We now know the proposed new location for Market Street bathhouse Eros, at the Turk and Taylor Street former home of Bulldog Baths, but we don’t know if city regulations will change allowing them to open their doors.
When we reported last week that the re-legalization of bathhouses was moving forward with unanimous approval from the SF Planning Commission, we explained that there were changes required to zoning laws to allow bathhouses to operate. We knew that the city’s sole remaining bathhouse, Eros on Market Street — which was technically not a bathhouse by the city's definition at that location — was unable to open at its new location somewhere in the Tenderloin because of these zoning rules, but we didn’t know where that new location was.
Well, someone knew, because it was tucked near the bottom of the Bay Area Reporter’s coverage of the proposed zoning changes. “The supervisors are expected to vote in support of making the zoning change by late April, meaning it should be enacted in early June,” the paper notes. “Once it is Eros, the sex club for queer and trans men, plans to reopen its doors at 132 Turk Street.”
There is also a GoFundMe to support Eros’ move, which appears to have been active for several months, and has currently raised nearly $4,000.
The property is technically 130-132 Turk Street, at Taylor Street, recognized as a historical landmark for having been the home of 1980s-era bathhouse Bulldog Baths. The site, which is in the Transgender Cultural District, has more recently been notable for someone putting an Airstream on its rooftop in 2015, and for a housing a dog grooming salon that also used the historic Bulldog Baths name.
“I just wanted to revive the historic use of the building and bring back a little more gay to this neighborhood,” the building’s owner David Nale told the SF Standard.
In a nice twist, it turns out that Eros owner Ken Rowe had done some work removing and restoring many of Bullhouse Bath’s murals after its original closure. “It’s a good spin on the story,” Rowe told the SF Standard. “It’s the hook.”
According to the Standard, the new Eros will have "multiple locker rooms, a video pit, a series of play spaces and potentially a couple of semi-private rooms.” The former Eros on Market Street closed last December 15, and Rowe hopes to have the new location open in time for Pride Weekend in late June. That said, the new zoning legislation needs to pass the board of supervisors before the facility can open.
Image: Ken Rowe via GoFundMe