The Argos leather bar in Amsterdam is closing this Friday, 2nd of January 2015. The Foundation is looking for information and material about the bar’s history.

With a history going back to the 1950s, the Argos bar is known to be the oldest leather bar in Europe. Over the years, the bar has built up a world famous reputation in- and outside of the leather community. The Argos bar had already been put on sale in 2010 yet, despite its investments, new management has not succeeded in turning around the declining number of visitors. Voices in the local leather community confirm the bar has already been sold and is likely to irrevocably lose its darkroom license as new management has other plans for the venue. The bar invites leather men to one last Farewell Party on Friday, 2nd of January 2015.

Argos Farewell Party

UPDATE: Read our article about The History of the Amsterdam Argos (1957-2015) in our Library.

Photo credits: Jan Carel Warffemius, 1996.

  • Steve Hoke

    Sad to hear of this closing!! Much history in many lives have been part of this wonderful bar.

  • Peter Johnson

    This is really sad news. Many happy memories.

  • dennisjaffe

    When I lived in London in the 60’s we often spent the whole weekend therein Amsterdam , nothing like itthen in London. Many years later on return to Sydney Australia we had the Barracks leather bar ! That’s also gone somtine ago ! Nothing replaced it !

  • Pat Walsh

    Great memories from nights spent in the Argos!
    Truly a loss to the Leathermen community!

  • Steve

    I’m so sad to see this Leather Institution close, I had so much fun there many years ago.

  • Phil ROSS


    “”ROSS” is happy to report having been there in recent times. Sad but true as the Internet sets the bar to the lowest common denominator. But the Good News is that it”s now possible to be OUT and OPEN in the streets most places – US and EU – and that’s a very good thing. Bars with ‘changing rooms’ have always been a thorn in this LeatherMans vest… because it makes it seem oh so inauthentic.

    The danger has past – a tribut to the Gay and Leather PRIDE movement started in the early 70’s when this ‘pervert’ proclaimed to His family and the world: “GAY- PROUD – DEFIANT”

    “Pride in the Stride, No shame in the game” is oh so much more AUthentic,


  • Holly Johnson

    I gave Argos a name check in the first 12″ version of Relax (Sex Mix) along with a few others . Sorry it is going the way of many things.

  • Eduardo Bettega

    Yes, it is very sad news, I run the Argos from 1994 till beginning of 2011.
    I was a young guy when I went there for the first time in the early 80’s and I became the owner in 94.
    Thank you to the people that help me to make the Argos the place that everyone remember.

    • lancemartin

      thank you Eduardo.. you were the one of the main reasons to go there.

    • David Arias

      Eduardo, I hope all is well. Sorry about Argos closing (on my birthday of all days). I am still in Los Angeles and haven’t been back to AMS for some time. I am on Facebook and would love to reconnect with you.

  • Philippe Kurpil

    What good memories!

  • Jan Willem

    The name check Holly Johnson mentioned at 14:58 in this remix of Relax of Franky Goes To Hollywood:


    Great times and great memories of arriving at the Argos off the 8-30p.m. Friday BM Queen’s flight from Heathrow,after check in at ANCO. So many men,such good times, it was an institution!!! RIP

  • Kurt

    This is sad news. The Argos was a Fine bar run by wonderful guys full of passion and integrity. Dresscode bars like Argos are disappearing at an alarming rate because not enough leather men and fetish men go there on a regular base. That’s a fact. Consumer patterns change. But there is nothing inevitable about that. If we as gay leather men and kinksters don’t go and visit our bars they will disappear. No need to be sentimental about that, just go out there twice a month and enjoy your local bar again! It’s fun! If we don’t do that soon there might be nothing left to go to if one day we have a change of heart.
    The Hoist (London)

  • Égide Leblanc

    I agree with Kurt’s comment. And I wonder if the big
    challenge today is not the survival of these Bars in the
    context of changing patterns in consumer’s habits.
    Economics uncertainties don’t help.
    But one thing remains as true today as it was yesterday:
    we gaymen in leather and fetish do need these special
    places where we can celebrate with our pals. At the same time we must think hard to foresee for the future.
    Égide, Montréal.

  • Patrick Murphy

    I am so saddened. The whole thing has brought tears to my eyes. I loved the place. A terrible loss to us leathermen.

  • Juha Leppajarvi

    To see an institution like this bite the dust is sad indeed. I live in London now, but remember many fun times at Argos while visiting from Finland, where such places have never existed. I fully agree with the comments made here, that if we want bars and clubs like Argos to survive, we have to get our gear on and give them our custom, instead of staying at home cruising guys on the internet. The ones in London, once heaving with leathermen, are still hanging on, but only just. Rather than them having a responsibility to keep their doors open for us, we have a responsibility to keep using that door to go in!

  • Trouncer

    I go over to Amsterdam every now and again (for over 10 yrs now), and always go to Argos. Imagine my shock when I arrived in July for a weekend, walked down and found it no longer there ! I had to do a double take. It was a genuine shock. So, so sad and even more saddened how these places are vanishing. Hope you get resurrected somewhere in the future.

  • Rafael DURODURO

    1972 Mi primera visita yo con 26 años.
    2012 Mi ultima visita yo 66 años
    Docenas, cientos de NOCHES de FANTASIA.

    1972 my first visit, I am 26 years old.
    2012 my last visit myself 66 years
    Hundreds of FANTASY NIGHTS

  • Antonio

    Great place great Eduardo, miss you❤

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