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A Will Ferrell-Themed Bar Is Coming to Los Angeles

A Will Ferrell-Themed Bar Is Coming to Los Angeles



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Did we just become best friends?

There’s potential that the pop-up will expand permanently.

The New York City Will Ferrell-themed bar Stay Classy will be making its way to the West Coast on Dec. 5 for a 10-day pop-up bar in Hollywood.

The limited-time pop-up will be located in the TCL Chinese 6 Theater, Entertainment Weekly reported.

The original Stay Classy bar, located in New York City’s Lower East Side neighborhood, opened in October 2015. The bar is decorated with Will Ferrell paraphernalia and TVs lining the walls playing the actor’s top films. The drink menu showcases a range of Will Ferrell characters such as “Great Odin’s Raven” and the “Mugatu Mule.”

Although the actor is not officially affiliated with the bar, the pop-up will sell merchandise and host themed parties to raise money for Ferrell’s charity, Cancer For College, which grants college scholarships to students with cancer, according to The Spirits Business.

The official pop-up announcement was made on the brand’s Facebook page, which contains information about making reservations.


‘These are our homes’: LA gay bars fight to stay afloat after year of shutdown

Four iconic Los Angeles gay bars, touting a combined history of 130 years, have permanently closed during the pandemic and many more have warned that they are on the brink of shutdown.

Even as nightlife gradually returns, some of the remaining queer bars across southern California have resorted to crowdfunding in a last-ditch effort to stay afloat, warning that Covid-19 may bring about the end of historic institutions that have weathered the Aids crisis and multiple economic downturns.

The pandemic has permanently closed more than 100,000 bars and restaurants across the United States but in LA, which has been under some form of lockdown restrictions since last March, the impact on nightclubs has been particularly brutal.

Four LGBTQ+ bars shuttered in West Hollywood last year, including Rage, a legendary nightclub that closed after 37 years, and Gold Coast, a 39-year-old dive bar down the street on Santa Monica boulevard. Then in January, as LA become one of the worst Covid hotspots in the nation, Oil Can Harry’s, a beloved gay country bar in Studio City, said it was closing for good after half a century of hosting queer line dancing.

“It feels like a death,” said Rick Dominguez, a DJ who hosted disco and country nights at Oil Can Harry’s for 27 years. “We are losing a lot more than just our place to dance. It was a home for us for decades. So many people met and fell in love at Oil Can.”

Rick Dominguez, back row, second from left, was part of the dance group LA Wranglers that performed at Oil Can Harry’s in 2012. The bar closed permanently in January. Photograph: Courtesy Rick Dominguez

Oil Can still had a siren on site that staff used in the 60s to warn customers that police were coming and allowed them to quickly switch to partners of the opposite gender, said Dominguez: “New generations aren’t going to get to know this space.”

Before Covid, gay bars were already disappearing in LA and other US cities due to rising rents and gentrification, and as online queer dating and hookup apps grew in popularity. The venues most at risk of closing are often independently owned and cater to more underrepresented groups, including Black and Latino communities, trans and gender-nonconforming crowds and working-class neighborhoods, research has shown.

Many of the LA bars that are struggling are located outside of the West Hollywood scene, which is known for catering to white gay male crowds and is more touristy, with owners turning to GoFundMe to make it through the crisis.

“These places were our safe havens, so to watch them be the first to go is really fucked up,” said Meatball, an LA drag queen who performed at Precinct, a downtown club that is raising funds to stay open. “I can’t imagine a world without Precinct. There are people who you only see there, but they are your close friends.”

Precinct has long had an unpretentious vibe that made it more comfortable than many gay bars, Meatball said: “It’s dingy, it smells like old alcohol when you walk in, and there’s something so comforting about this dark, seedy place – gay people love that stuff.”

New Jalisco, also in downtown, is one of the longest-running Latino gay bars in the region, run by an immigrant couple who transformed it into an LGBTQ+ venue in the 1990s. Behind on a year’s worth of rent, the bar has also started raising funds.

“I can’t imagine a world without Precinct,” said Meatball, a drag queen who performed at the club. “These places were our safe havens.” Photograph: Jeremy Lucido

“It feels like you’re at a family party,” said Eddy Francisco Alvarez Jr, a Chicana and Chicano studies professor at Cal State Fullerton. Alvarez noted that bars like New Jalisco are much more welcoming to undocumented patrons and trans Latinas than West Hollywood establishments. “You can show up in the multiplicity of who you are versus some other spaces that are very white or feel uninviting to working-class folks … We lose pieces of queer Latinx history when these places shut down.”

Don Godoy, who ran a weekly night at Jalisco called Kafe Con Leche, said that his dancers have relied on online events and OnlyFans to supplement their income, but that they were anxious to get back to in-person performances.

“We had customers who came every week for three years,” he said. “For it to stop all the sudden was challenging, especially mentally.”


