MAINE: Portland’s Only Gay Bar To Close [VIDEO]

Portland’s NBC affiliate reports:

The only gay nightclub in Portland is closing. The owner calls it a bittersweet sign of the times. “We don’t have the crowd we used to,” said Joshua Moody, who has owned Styxx for 12 years.

It’s in line with a nationwide trend: as more members of the gay community branch out and feel welcomed and accepted in all kinds of bars and clubs, the traditional places lose business. “We never really got the younger gay generation that needs the gay club as much as the older one did,” said Moody.

Styxx will close in January after decades in downtown Portland. Longtime gay bars in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles have been closing. Burlington, Vermont, hasn’t had a gay bar since 2006, when Pearl’s closed. “I think there are other ways people are finding community,” said Matt Moonen, executive director of Equality Maine.

When I visited Portland in 2006, I think they had three gay bars.

  • Palmer

    Is this a good thing, or a bad thing?

    • Tulle Christensen

      Yes

  • JoeMyGod

    The website for Blackstones, which I quite enjoyed, is still active: http://www.blackstones.com/

  • JellyDonut

    I remember going to my first gay bar back in the day. It was a right of passage. It is good that LGBT is now intertwined with mainstream society, but a little sad that these bits from our history are going away.

    • MarkG

      I came out in Hartford CT in the 80’s .. the bars open and closed so fast it was hard to keep track.. what week? what’s bar? The only long term was the C’est that moved but is still around.

      • BearEyes

        I miss The Warehouse,

    • Guest

      Oh well, we’ll always have New Orleans.

    • KCMC

      Rites of passage changing like everything else when younger bolder generations are able to be aware and relatively more comfortable coming out much younger than how it was back in the day for some of us oldsters.

    • Rex

      Back in the day going to a gay bar was the only way to meet other gay people. Those days are over. I have very vivid memories of my first time in a gay bar (small neighbor bar) and first time in a larger dance club/bar. Very pivotal in my coming out experience. Young guys today never experience what some of us eldergays did. Not necessarily a bad thing.

      • jsmukg

        I’m afraid it is very necessarily a bad thing. Nothing is replacing the sense of community which bars, flawed as they are, once gave. HRC (*not* the President-to-be, lol) is a disgusting year-round White Party for spoiled gay yuppies who think they constitute the ‘A-list’….and what other organized, large-scale political outlets do GLBTs have any more? Even gay marriage is precarious, and federal job/housing protection, the goal we should have poured every resource into, is probably decades away because bourgeois respectability somehow became The Most Important Thing to gays. Nothing about cheesy and utterly phony (talk about AOL inches….the lies have reached an alltime high with these apps) online apps like Growlr and Scruff is comparable to actual physical meetings, contact, and interaction. The personal is political.

        • Rex

          I’ll just make one point. Not every gay man or woman lives in an area where a gay bar or any other gay social event is easy to get to. Some of us live in rural communities where the nearest gay bar is many miles away. At least with gay social apps guys can connect in ways that were not possible before. I can agree that the sense of community can be lost, but some aren’t a part of the community because of limitations and locations. It’s not a perfect world, but it’s something. Even sites like Joe.My.God. allow us to connect and, I for one, really rely on that. I can count on one hand the number of gay men I’ve met in person over the last few months, but social media has allowed us to connect in ways we never could have even a few years ago.

          • Goodboy

            I used to live in a small rural area. I believed I was the only gay boy in that town. Well, come this year when I went home and turned on the Grindr it lit up like Christmas in times Square. Not only was I not alone but I could probably spit and hit someone gay. God that knowledge sure would’ve changed my young life in a major way if I had that technology.

            All we had was negativity back then so of coarse we sought refuge in the bars. They’re just not relevant like that anymore. Technology and society has replaced the need for them.

        • Cousin Bleh

          I’ve actually found a big community outside the bar scene. Every city I’ve lived in has a thriving GLBT sports scene that includes everything from kickball to bowling… most of my closest friends are people I’ve met at FrontRunners, which has groups in cities big and small. There are also GLBT executive networks, GLBT gamers and cosplayers, and numerous other organizations that exist outside the bar scene. You just have to be willing to participate.

