415 Castro Street, March 28, 2004.
Queene chocolate shop closed after a dozen years at Castro and
Market Streets. "We were in the community but never 'of' the community,"
owner Jeoffrey Douglas tells Mister SF. Douglas struggled to survive in
a storefront on the gayest street in America because he says the shop
never appealed to today's gays. Though the gay community's famous good
taste should have drawn it to Douglas's Confiserie Leonidas selection,
the shop's sensibility was a repellant. "No sense of humor,"
he says of a gay community assimilating into the mainstream and away from
past gay stereotypes and cultural icons like the group Radical Faeries.
"A customer who just left said it best,"
according to Douglas, "He said, 'it's like you opened for a gay community
that would have loved the place, but you forgot they were already dead.'"
That, in addition to a substantial rent increase and neighborhood decay
due to the chronically homelesss, is what Douglas says prompted him to
shut the door on March 28, 2004.
Copyright 2004 Hank Donat