‘These are our homes’: LA gay bars fight to stay afloat after year of shutdown

Four iconic Los Angeles gay bars, touting a combined history of 130 years, have permanently closed during the pandemic and many more have warned that they are on the brink of shutdown.

Even as nightlife gradually returns, some of the remaining queer bars across southern California have resorted to crowdfunding in a last-ditch effort to stay afloat, warning that Covid-19 may bring about the end of historic institutions that have weathered the Aids crisis and multiple economic downturns.

The pandemic has permanently closed more than 100,000 bars and restaurants across the United States but in LA, which has been under some form of lockdown restrictions since last March, the impact on nightclubs has been particularly brutal.

Four LGBTQ+ bars shuttered in West Hollywood last year, including Rage, a legendary nightclub that closed after 37 years, and Gold Coast, a 39-year-old dive bar down the street on Santa Monica boulevard. Then in January, as LA become one of the worst Covid hotspots in the nation, Oil Can Harry’s, a beloved gay country bar in Studio City, said it was closing for good after half a century of hosting queer line dancing.

“It feels like a death,” said Rick Dominguez, a DJ who hosted disco and country nights at Oil Can Harry’s for 27 years. “We are losing a lot more than just our place to dance. It was a home for us for decades. So many people met and fell in love at Oil Can.”

Rick Dominguez, back row, second from left, was part of the dance group LA Wranglers that performed at Oil Can Harry’s in 2012. The bar closed permanently in January. Photograph: Courtesy Rick Dominguez

Oil Can still had a siren on site that staff used in the 60s to warn customers that police were coming and allowed them to quickly switch to partners of the opposite gender, said Dominguez: “New generations aren’t going to get to know this space.”

Before Covid, gay bars were already disappearing in LA and other US cities due to rising rents and gentrification, and as online queer dating and hookup apps grew in popularity. The venues most at risk of closing are often independently owned and cater to more underrepresented groups, including Black and Latino communities, trans and gender-nonconforming crowds and working-class neighborhoods, research has shown.

Many of the LA bars that are struggling are located outside of the West Hollywood scene, which is known for catering to white gay male crowds and is more touristy, with owners turning to GoFundMe to make it through the crisis.

“These places were our safe havens, so to watch them be the first to go is really fucked up,” said Meatball, an LA drag queen who performed at Precinct, a downtown club that is raising funds to stay open. “I can’t imagine a world without Precinct. There are people who you only see there, but they are your close friends.”

Precinct has long had an unpretentious vibe that made it more comfortable than many gay bars, Meatball said: “It’s dingy, it smells like old alcohol when you walk in, and there’s something so comforting about this dark, seedy place – gay people love that stuff.”

New Jalisco, also in downtown, is one of the longest-running Latino gay bars in the region, run by an immigrant couple who transformed it into an LGBTQ+ venue in the 1990s. Behind on a year’s worth of rent, the bar has also started raising funds.

“I can’t imagine a world without Precinct,” said Meatball, a drag queen who performed at the club. “These places were our safe havens.” Photograph: Jeremy Lucido

“It feels like you’re at a family party,” said Eddy Francisco Alvarez Jr, a Chicana and Chicano studies professor at Cal State Fullerton. Alvarez noted that bars like New Jalisco are much more welcoming to undocumented patrons and trans Latinas than West Hollywood establishments. “You can show up in the multiplicity of who you are versus some other spaces that are very white or feel uninviting to working-class folks … We lose pieces of queer Latinx history when these places shut down.”

Don Godoy, who ran a weekly night at Jalisco called Kafe Con Leche, said that his dancers have relied on online events and OnlyFans to supplement their income, but that they were anxious to get back to in-person performances.

“We had customers who came every week for three years,” he said. “For it to stop all the sudden was challenging, especially mentally.”


‘These are our homes’: LA gay bars fight to stay afloat after year of shutdown

Four iconic Los Angeles gay bars, touting a combined history of 130 years, have permanently closed during the pandemic and many more have warned that they are on the brink of shutdown.

Even as nightlife gradually returns, some of the remaining queer bars across southern California have resorted to crowdfunding in a last-ditch effort to stay afloat, warning that Covid-19 may bring about the end of historic institutions that have weathered the Aids crisis and multiple economic downturns.

The pandemic has permanently closed more than 100,000 bars and restaurants across the United States but in LA, which has been under some form of lockdown restrictions since last March, the impact on nightclubs has been particularly brutal.

Four LGBTQ+ bars shuttered in West Hollywood last year, including Rage, a legendary nightclub that closed after 37 years, and Gold Coast, a 39-year-old dive bar down the street on Santa Monica boulevard. Then in January, as LA become one of the worst Covid hotspots in the nation, Oil Can Harry’s, a beloved gay country bar in Studio City, said it was closing for good after half a century of hosting queer line dancing.