          • jsmukg

            It has nothing to do with ‘being willing to participate,’ and your ugly attempt at condescension there speaks to your own insecurity and doubt about your ‘thriving ‘ and ‘numerous’ other communities.

          • Cousin Bleh

            Oh, I see. You don’t feel a sense of community because you have a shitty attitude and an even shittier personality.

          • jsmukg

            Wow. Civility and intelligent adult discourse are completely beyond you. If your friendly, open, accepting attitude is typical of the ‘communities’ you espouse, no wonder you are so defensive and combative–and your attempts at insult so pitifully inadequate.

          • Cousin Bleh

            You’ve picked fights with at least 4 people in this thread alone. If you want civility and adult discourse, maybe open with that?

          • jsmukg

            ‘Picked fights?’ Nope. It is you who responded to *my* general post (addressing and insulting no one particular) with a specific and personal insult. In fact, my posts on this thread were all general with one exception. Try to stick to facts, if you can, since civility and adult, intelligent discourse are so totally out of reach for you. It’s pitiable that you construe the voicing of any opinion which does not match your own as ‘picking fights,’ but of course it’s just dreadfully threatening to hear anyone say that the present is anything less than the zenith of human civilization, isn’t it?

            You are not only fatuous and ignorant, you’re dull…and you’re blocked.

          • Cousin Bleh

            LOL! And the Larry Kramer Memorial Award for Utterly Tone Deaf Curmudgeon goes to….

          • jsmukg

            Whoops. Block wasn’t fast enough–your drivel still came through.
            And the Justin Bieber Memorial Award for Utterly Imbecilic Twatwaffle goes to…….COUSIN BLEH!
            Bye now.

          • Cousin Bleh

            Posts 6 comments complaining that people don’t know how to communicate anymore.

            Immediately “blocks” anyone who disputes him.

            Pure. Gold.

        • SoCalGal20

          In some areas gay kids have GSAs at their schools, the colleges have LGBT social groups, there are LGBT centers that provide places for people to meet. Do those places replace what made gay bars so special and significant? No, they don’t, but there are other options now. Who would have thought that high schools would official Gay-Straight alliances? Also, I don’t know if gay Millenials are like their straight counterparts but apparently as a group they’re having less sex and I don’t think they go to bars as much.

          I’d also throw in different sorts of social groups as other ways for people to meet. Meetup.com has all kinds of listings for lgbt and lgbt-friendly social groups all over the country – movie groups, foodie groups, general social groups that organize activities like going to hiking or to museums and so on, over-40 groups, under-40 groups, etc. I belong to several lesbian social groups.

          In addition, organizations like the Democratic party may have LGBT-specific clubs. For example, San Diego County has the Democrats for Equality club which is affiliated with the county Democratic Party but is its own entity.

          • jsmukg

            The ‘other options’ do not address or speak to the larger sense of community to which I referred, nor do they address the problem of political viability and the extremely real problem of housing and job discrimination nationwide.

        • Luddite

          LOL at AOL inches. Damn, I forgot about that and the fake inches.

      • Jerry

        I’m not sure it’s possible, nor would I recommend, going to your first gay bar at age 15 (1979) like I did. I grew up rather too quickly and was quite popular with the middle-aged men. That said, I’m not sure how I would have survived the 1980’s without the gay bars. They were safe havens (mostly) from the rest of the culture at the time.

      • Cipher

        For those of us who liked the music, the gay bar was also the place to hear it through giant speakers with awesome lights.

  • bkmn

    Times are a’changing. I hope the employees don’t have a hard time finding new jobs.

