San Francisco names its first legacy business strip club


Photo of Dan Gentile


Carol Doda shows off the headlines in North Beach, San Francisco, in front of the Condor where she performs after being acquitted of obscenity charges for dancing topless in 1965. 

Bettmann/Bettmann Archive

San Francisco’s trailblazing approach to adult entertainment was recognized last month by the city’s Legacy Business Program, with one of the city’s highest marks of distinction awarded to North Beach staple the Condor.

In a hearing in mid-November, the Condor received legacy business status for its continuous operation since 1958.

Given the adult nature of the Condor’s business model at the time, it did go through plenty of controversy over the years. In 1964, iconic San Franciscan Carol Doda performed topless, creating a scandal that led to her arrest the next year by the San Francisco Police Department. Doda’s acquittal in the obscenity case essentially gave the green light to other similar adult establishments. 

A barker in front of Carol Doda's strip club in North Beach in San Francisco, Jan. 24, 1982.

A barker in front of Carol Doda’s strip club in North Beach in San Francisco, Jan. 24, 1982.

San Francisco Chronicle/Hearst Newspapers via Getty Imag

“The Condor served as a gateway of sorts between San Francisco’s Financial District and the nightlife of North Beach. Ms. Doda and the Condor Club were fundamental to San Francisco’s iconic reputation in the mid- to late-1960s, and Ms. Doda remained a world-famous fixture around North Beach until her passing in 2015,” wrote supervisor Aaron Peskin in endorsement of the Condor’s legacy business application.

Although it is the first strip club to achieve legacy status, it is not the first adult-oriented business. Eros, a queer sex club on Turk Street, and Good Vibrations, an adult toy retailer with multiple locations across the Bay Area, have also received the distinction. 



Legendary North Beach stripper Carol Doda works at her Champagne and Lace lingerie shop in San Francisco on Tuesday, July 14, 2009.

Legendary North Beach stripper Carol Doda works at her Champagne and Lace lingerie shop in San Francisco on Tuesday, July 14, 2009.

San Francisco Chronicle/Hearst N/San Francisco Chronicle via Gett



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