“It feels like a death,” said Rick Dominguez, a DJ who hosted disco and country nights at Oil Can Harry’s for 27 years. “We are losing a lot more than just our place to dance. It was a home for us for decades. So many people met and fell in love at Oil Can.”

Rick Dominguez, back row, second from left, was part of the dance group LA Wranglers that performed at Oil Can Harry’s in 2012. The bar closed permanently in January. Photograph: Courtesy Rick Dominguez

Oil Can still had a siren on site that staff used in the 60s to warn customers that police were coming and allowed them to quickly switch to partners of the opposite gender, said Dominguez: “New generations aren’t going to get to know this space.”

Before Covid, gay bars were already disappearing in LA and other US cities due to rising rents and gentrification, and as online queer dating and hookup apps grew in popularity. The venues most at risk of closing are often independently owned and cater to more underrepresented groups, including Black and Latino communities, trans and gender-nonconforming crowds and working-class neighborhoods, research has shown.

Many of the LA bars that are struggling are located outside of the West Hollywood scene, which is known for catering to white gay male crowds and is more touristy, with owners turning to GoFundMe to make it through the crisis.

“These places were our safe havens, so to watch them be the first to go is really fucked up,” said Meatball, an LA drag queen who performed at Precinct, a downtown club that is raising funds to stay open. “I can’t imagine a world without Precinct. There are people who you only see there, but they are your close friends.”

Precinct has long had an unpretentious vibe that made it more comfortable than many gay bars, Meatball said: “It’s dingy, it smells like old alcohol when you walk in, and there’s something so comforting about this dark, seedy place – gay people love that stuff.”

New Jalisco, also in downtown, is one of the longest-running Latino gay bars in the region, run by an immigrant couple who transformed it into an LGBTQ+ venue in the 1990s. Behind on a year’s worth of rent, the bar has also started raising funds.

“I can’t imagine a world without Precinct,” said Meatball, a drag queen who performed at the club. “These places were our safe havens.” Photograph: Jeremy Lucido

“It feels like you’re at a family party,” said Eddy Francisco Alvarez Jr, a Chicana and Chicano studies professor at Cal State Fullerton. Alvarez noted that bars like New Jalisco are much more welcoming to undocumented patrons and trans Latinas than West Hollywood establishments. “You can show up in the multiplicity of who you are versus some other spaces that are very white or feel uninviting to working-class folks … We lose pieces of queer Latinx history when these places shut down.”

Don Godoy, who ran a weekly night at Jalisco called Kafe Con Leche, said that his dancers have relied on online events and OnlyFans to supplement their income, but that they were anxious to get back to in-person performances.

“We had customers who came every week for three years,” he said. “For it to stop all the sudden was challenging, especially mentally.”


‘These are our homes’: LA gay bars fight to stay afloat after year of shutdown

Four iconic Los Angeles gay bars, touting a combined history of 130 years, have permanently closed during the pandemic and many more have warned that they are on the brink of shutdown.

Even as nightlife gradually returns, some of the remaining queer bars across southern California have resorted to crowdfunding in a last-ditch effort to stay afloat, warning that Covid-19 may bring about the end of historic institutions that have weathered the Aids crisis and multiple economic downturns.

The pandemic has permanently closed more than 100,000 bars and restaurants across the United States but in LA, which has been under some form of lockdown restrictions since last March, the impact on nightclubs has been particularly brutal.

Four LGBTQ+ bars shuttered in West Hollywood last year, including Rage, a legendary nightclub that closed after 37 years, and Gold Coast, a 39-year-old dive bar down the street on Santa Monica boulevard. Then in January, as LA become one of the worst Covid hotspots in the nation, Oil Can Harry’s, a beloved gay country bar in Studio City, said it was closing for good after half a century of hosting queer line dancing.

“It feels like a death,” said Rick Dominguez, a DJ who hosted disco and country nights at Oil Can Harry’s for 27 years. “We are losing a lot more than just our place to dance. It was a home for us for decades. So many people met and fell in love at Oil Can.”

Rick Dominguez, back row, second from left, was part of the dance group LA Wranglers that performed at Oil Can Harry’s in 2012. The bar closed permanently in January. Photograph: Courtesy Rick Dominguez

Oil Can still had a siren on site that staff used in the 60s to warn customers that police were coming and allowed them to quickly switch to partners of the opposite gender, said Dominguez: “New generations aren’t going to get to know this space.”

Before Covid, gay bars were already disappearing in LA and other US cities due to rising rents and gentrification, and as online queer dating and hookup apps grew in popularity. The venues most at risk of closing are often independently owned and cater to more underrepresented groups, including Black and Latino communities, trans and gender-nonconforming crowds and working-class neighborhoods, research has shown.

Many of the LA bars that are struggling are located outside of the West Hollywood scene, which is known for catering to white gay male crowds and is more touristy, with owners turning to GoFundMe to make it through the crisis.