    • no competent server ever has a hard time finding a jerb, in any economic conditions. i’ve worked in places from strip bars to high end fancy table cloth multiple fork situations. the money is mostly the same.

      these days, no one cares, even at the VFW-approved low fare old guy places. if you’re queer and pour a stiff drink, you’re in. it’s up to you, as a server, if you want to work in a corporate place, an indie place, a family place, a new place that may not last, open your own… all of them have risks. but the truth is: two things will never fail to make some people money, and maybe that can be you. one is feeding people. the other is bombing them dead. i chose the former, as a nice way to put myself thru schools.

      but as an older person, i have to say, and i’ve been looking. i know for a fact that at my age and condition, serving is Right Out. it’s like those bills they pass and say, “we’ve fixed the economy! jobs for all who want them! in construction.”

      i am waaaay not able to do even the “stop/go” sign-holders construction job, anymore. let alone be on my feet, running like an amped up ferret, serving drinks for twice the pay of my peers. i could still work a bar, but i’d pretty much have to own it, so that i could hire similarly good bartenders for 3/4 of each shift, the rest being the only times i could actually work. while sitting on a chair.

      service and money? only expect that to go to the young, or very carefully planning older servers who end up at a super high end place, where the way they talk about booze and food with erudition is what makes the stupid rich people fall for that crap. where people pay $1,256 for a plate of mashed potatoes, and tip on the bill accordingly.

      if you are older, it’s damn hard to run your ass off, back and forth in a hot kitchen window to bring them a glorified burger for tips off that $30/plate price. you need good feet, lungs and sight to do that right. or you’ll get fired, and replaced by Bunny, the grrl i used to be, with the high, tight ass that looked nice even in a faux “black tie” costume for servers.

      sorry, but like construction, food/drink service that is a living wage job? hard to find, and rarer to find the older person who can still do it.

  • safari

    My Michigan town used to have three gay male bars and a couple lesbian bars. We’re now down to a gay dance bar and a regular gay bar.

    • Jack Frost

      Where in Michigan? Im also from there, suburb of Detroit. I know some have closed but Menjo’s on W McNichols turned into a “Gay Entertainment Complex” It didnt close it ate up the block! lol

      • WNY

        Does Backstreet still exist?

        • Jack Frost

          OMG. I haven’t thought of that bar in forever! That was the first gay bar I went to with a fake ID. lol!

        • Jack Frost

          Just looked it up and cant tell. Some say it’s closed but nothing official. I miss that place!

      • true story: my white dad and black mom were not welcomed anywhere, back when they were dating. dad wanted to impress mom on the second date, so he asked a friend from his law school class, where to go. dad was clueless, and thought “menjos” sounded like a fancee restaurant. so he picks her up, they drive over to that part of town, which was edgy even back then, and they promenade in, as pretty str8 couples do.

        and were promptly seated (i guess they did the table thing back then) next to the partners of the drag performers who were on that night. mom said dad was totally embarrassed, but that she thought it was a good time. and that she had to spend a few more dates taking him to places which ‘reaffirmed his masculinity.’ ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • Jack Frost

          Man to see Menjo’s back then. That area still isn’t all that built up and is definitely still edgy. Great story.

      • fuzzybits

        Went to Rand R Saloon once. Had fun but had to wave all the gnats out of my face in the men’s room.

  • Chris Harami

    Thank God I live in Palm Springs….we more than enough gay bars to go around…
    We buck the trend here!
    Portland gays need to vaca here

    • Phaius

      I actually intend to move to PS one day because I’m not keen on living in a metropolis, but I want a city that has an actual gay community and that’s not happening where I’m living right now.

      • EweTaw

        If you do move to PS, be sure you budget for exorbitant electricity bills to keep the AC running during half the year. It ain’t cheap.

        • Chris Harami

          naw you get used to it…make sure you buy a house with a pool..I only run my AC 3.5 months and not everyday
          of course I grew up in the heat of inland Northern California…yes it gets hot there in the summer…so whats 10-15 more degrees here…plus it’s a DRY heat! LOL

          • pj

            thats what they said about tucson….and pools are expensive here

          • EweTaw

            A dear friend and old lover lives in PS. I visit him as often as I can. He insists his life is one continuous journey trying to enjoy OPAC (other people’s air conditioning). ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Chucktech

            106 and dry is actually tolerable. But 117 is a whole other story. Starting now until late May, Palm Springs is lovely. But I just hated the summer death-heat, coupled with the town shutting down to a skeleton staff and everything closed.

