The Powerhouse Bar is the unquestionably the biggest & most popular South of Market bar. They have set the style for no “attitude”, dirty, South of Market fun.
Their style has been imitated all over city, but it is here that you find the best pumping & cutting edge music, the smell of men (the no cologne zone), sexy videos, and the hottest crowd. They are the anchor of the men’s bar scene on Folsom Street (SOMA), with bars moving in to be on the same block, Folsom Street, between 9th & 10th, at Dore Alley.
The Powerhouse opened under it’s current ownership in 1997. They have never needed a definition for their style. Leather? Levi? Cruise? Stand & Model? Gym boys? Skaters? Punks? Who cares! Just come down & enjoy the vibe.
Reports are that the building was a whorehouse in the early days! The Powerhouse has a long history within it’s walls, dating back to the early 70’s. Some of the early bars located here were:
The In- Between, the Cow Palace Saloon, and No-name Bar. The late 70’s brought the Bolt (it was during this time it evolved into a leather bar) and the Brig (1978-1985).
During the late 1980’s it became The Powerhouse, under different ownerships, and it was reported that it was closed for periods of time, and opened temporarily during the Dore Alley & Folsom Street Fairs.
It was re-opened as the Powerhouse in 1996.
Paul Langley, the current owner, re-opened the bar in Sept. 1997. Scott Peterson is the bar manager.