“These places were our safe havens, so to watch them be the first to go is really fucked up,” said Meatball, an LA drag queen who performed at Precinct, a downtown club that is raising funds to stay open. “I can’t imagine a world without Precinct. There are people who you only see there, but they are your close friends.”

Precinct has long had an unpretentious vibe that made it more comfortable than many gay bars, Meatball said: “It’s dingy, it smells like old alcohol when you walk in, and there’s something so comforting about this dark, seedy place – gay people love that stuff.”

New Jalisco, also in downtown, is one of the longest-running Latino gay bars in the region, run by an immigrant couple who transformed it into an LGBTQ+ venue in the 1990s. Behind on a year’s worth of rent, the bar has also started raising funds.

“I can’t imagine a world without Precinct,” said Meatball, a drag queen who performed at the club. “These places were our safe havens.” Photograph: Jeremy Lucido

“It feels like you’re at a family party,” said Eddy Francisco Alvarez Jr, a Chicana and Chicano studies professor at Cal State Fullerton. Alvarez noted that bars like New Jalisco are much more welcoming to undocumented patrons and trans Latinas than West Hollywood establishments. “You can show up in the multiplicity of who you are versus some other spaces that are very white or feel uninviting to working-class folks … We lose pieces of queer Latinx history when these places shut down.”

Don Godoy, who ran a weekly night at Jalisco called Kafe Con Leche, said that his dancers have relied on online events and OnlyFans to supplement their income, but that they were anxious to get back to in-person performances.

“We had customers who came every week for three years,” he said. “For it to stop all the sudden was challenging, especially mentally.”


‘These are our homes’: LA gay bars fight to stay afloat after year of shutdown

Four iconic Los Angeles gay bars, touting a combined history of 130 years, have permanently closed during the pandemic and many more have warned that they are on the brink of shutdown.

Even as nightlife gradually returns, some of the remaining queer bars across southern California have resorted to crowdfunding in a last-ditch effort to stay afloat, warning that Covid-19 may bring about the end of historic institutions that have weathered the Aids crisis and multiple economic downturns.

The pandemic has permanently closed more than 100,000 bars and restaurants across the United States but in LA, which has been under some form of lockdown restrictions since last March, the impact on nightclubs has been particularly brutal.

Four LGBTQ+ bars shuttered in West Hollywood last year, including Rage, a legendary nightclub that closed after 37 years, and Gold Coast, a 39-year-old dive bar down the street on Santa Monica boulevard. Then in January, as LA become one of the worst Covid hotspots in the nation, Oil Can Harry’s, a beloved gay country bar in Studio City, said it was closing for good after half a century of hosting queer line dancing.

“It feels like a death,” said Rick Dominguez, a DJ who hosted disco and country nights at Oil Can Harry’s for 27 years. “We are losing a lot more than just our place to dance. It was a home for us for decades. So many people met and fell in love at Oil Can.”

Rick Dominguez, back row, second from left, was part of the dance group LA Wranglers that performed at Oil Can Harry’s in 2012. The bar closed permanently in January. Photograph: Courtesy Rick Dominguez

Oil Can still had a siren on site that staff used in the 60s to warn customers that police were coming and allowed them to quickly switch to partners of the opposite gender, said Dominguez: “New generations aren’t going to get to know this space.”

Before Covid, gay bars were already disappearing in LA and other US cities due to rising rents and gentrification, and as online queer dating and hookup apps grew in popularity. The venues most at risk of closing are often independently owned and cater to more underrepresented groups, including Black and Latino communities, trans and gender-nonconforming crowds and working-class neighborhoods, research has shown.

Many of the LA bars that are struggling are located outside of the West Hollywood scene, which is known for catering to white gay male crowds and is more touristy, with owners turning to GoFundMe to make it through the crisis.

“These places were our safe havens, so to watch them be the first to go is really fucked up,” said Meatball, an LA drag queen who performed at Precinct, a downtown club that is raising funds to stay open. “I can’t imagine a world without Precinct. There are people who you only see there, but they are your close friends.”

Precinct has long had an unpretentious vibe that made it more comfortable than many gay bars, Meatball said: “It’s dingy, it smells like old alcohol when you walk in, and there’s something so comforting about this dark, seedy place – gay people love that stuff.”

New Jalisco, also in downtown, is one of the longest-running Latino gay bars in the region, run by an immigrant couple who transformed it into an LGBTQ+ venue in the 1990s. Behind on a year’s worth of rent, the bar has also started raising funds.

“I can’t imagine a world without Precinct,” said Meatball, a drag queen who performed at the club. “These places were our safe havens.” Photograph: Jeremy Lucido

“It feels like you’re at a family party,” said Eddy Francisco Alvarez Jr, a Chicana and Chicano studies professor at Cal State Fullerton. Alvarez noted that bars like New Jalisco are much more welcoming to undocumented patrons and trans Latinas than West Hollywood establishments. “You can show up in the multiplicity of who you are versus some other spaces that are very white or feel uninviting to working-class folks … We lose pieces of queer Latinx history when these places shut down.”