        • Phaius

          I acclimate pretty well. I’m the guy wearing jeans, a t-shirt and a long sleeved sport shirt unbuttoned in 104 degree weather.

        • Chucktech

          When we lived in Palm Springs we used our evaporative cooler a lot. As long as the dew point was below 50, which was almost always, it worked really well.

          • EweTaw

            My main problem with evaporator coolers is that they promote mold.

          • Chucktech

            We really didn’t have that problem. PS is so dry it’s hard for mold to catch a foothold.

  • Phaius

    The town I grew up in lost its gay bar years ago, but a non-gay bar has LGBT nights on Fridays every so often. It’s really not the same thing though IMO, but that town is pretty strongly against anything that isn’t family friendly (It’s a tourist trap that sucks the metaphorical dick of being all about families), so they didn’t make it easy to run the gay bar let alone run ANY bar.

  • Do Something Nice

    FYI, the Lone Star in San Francisco received a ‘legacy business’ status and was able to secure a long-term lease. And then the owners sold it to two long-time bartenders there.

    http://sfist.com/2016/10/17/somas_lone_star_saloon_being_sold_t.php

  • Chris Harami

    Boys get off your phones and go out and meet people in person!
    That will save the bars!

    • Tempus Fuggit

      More like “Boys, get off your phones and go out and deal with the bus/subway or find a place to park for less than $25, and stand in line to get into a place where you can buy beer at $9/ea, much of which will get spilled by others not watching where they’re going, and eventually give up trying to have a shouted conversation over the thumping music! That will save the bars!”

      Overwhelmingly the most common reason why we don’t do things the way we used to is because the new way is better.

      • Randy Ellicott

        Wow you had some bad experience at gay bars? I always found gay bars to be relatively cheaper, and definitely better drink value (compare a cran and vodka at a gay bar and a straight bar). Not to mention most of them were in worse neighborhoods which always had lots of parking! I guess this may not be true of a lot of the major metro areas like NYC, but then no bar is really affordable in NYC. (i am completely ignoring the complaining about loud music and spilled drinks as those complaints are kind of like complaining about the summer being hot and the winter being cold….)

        • Bj Lincoln

          Loud music and spilled drinks are exactly why I hate going to gay bars when the night crowd started. We would go early to play what we wanted on the jukebox and play pool without ass holes in the road. I don’t go to straight bars as a rule. I could ‘pass’ but as a female it presents a new set of problems. I have found going to dinner is not as attention drawing as it had once been. It is very nice to live in a place where no one gives a shit if I’m gay.

          • Randy Ellicott

            Well yeah, that’s kinda my point. I do miss the days years ago in Albuquerque when there were 5 -7 LGBT bars each with a different core crowd and each with a different party night… always able to find the one that fit the mood.

        • Jerry

          Loud music and spilled drinks only meant that the party was good, and a packed house.

      • Miji

        Dude! We’re not even on your lawn. ; P

      • former THR

        But that experience – looking for parking for $25, paying high price for beer, etc – is the same wherever you go out for an evening in an urban center, whether its to a straight bar, gay bar, theater or ball game.

        • Tempus Fuggit

          Wait a momentโ€ฆby George, you’re right!

      • jsmukg

        Oh? Rethug fascism, obstructionism, and nominations of creatures like dRUMPf are better? The death of bookstores and libraries is better? Moronic drones at beautiful natural places who can’t look up from their phones because they might get a TWEET are better?
        More like ‘boys, just give up on any actual contact, live in the lying fantasy world of hookup apps, and learn to jack off for your sexual satisfaction because you certainly won’t be getting it from Facebook, Grindr, or Scruff.’ LOL!

        • Tempus Fuggit

          ยปchuckleยซ Uh, that’s quite a fine li’l collection of straw men you’ve got there.

          • jsmukg

            {horselaugh} Uh, that’s quite a fine li’l collection of unfounded and illogical generalizations, asinine assumptions, and delusions you’ve got there.

