Nightlife » Bars

Armory Club’s Stylish & Sexy

by Michael Flanagan
Tuesday Dec 18, 2012

The Armory Club at 1799 Mission Street can be thought of as a warm and enticing partner to the Armory, which sits like a Gothic castle on the corner of Mission and 14th streets. Peter Acworth, founder of, said he wanted an inviting space to begin and end the popular tours of the Armory, and the idea for the club was born. He sees the club as a space to demystify and celebrate alternative sexualities, as well as being something of the house bar for the people who work at Kink, and a place for fans of their sites to mingle with the people who work there. Beyond that, it's simply a nice place to hang out.

Because of the club's entertainment permit, look forward to more events like Halloween's Cirque de Kink, which featured bound clowns from Kink. The basement of the club became a photo set, so that guests of the club could immortalize their evening in pictures. The performances there are erotic, but non-sexual, which is one thing that distinguishes the events at the Armory Club from the Armory itself. For similar performance events in the future, check the club's website at

In design, the space has the feel of the Edwardian or Victorian era, with tufted leather couches, a working brass fireplace, an inlaid copper ceiling and period lighting. But it has some modern touches as well, like an amber onyx bar which is lit from below, plasma screens, reclaimed wood floors and doors, and locally made furniture.

It's clear that Chris Gaw, set designer from Kink, wanted to create a space that has the feel of a high-end gentleman's club from the past, and he's succeeded admirably. Artwork in the club based on shoots from Kink will be rotated regularly, and are available for purchase. As this is the fourth bar or bar set Gaw has designed for Acworth, they definitely knew what they wanted when creating this bar.

The club has been open since September and has garnered positive reviews online from people who were visiting San Francisco for the Folsom Street Fair. Peter reports that the bar, as well as the tours, were quite popular that weekend. He said looks forward to seasonal events that will correspond to both Folsom and Dore Alley fairs.

The bar features high-end scotches, whiskey and cognacs, beers from local brewers and a selection of wines. Cocktails are crafted with items from local farmer's markets. I asked if we could look for any farmer's markets there in the future. Good news! We may indeed see events like this at the Armory Community Center in the Drill Court of the Armory, which was home to boxing matches from the 1920s forward. The space holds nearly 4,000 people and has held events like the Mission Bazaar and AEF's festive County Fair.

One of the more interesting things about the space is that since Kink has so many film sets readily available (they have already been featured in the film About Cherry), the bar may see an influx of people from the film industry as its patrons. Add the buzz related to the forthcoming untitled James Franco-related documentary about Kink, and this place is a potential space for cineastes of many sorts.

Music in the club is low-key, but there will be DJed nights as well. The basement, aside from being a photo set, may act as a retail space for Kink related products in the future.

Certainly a space that celebrates alternative sexualities is a welcome addition to the neighborhood, and the Armory Club looks to be another successful Kink-related business.

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