Don Godoy, who ran a weekly night at Jalisco called Kafe Con Leche, said that his dancers have relied on online events and OnlyFans to supplement their income, but that they were anxious to get back to in-person performances.

“We had customers who came every week for three years,” he said. “For it to stop all the sudden was challenging, especially mentally.”


‘These are our homes’: LA gay bars fight to stay afloat after year of shutdown

Four iconic Los Angeles gay bars, touting a combined history of 130 years, have permanently closed during the pandemic and many more have warned that they are on the brink of shutdown.

Even as nightlife gradually returns, some of the remaining queer bars across southern California have resorted to crowdfunding in a last-ditch effort to stay afloat, warning that Covid-19 may bring about the end of historic institutions that have weathered the Aids crisis and multiple economic downturns.

The pandemic has permanently closed more than 100,000 bars and restaurants across the United States but in LA, which has been under some form of lockdown restrictions since last March, the impact on nightclubs has been particularly brutal.

Four LGBTQ+ bars shuttered in West Hollywood last year, including Rage, a legendary nightclub that closed after 37 years, and Gold Coast, a 39-year-old dive bar down the street on Santa Monica boulevard. Then in January, as LA become one of the worst Covid hotspots in the nation, Oil Can Harry’s, a beloved gay country bar in Studio City, said it was closing for good after half a century of hosting queer line dancing.

“It feels like a death,” said Rick Dominguez, a DJ who hosted disco and country nights at Oil Can Harry’s for 27 years. “We are losing a lot more than just our place to dance. It was a home for us for decades. So many people met and fell in love at Oil Can.”

Rick Dominguez, back row, second from left, was part of the dance group LA Wranglers that performed at Oil Can Harry’s in 2012. The bar closed permanently in January. Photograph: Courtesy Rick Dominguez

Oil Can still had a siren on site that staff used in the 60s to warn customers that police were coming and allowed them to quickly switch to partners of the opposite gender, said Dominguez: “New generations aren’t going to get to know this space.”

Before Covid, gay bars were already disappearing in LA and other US cities due to rising rents and gentrification, and as online queer dating and hookup apps grew in popularity. The venues most at risk of closing are often independently owned and cater to more underrepresented groups, including Black and Latino communities, trans and gender-nonconforming crowds and working-class neighborhoods, research has shown.

Many of the LA bars that are struggling are located outside of the West Hollywood scene, which is known for catering to white gay male crowds and is more touristy, with owners turning to GoFundMe to make it through the crisis.

“These places were our safe havens, so to watch them be the first to go is really fucked up,” said Meatball, an LA drag queen who performed at Precinct, a downtown club that is raising funds to stay open. “I can’t imagine a world without Precinct. There are people who you only see there, but they are your close friends.”

Precinct has long had an unpretentious vibe that made it more comfortable than many gay bars, Meatball said: “It’s dingy, it smells like old alcohol when you walk in, and there’s something so comforting about this dark, seedy place – gay people love that stuff.”

New Jalisco, also in downtown, is one of the longest-running Latino gay bars in the region, run by an immigrant couple who transformed it into an LGBTQ+ venue in the 1990s. Behind on a year’s worth of rent, the bar has also started raising funds.

“I can’t imagine a world without Precinct,” said Meatball, a drag queen who performed at the club. “These places were our safe havens.” Photograph: Jeremy Lucido

“It feels like you’re at a family party,” said Eddy Francisco Alvarez Jr, a Chicana and Chicano studies professor at Cal State Fullerton. Alvarez noted that bars like New Jalisco are much more welcoming to undocumented patrons and trans Latinas than West Hollywood establishments. “You can show up in the multiplicity of who you are versus some other spaces that are very white or feel uninviting to working-class folks … We lose pieces of queer Latinx history when these places shut down.”

Don Godoy, who ran a weekly night at Jalisco called Kafe Con Leche, said that his dancers have relied on online events and OnlyFans to supplement their income, but that they were anxious to get back to in-person performances.

“We had customers who came every week for three years,” he said. “For it to stop all the sudden was challenging, especially mentally.”


‘These are our homes’: LA gay bars fight to stay afloat after year of shutdown

Four iconic Los Angeles gay bars, touting a combined history of 130 years, have permanently closed during the pandemic and many more have warned that they are on the brink of shutdown.

Even as nightlife gradually returns, some of the remaining queer bars across southern California have resorted to crowdfunding in a last-ditch effort to stay afloat, warning that Covid-19 may bring about the end of historic institutions that have weathered the Aids crisis and multiple economic downturns.

