Black Cat Bar: Why Bad Luck Name : LUSENET : San Francisco History : One Thread

In a previous post about 708 Montgomery and the Canessa Building which I remember was built after the 1906 earthquake, the Black Cat Bar was mentioned. Of course anyone who has been in San Francisco long enough has heard about one of San Francisco's most famous bars and its history but I have this thing names in that I am strongly convinced that names and their possible meanings or even if names sound bad, that they have an influence on people's attitudes. -- The symbolism of a Black Cat to most Americans means bad luck and indeed the bar as I recall was closed down on Halloween, I think it was 1963. The fact that it was closed down on Halloween makes it quite apparent that the owners knew what the meaning of Black Cat was (or if they didn't know which is highly doubtful then the Black Cat name really did give off bad luck). Anyway, the point is that a name such as Black Cat can create a bad attitude to begin with. And it sure created a bad attitude with the Police Department who kept on raiding the place relentlessly. Well, what I really want to know is if anyone knows that bar was named Black Cat?

-- Harry Murphy (, December 11, 2001


Thinking it over, perhaps it was a bar that specialized in its Halloween Parties which I remember they were famous for. So I guess that is why they used that name. So the symbolism there for cat would be the Halloween Party but it may also have create bad attitudes and antagonism as well.

-- Harry Murphy (, December 11, 2001.

The name, Black Cat, had much less influence on the closure of the bar than the fact that it was an upfront gay bar. It's owner, Lou Stoumen had been fighting police and ABC harassment for years in a time when being gay was considered a crime. Before becoming a gay bar after the war, the Black Cat was one of SF's best known "Bohemian" hangouts.

-- Don Martinich (, December 12, 2001.

Speakin of the senate


watch out for redlof

-- imme (¿¿¿??, January 21, 2003.

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