minimal diversity (sexually stimulating items) including one of a kind” framed collectable prints, collectable posters and much, much more. There will also be an opportunity to win a pair of weekend packages for the International LeatherSIR and Leatherboy 2007 weekend. Overseeing the auction will be Henry Jordan, member of the Palm Springs boys of Leather. The money raised from the Silent Auction will go to the Southern California travel funds as the winners will be representing Southern California at the International LeatherSIR/boy contest held over the Columbus Day weekend, October 4th-7th in Dallas, Texas.
AVATAR PRESENTS A SPECTACULAR SPRING EVENT April 27-29, 2007Come Join Avatar as they once again Assault Palm Springs with a Spectacular Spring Event. The host hotel address is: 280 East Mel Avenue, Palm Springs.The Weekend package Includes: A Run Pin (Sponsored in part by the Tool Shed), a Run Shirt, a Run Dog Tag, a ‘Goody’ Bag,’ a Formal Leather/Uniform Dinner, a Pooside BBQ, Drink Coupons for discounted Soda, Well Drinks, Domestic Beer at Sidewinders, The Barracks, and the Tool Shed.
Friday, April 27: A Formal Leather/Uniform Dinner at The Cedar Creek Inn followed by a Leather night at the Tool Shed
Saturday, April 28: A Pool Side Afternoon BBQ with Demos at Helios (Sponsored in part by The Barracks and Sidewinders)
Saturday Night: Two Great Events at Two Great Venues:
Desert Leather Night at the Barracks and Leather/Uniform/Rubber Fetish Ball at
Oasis. Mr. Palm Springs Leather Eric is producing the Fetish Ball as a fund raiser for the Desert Aids Project Food Program. This will take place from10pm to 4am. Admission is $10 at the door - No door charge for Operation Desert Leather IV package holders. Eric invites you to come dance and indulge
Sunday, April 29: Beer Busts at the Barracks and at Sidewinders
This is one weekend NOT to miss.
The Event Package (pin, dog tag, shirt, Formal Meal, BBQ, Bar Nights with Coupons, Fetish Ball and Goodie Bag) not including the hotel, is only $55
Shirts had to have been ordered no later than April 6th. So now, since we’re after that date, the package will sell for the same amount but may not include a shirt. Please send a check for $55, made out to Avatar Club Los Angeles (get the address from the web site, www.avatarla.org.along with your name, e-mail address and phone number.
Your choice of meal can be made from a menu at the restaurant Friday night.
Also, on that busy weekend there will be a celebration of life for Ron Alderson known to many of you as “Junior,” born May 24th 1957 and passed away on April 6th. The Celebration will be at Streetbar on Arenas in Palm Springs, one of Ron’s favorite hang-outs. This takes place beginning at 3pm on Saturday April 28th.
Ron was well-known and well-liked in the community and his partner Rick would love to see you all there.