The pandemic has permanently closed more than 100,000 bars and restaurants across the United States but in LA, which has been under some form of lockdown restrictions since last March, the impact on nightclubs has been particularly brutal.

Four LGBTQ+ bars shuttered in West Hollywood last year, including Rage, a legendary nightclub that closed after 37 years, and Gold Coast, a 39-year-old dive bar down the street on Santa Monica boulevard. Then in January, as LA become one of the worst Covid hotspots in the nation, Oil Can Harry’s, a beloved gay country bar in Studio City, said it was closing for good after half a century of hosting queer line dancing.

“It feels like a death,” said Rick Dominguez, a DJ who hosted disco and country nights at Oil Can Harry’s for 27 years. “We are losing a lot more than just our place to dance. It was a home for us for decades. So many people met and fell in love at Oil Can.”

Rick Dominguez, back row, second from left, was part of the dance group LA Wranglers that performed at Oil Can Harry’s in 2012. The bar closed permanently in January. Photograph: Courtesy Rick Dominguez

Oil Can still had a siren on site that staff used in the 60s to warn customers that police were coming and allowed them to quickly switch to partners of the opposite gender, said Dominguez: “New generations aren’t going to get to know this space.”

Before Covid, gay bars were already disappearing in LA and other US cities due to rising rents and gentrification, and as online queer dating and hookup apps grew in popularity. The venues most at risk of closing are often independently owned and cater to more underrepresented groups, including Black and Latino communities, trans and gender-nonconforming crowds and working-class neighborhoods, research has shown.

Many of the LA bars that are struggling are located outside of the West Hollywood scene, which is known for catering to white gay male crowds and is more touristy, with owners turning to GoFundMe to make it through the crisis.

“These places were our safe havens, so to watch them be the first to go is really fucked up,” said Meatball, an LA drag queen who performed at Precinct, a downtown club that is raising funds to stay open. “I can’t imagine a world without Precinct. There are people who you only see there, but they are your close friends.”

Precinct has long had an unpretentious vibe that made it more comfortable than many gay bars, Meatball said: “It’s dingy, it smells like old alcohol when you walk in, and there’s something so comforting about this dark, seedy place – gay people love that stuff.”

New Jalisco, also in downtown, is one of the longest-running Latino gay bars in the region, run by an immigrant couple who transformed it into an LGBTQ+ venue in the 1990s. Behind on a year’s worth of rent, the bar has also started raising funds.

“I can’t imagine a world without Precinct,” said Meatball, a drag queen who performed at the club. “These places were our safe havens.” Photograph: Jeremy Lucido

“It feels like you’re at a family party,” said Eddy Francisco Alvarez Jr, a Chicana and Chicano studies professor at Cal State Fullerton. Alvarez noted that bars like New Jalisco are much more welcoming to undocumented patrons and trans Latinas than West Hollywood establishments. “You can show up in the multiplicity of who you are versus some other spaces that are very white or feel uninviting to working-class folks … We lose pieces of queer Latinx history when these places shut down.”

Don Godoy, who ran a weekly night at Jalisco called Kafe Con Leche, said that his dancers have relied on online events and OnlyFans to supplement their income, but that they were anxious to get back to in-person performances.

“We had customers who came every week for three years,” he said. “For it to stop all the sudden was challenging, especially mentally.”


‘These are our homes’: LA gay bars fight to stay afloat after year of shutdown

Four iconic Los Angeles gay bars, touting a combined history of 130 years, have permanently closed during the pandemic and many more have warned that they are on the brink of shutdown.

Even as nightlife gradually returns, some of the remaining queer bars across southern California have resorted to crowdfunding in a last-ditch effort to stay afloat, warning that Covid-19 may bring about the end of historic institutions that have weathered the Aids crisis and multiple economic downturns.

The pandemic has permanently closed more than 100,000 bars and restaurants across the United States but in LA, which has been under some form of lockdown restrictions since last March, the impact on nightclubs has been particularly brutal.

Four LGBTQ+ bars shuttered in West Hollywood last year, including Rage, a legendary nightclub that closed after 37 years, and Gold Coast, a 39-year-old dive bar down the street on Santa Monica boulevard. Then in January, as LA become one of the worst Covid hotspots in the nation, Oil Can Harry’s, a beloved gay country bar in Studio City, said it was closing for good after half a century of hosting queer line dancing.

“It feels like a death,” said Rick Dominguez, a DJ who hosted disco and country nights at Oil Can Harry’s for 27 years. “We are losing a lot more than just our place to dance. It was a home for us for decades. So many people met and fell in love at Oil Can.”

Rick Dominguez, back row, second from left, was part of the dance group LA Wranglers that performed at Oil Can Harry’s in 2012. The bar closed permanently in January. Photograph: Courtesy Rick Dominguez

Oil Can still had a siren on site that staff used in the 60s to warn customers that police were coming and allowed them to quickly switch to partners of the opposite gender, said Dominguez: “New generations aren’t going to get to know this space.”

