by: Jeff Auer (c) 2011
Steamworks were a series of bathouses in the American west. The flagship bathhouse is in Berkeley, California. It originally opened as the Mayan Baths, and still is open until this day.
The chain is co-owned by Rick Stokes, a semi-retired attorney who founded Steamworks with partner David Clayton, after they had started and sold the Ritch Street Health Club to the Club Baths Chain. They also now own the chain with Ross More, who worked his way up from employee at the former Fresno branch.
Other operations that appeared in the 1970's were in: Sacramento, Fresno and Honolulu. In the early 1980s the chain opened a branch in San Juan, Puerto Rico. All of these bathhouses except for the Berkeley and San Juan bathhouses closed during the 1980's AIDS crisis. In the 1990's the Steamworks chain took over the Club Unicorn on Halsted Street.
As of 2010 there were Steamworks in: Berkeley, Chicago, Seattle, Toronto and Vancouver.