Bondage-themed cafe bounces back

San Francisco is the kind of place where all sorts of perverts, kinks and leather-bound freaks are welcomed with open arms and closed restraints.

But along with just about everyone else, our freak-friendly establishments have been facing hard times in recent years. And several have become nothing more than a not-so-distant memory.

Legendary leather bar the Eagle shut down last year, Femina Potens is operating without its own gallery space, and now SF Citadel, the renowned leather community education and lifestyle space, is also homeless.

But back from the compost pile is SoMa’s formerly bankrupt Wicked Grounds, the kink-oriented coffee shop that became popular with The City’s alt-sex community pretty much as soon as they opened back in 2008.

Wicked Grounds quickly shut down after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last October. An enormous outpouring of grief from Bay Area kinksters and a fruitless, late-in-the-game rally failed to save the place.

But new investors, most of whom are active members within San Francisco’s kink community, have since combined resources and strengthened Wicked Grounds’ financial position. They reopened last month, having found a smart way to reclaim existing assets.

Owner Ryan Galiotto told SF Weekly:

“The group of investors were able to put together enough of a fund to buy the assets of the business back from the bankruptcy court. So the bankruptcy has been discharged.”

Wicked Grounds effectively has risen from ashes. And as odd as it may seem to be saved by bankruptcy in our current economic climate, it happens.

“The reopening process was one of the worst times of my life,” Galiotto said. “I went from having lost all hope to having hope again.

“One of the important things is, we’ve been fairly busy. … First month in, and our bills are paid.”