Before Covid, gay bars were already disappearing in LA and other US cities due to rising rents and gentrification, and as online queer dating and hookup apps grew in popularity. The venues most at risk of closing are often independently owned and cater to more underrepresented groups, including Black and Latino communities, trans and gender-nonconforming crowds and working-class neighborhoods, research has shown.

Many of the LA bars that are struggling are located outside of the West Hollywood scene, which is known for catering to white gay male crowds and is more touristy, with owners turning to GoFundMe to make it through the crisis.

“These places were our safe havens, so to watch them be the first to go is really fucked up,” said Meatball, an LA drag queen who performed at Precinct, a downtown club that is raising funds to stay open. “I can’t imagine a world without Precinct. There are people who you only see there, but they are your close friends.”

Precinct has long had an unpretentious vibe that made it more comfortable than many gay bars, Meatball said: “It’s dingy, it smells like old alcohol when you walk in, and there’s something so comforting about this dark, seedy place – gay people love that stuff.”

New Jalisco, also in downtown, is one of the longest-running Latino gay bars in the region, run by an immigrant couple who transformed it into an LGBTQ+ venue in the 1990s. Behind on a year’s worth of rent, the bar has also started raising funds.

“I can’t imagine a world without Precinct,” said Meatball, a drag queen who performed at the club. “These places were our safe havens.” Photograph: Jeremy Lucido

“It feels like you’re at a family party,” said Eddy Francisco Alvarez Jr, a Chicana and Chicano studies professor at Cal State Fullerton. Alvarez noted that bars like New Jalisco are much more welcoming to undocumented patrons and trans Latinas than West Hollywood establishments. “You can show up in the multiplicity of who you are versus some other spaces that are very white or feel uninviting to working-class folks … We lose pieces of queer Latinx history when these places shut down.”

Don Godoy, who ran a weekly night at Jalisco called Kafe Con Leche, said that his dancers have relied on online events and OnlyFans to supplement their income, but that they were anxious to get back to in-person performances.

“We had customers who came every week for three years,” he said. “For it to stop all the sudden was challenging, especially mentally.”


‘These are our homes’: LA gay bars fight to stay afloat after year of shutdown

Four iconic Los Angeles gay bars, touting a combined history of 130 years, have permanently closed during the pandemic and many more have warned that they are on the brink of shutdown.

Even as nightlife gradually returns, some of the remaining queer bars across southern California have resorted to crowdfunding in a last-ditch effort to stay afloat, warning that Covid-19 may bring about the end of historic institutions that have weathered the Aids crisis and multiple economic downturns.

The pandemic has permanently closed more than 100,000 bars and restaurants across the United States but in LA, which has been under some form of lockdown restrictions since last March, the impact on nightclubs has been particularly brutal.

Four LGBTQ+ bars shuttered in West Hollywood last year, including Rage, a legendary nightclub that closed after 37 years, and Gold Coast, a 39-year-old dive bar down the street on Santa Monica boulevard. Then in January, as LA become one of the worst Covid hotspots in the nation, Oil Can Harry’s, a beloved gay country bar in Studio City, said it was closing for good after half a century of hosting queer line dancing.

“It feels like a death,” said Rick Dominguez, a DJ who hosted disco and country nights at Oil Can Harry’s for 27 years. “We are losing a lot more than just our place to dance. It was a home for us for decades. So many people met and fell in love at Oil Can.”

Rick Dominguez, back row, second from left, was part of the dance group LA Wranglers that performed at Oil Can Harry’s in 2012. The bar closed permanently in January. Photograph: Courtesy Rick Dominguez

Oil Can still had a siren on site that staff used in the 60s to warn customers that police were coming and allowed them to quickly switch to partners of the opposite gender, said Dominguez: “New generations aren’t going to get to know this space.”

Before Covid, gay bars were already disappearing in LA and other US cities due to rising rents and gentrification, and as online queer dating and hookup apps grew in popularity. The venues most at risk of closing are often independently owned and cater to more underrepresented groups, including Black and Latino communities, trans and gender-nonconforming crowds and working-class neighborhoods, research has shown.

Many of the LA bars that are struggling are located outside of the West Hollywood scene, which is known for catering to white gay male crowds and is more touristy, with owners turning to GoFundMe to make it through the crisis.

“These places were our safe havens, so to watch them be the first to go is really fucked up,” said Meatball, an LA drag queen who performed at Precinct, a downtown club that is raising funds to stay open. “I can’t imagine a world without Precinct. There are people who you only see there, but they are your close friends.”

Precinct has long had an unpretentious vibe that made it more comfortable than many gay bars, Meatball said: “It’s dingy, it smells like old alcohol when you walk in, and there’s something so comforting about this dark, seedy place – gay people love that stuff.”

