Lesbian bar closures, Lost Womyn’s Space

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Image of Macon Reed’s art installation “Eulogy for the Dyke Bar” from Hyperallergic

I’ve been reading the blog Lost Womyn’s Space for a while now, but it’s proving invaluable to track what the author ruefully calls “the Great Lesbian Bar Die Off.” You can read about my interest in lesbian bars here. It’s impossible to contact the author: the blog is anonymous, there’s no “About” section, and comments are disabled. If you’re the author, I’d love to correspond with you, even anonymously. I respect your work tremendously.

If you’re not yet a reader, here’s my tabulation of lesbian bar closures since 2006 based almost completely on information from Lost Womyn’s Space. Please send corrections/additions!

  Remaining lesbian bars in metro area
2015 Lexington Club San Francisco 0
Phase 1 Washington D.C. 0
2014 New Moon Miami-Ft. Lauderdale
(Wilton Manors)
0
The Usual Neighborhood Pub Houston 1
Door19 Omaha 0
Eden Lounge Dallas
Paper Moon Salt Lake City 0
Kathy’s Nut Hut Milwaukee 1
Outskirts / Blu Jeans Café Toledo 0
TNT’s Tulsa
2013 Sisters Nightclub Philadelphia 0
The Palms West Hollywood 0
Roxy’s Buffalo 0
T’s Bar and Grill Chicago 0
Rainbow House Bar & Grill Myrtle Beach 0
Kicked Back Amarillo 0
Lipstick24 Austin
Eden Denver
Dingo’s Portland, OR 0
The Dalloway New York City
Friends Bar Pittsburgh
Slack’s Restaurant and Bar Toronto 0
Novak’s St. Louis
Augie’s on 20th Rock Island, IL
Club Tribute / Escapades New Orleans (Metairie)
Ten Indianapolis 0
2012 Tink’s Pub Louisville 0
RF Lounge / Budhu Lounge New York City 3?
Attitudes St. Louis
Exhale Bar & Grill Albuquerque 0
Connections Omaha 1
Lips Ultra Lounge/ Lips Bar El Paso 0
Bellissima Atlanta
Cloud Nine Miami-Ft. Lauderdale (Davie) 1
Hung Jury Washington, D.C. 1
Club21 Sacramento
Falcon? restaurant Hollywood
  Roy’s Comfort Zone (Af-Am) Philadelphia 2
2011 Ain’t Nobody’s Business Tuscon 0
The Rainbow Room Tampa
Cups San Juan, PR
Chrome Cat Lansing
Wetherbee’s Kansas City 0
Zgirl Club Phoenix 1?
Club Savoy Santa Clara 1
Bermuda Triangle San Antonio 0
Moonshadow North Hollywood
Lick Club Vancouver, BC 0
Gilda’s Toledo
2010 Never Never Land Shreveport 0
Egyptian Club Portland, OR 1
Five Cent Decision Cleveland 0
Chances Houston 1
Prism Bar and Grill Edmonton, Alberta 0
Tootsie’s Kansas City 1
Club Broadway Long Beach
Star Gaze Chicago 1
Her Bar Denver 1?
Black Cat Bar & Café Petaluma (Penngrove) 0
Paris Decatur Decatur, GA
Sister’s Edge II Denver 2?
Red Carpet Lounge Pensacola
Port in a Storm Baltimore
Pearl’s Rainbow Key West
2009 Plush Pony (Latina) Los Angeles
Chixx Omaha 1
ChiQ Bar St. Petersburg
Ms. C’s Denver 1?
Normandie Room West Hollywood 1
Denver Detour Denver
Velvet Oakland 2
Coconuts Café Baltimore
Club Pink Detroit 1
L’amour Sorcier Quebec City 0
Liquid Café and Lounge Columbus 1
  Chueca Bar (Latina) Queens (Woodside)
East Village Foodbar Columbus 1
  Club Libations (AfAm) Philadelphia 1
Faces / R Bar Orlando
2008 Rubyfruit Bar and Grill New York City 4?
Pi Bar Minneapolis
Summit Station / Jacks Columbus, OH
E-lounge Phoenix 1
Club 505 Lansing
Lost and Found Chicago
Toast Lounge Boston (Somerville)  1?
Shi Bar / The Pit greater NYC (West Hempsted)  4?
Cherry Pie Miami 1
2007 Lighthouse Bar & Grill Monterrey 0
Delilah’s Bar Cathedral City 0
Madison Flame Memphis
2006 Six Degrees San Diego 0
The Patch Chicago (Calumet City) 3?
Sisters Portland, ME 0
Deville’s Providence 0

Sometimes the exact year of closure is difficult to determine; listed years are probably correct +-1. As Lost Womyn’s Space is at great pains to point out, many of these bars may have started as lesbian bars but become mixed over time, so these dates when the bar physically closed may be years later than the time when the patronage was majority women. When a rebranding of a bar indicated it was mixed, or mixed gay and straight, I marked it as the end of a lesbian bar. As I’ve described in one of my academic articles, the only way to really know is by regularly going to a bar, and even then, a bar can simultaneously be a lesbian bar on Friday and Saturday but be mostly men the rest of the week (bars that hold a ladies’ night once a week aren’t counted as lesbian bars unless LWS notes that they also supported lesbian institutions through fundraisers).

Autostraddle profiled the creativity of the names of these bars; these are only the bars that disappeared in the last decade. Multiple names indicate that another lesbian bar took the place of an old one. I’ve tried to indicate bars with majority POC patronage. In the city category, I’m ambivalent about designating them as located in metropolitan areas or in their specific city; any comments welcome. And lastly, for many entries I haven’t yet determined how many other lesbian bars existed in the city at the time of closure. The same number entered multiple times for the same city indicates that another bar opened in a different location as one closed.

Again, I welcome all corrections, comments, critiques, and any contact from the amazing author of Lost Womyn’s Space.

 


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