Mister B: end of an era, start of something new

The world famous leather store Mister B is going to move shop. It is leaving the iconic Warmoesstraat, once the leather street for gay men in Europe. As of the 1st of September this year, Mister B will set up shop at the Prinsengracht 192. With this move, only a few leather stores and pubs stay behind in the Warmoesstraat.

Why moving away after almost 25 years?

This move comes to many as a shock. Why move a successful business from such a well know location after almost 25 years? Well, it is the changing tourist trade which is to blame.

Tourism and foreign visitors is nothing new to the Warmoesstraat. In fact: in the 80’s and 90’s the leather scene in this street flourished, because of gay leather men visiting from especially the UK and also many other countries. That is one of the reasons why Mister B set up shop in this street.

But over the years tourisme has changed. And not always for the better for a store like Mister B. More and more stag parties, families, cruise ship and other types of tourist visited the street. And the beautiful set up shop of Mister B, with it’s open store front and tastefully kinky window display, caught the attention of many.

So many of these non-gay tourist entered the shop, took pictures and selfies. This made the atmosphere for the real clients more and more uncomfortable. When you are picking out your latest sex toys or try out your newest fetish outfit, you don’t want to be surrounded by giggling grannies and smirking, selfie taking teens. And on top of that: the new kind of tourist didn’t by any of Mister B’s products.

Not every sex or fetish store has these problems with the new masses of tourists. ROB, located just a few doors down the street, also gets more ‘strangers’ into their store. But this other well known leather store for gay men has less open store front windows. So they are less overwhelmed by non gay visitors and have therefor no plans at the moment to move. Other sex and fetish stores offer more generic, cheaper sex and fetish products. They sell more easily small items to the new tourists and welcome the with open arms in their stores.

Mister B’s new start near the Homomonument

So from the 1st of September Mister B starts afresh on the Prinsengracht 192. It is an interesting location for several reasons:

  • it’s close to the Homomonument, so easy to combine with a visit to one of the LGBTQ+ parties there and to the PinkPoint of Presence
  • the head quarters of GayLINC is almost next door, so very convenient for us to shop there and to keep an eye out on Mister B
  • it is just around the corner of a new, gay friendly Denim hotel which is located in an old COC building and which will open shortly
  • it is also located in an area of the city which is almost over run by tourist, because it is close to the Anne Frank house and many other popular tourist attractions.

So, is Mister B making a wise move? Only time will tell. We hope all the best for them and there customers.

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