New Jalisco, also in downtown, is one of the longest-running Latino gay bars in the region, run by an immigrant couple who transformed it into an LGBTQ+ venue in the 1990s. Behind on a year’s worth of rent, the bar has also started raising funds.

“I can’t imagine a world without Precinct,” said Meatball, a drag queen who performed at the club. “These places were our safe havens.” Photograph: Jeremy Lucido

“It feels like you’re at a family party,” said Eddy Francisco Alvarez Jr, a Chicana and Chicano studies professor at Cal State Fullerton. Alvarez noted that bars like New Jalisco are much more welcoming to undocumented patrons and trans Latinas than West Hollywood establishments. “You can show up in the multiplicity of who you are versus some other spaces that are very white or feel uninviting to working-class folks … We lose pieces of queer Latinx history when these places shut down.”

Don Godoy, who ran a weekly night at Jalisco called Kafe Con Leche, said that his dancers have relied on online events and OnlyFans to supplement their income, but that they were anxious to get back to in-person performances.

“We had customers who came every week for three years,” he said. “For it to stop all the sudden was challenging, especially mentally.”


‘These are our homes’: LA gay bars fight to stay afloat after year of shutdown

Four iconic Los Angeles gay bars, touting a combined history of 130 years, have permanently closed during the pandemic and many more have warned that they are on the brink of shutdown.

Even as nightlife gradually returns, some of the remaining queer bars across southern California have resorted to crowdfunding in a last-ditch effort to stay afloat, warning that Covid-19 may bring about the end of historic institutions that have weathered the Aids crisis and multiple economic downturns.

The pandemic has permanently closed more than 100,000 bars and restaurants across the United States but in LA, which has been under some form of lockdown restrictions since last March, the impact on nightclubs has been particularly brutal.

Four LGBTQ+ bars shuttered in West Hollywood last year, including Rage, a legendary nightclub that closed after 37 years, and Gold Coast, a 39-year-old dive bar down the street on Santa Monica boulevard. Then in January, as LA become one of the worst Covid hotspots in the nation, Oil Can Harry’s, a beloved gay country bar in Studio City, said it was closing for good after half a century of hosting queer line dancing.

“It feels like a death,” said Rick Dominguez, a DJ who hosted disco and country nights at Oil Can Harry’s for 27 years. “We are losing a lot more than just our place to dance. It was a home for us for decades. So many people met and fell in love at Oil Can.”

Rick Dominguez, back row, second from left, was part of the dance group LA Wranglers that performed at Oil Can Harry’s in 2012. The bar closed permanently in January. Photograph: Courtesy Rick Dominguez

Oil Can still had a siren on site that staff used in the 60s to warn customers that police were coming and allowed them to quickly switch to partners of the opposite gender, said Dominguez: “New generations aren’t going to get to know this space.”

Before Covid, gay bars were already disappearing in LA and other US cities due to rising rents and gentrification, and as online queer dating and hookup apps grew in popularity. The venues most at risk of closing are often independently owned and cater to more underrepresented groups, including Black and Latino communities, trans and gender-nonconforming crowds and working-class neighborhoods, research has shown.

Many of the LA bars that are struggling are located outside of the West Hollywood scene, which is known for catering to white gay male crowds and is more touristy, with owners turning to GoFundMe to make it through the crisis.

“These places were our safe havens, so to watch them be the first to go is really fucked up,” said Meatball, an LA drag queen who performed at Precinct, a downtown club that is raising funds to stay open. “I can’t imagine a world without Precinct. There are people who you only see there, but they are your close friends.”

Precinct has long had an unpretentious vibe that made it more comfortable than many gay bars, Meatball said: “It’s dingy, it smells like old alcohol when you walk in, and there’s something so comforting about this dark, seedy place – gay people love that stuff.”

New Jalisco, also in downtown, is one of the longest-running Latino gay bars in the region, run by an immigrant couple who transformed it into an LGBTQ+ venue in the 1990s. Behind on a year’s worth of rent, the bar has also started raising funds.

“I can’t imagine a world without Precinct,” said Meatball, a drag queen who performed at the club. “These places were our safe havens.” Photograph: Jeremy Lucido

“It feels like you’re at a family party,” said Eddy Francisco Alvarez Jr, a Chicana and Chicano studies professor at Cal State Fullerton. Alvarez noted that bars like New Jalisco are much more welcoming to undocumented patrons and trans Latinas than West Hollywood establishments. “You can show up in the multiplicity of who you are versus some other spaces that are very white or feel uninviting to working-class folks … We lose pieces of queer Latinx history when these places shut down.”

Don Godoy, who ran a weekly night at Jalisco called Kafe Con Leche, said that his dancers have relied on online events and OnlyFans to supplement their income, but that they were anxious to get back to in-person performances.

“We had customers who came every week for three years,” he said. “For it to stop all the sudden was challenging, especially mentally.”


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