One-of-a-kind kink cafe and community hub Wicked Grounds appears to have weathered the financial beating it’s been taking with the help of community donations. Owner Rebeccalyn “Mir” Bilodeau tells Eater SF that her coffee shop, fetish boutique, and kink community hub has received enough monthly pledges to reopen with usual hours next Tuesday.
Last week, Wicked Grounds seemed to be at the end of its rope, financially speaking, announcing it would close for good over the weekend. But that move turned out to be the business equivalent of uttering a safe word. Over 900 devastated customers pledged monthly donations on Patreon, amounting to funding of more than $15,000. According to Mir, that’s enough to save the business, which is currently open with a skeleton crew and limited hours and food options.
“We had our single biggest day in revenue history on Sunday when we announced the closure, when people realized this was at risk,” says Bilodeau. At Wicked Grounds, she explains, “we’re kink concierges,” guiding newbies and veterans with kink education, community building, and book recommendations, and paying for that service with coffee. But lately, “the cafe side of the business hasn’t been subsidizing the wide range of what we really do.”
Located in 289 8th Street at Folsom, Wicked Grounds occupies an area known for its leather history and yearly fetish festival Folsom Street Fair. Mir took over the cafe from its founders in 2014, adding a greater emphasis on the retail boutique, which stocks an arsenal of bondage gear, and increasing the number of community education events it hosts. Now, to keep the shop healthy, she says she’ll continue to emphasize the boutique, and expand Wicked Ground’s presence at events and regional conferences.
“Thanks again to everyone who has subscribed to support this beloved community space,” Bilodeau wrote in a post on Facebook responding to the outpouring of funds and affection. “We feel your love.”