        • Frostbite

          Better? Being LGBT won’t even be an option under dRUMPf when his religious “advisers” overturn Roe v. Wade, Lawrence v. Texas, and the 19th Amendment. Better start making room in your closet, you’ll have to get back into it deep.

        • Cipher

          Three dimensional eye candy is better than someone’s (possibly, likely fake) photo.

      • Jeffrey

        Yes, parking and blah blah but there is no app that simulates face to face chemistry. I can’t tell you how many men I have met in my time who were sexy AF in person but didn’t have traditionally great faces or bodies. Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting Liev Schreiber in person after a performance of Les Liaisons Dangereuses. He’s not traditionally handsome but I could eat him for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

        • Mike__in_Houston

          Liev Schreiber. Mmmm. What a hunk…

          https://www.google.com/search?q=liev+schreiber&biw=1920&bih=930&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&sqi=2&ved=0ahUKEwjQhoKAzPbPAhUH4YMKHcZLCZEQiR4IhwE#imgrc=9OC1Sg_GYQ0uYM%3A

          And the traditionally handsome guys for the most part don’t do anything for me (there are exceptions, like Bradley Cooper, at least the way he looks in American Sniper, a film I’m not otherwise really interested in seeing, but the stills of Mr. Cooper are hot). Mr. Schreiber is much more my type.

          • Jeffrey

            Yes, even hotter in person. PS he and the Fab Janet McTeer were amazing in the play.

        • Lena

          WOOF!

        • AaronSF

          Liev Schreiber, not traditionally handsome.

          Let’s see. White? check. Tall? check. Symetrical features? check. Masculine features and mannerism? check. Just scruffy enough? check. In shape? check.

          Yeah, it’s such a stretch from the traditional aesthetic, I can’t understand how you found him attractive in person. 0.0

          • Jeffrey

            Your comment is dumb.

          • AaronSF

            Excellent feedback.

            You said Schreiber is not traditionally handsome, but he checks like every box of traditional handsomeness.

            I’d be terrified to see what you think ugly looks like.

        • Dave

          His half-bro Pablo gets my motor racing.

      • Ray Butlers

        No argument, but you should really take the bus.

      • Luddite

        Bitter? Table for one. Bitter?

        • Tempus Fuggit

          I guess if that’s the narrative that works for you. The “good old days” didn’t exist the way we like to pretend they did. Not for Republicans pining for a version of the 1950s that didn’t really happen, and not for us.

      • ryan charisma

        I’m sensing a pointed attitude.

      • Tiger Quinn

        And when you hit middle age you realize “Oh god, no it wasn’t” and go backward. Wait and see.

    • MarkG

      Actually – I think gay clubs should just be adopting and changing to be more inclusive. I always think of the Abbey in West Hollywood which does a booming business and it gets a very mixed crowd but started out almost 100 gay as a coffee shop like 20 years ago (though they ban Bridal showers and parties). ๐Ÿ™‚

      • former THR

        There are still a lot of young gay/trans people that need and want a “Safe space” like a gay bar to go to and for the first time in their life, be surrounded by a room full of mostly gay people. There is some comfort in that and for many gay/trans people, straight bars or clubs are not a safe environment for them,

        Many “gay” bars such as The Abbey are now approx 75% straight women and straight men that follow them. I think it is absurd that if I want to approach a guy in a gay bar I have to first ask “Are you straight or gay?” Straight guys never have to ask that and I feel like the gay bar is one of the only places in the city where we should have the luxury of being in an environment where we are the majority.

        Most of these straight guys are not allies of the community – they are just there to get Pu$$y.

        Lastly, gay people and their straight BFFs say they want to go to go to gay bars because they are gay bars and now when the bar is 75% straight it is no longer a gay bar and loses its appeal for the gays and their BFFs. Many of the gays then move the party elswhere and the bar/club just becomes another boring straight club.

        • Chuck in NYC

          Well, if there are no more bars in a community the gays have to go back to a corner or floor of another bar or disco when they want to go out. It’s a shame. Years ago I’d have thought as we become more out and visible there would be MORE nightlife options available to us. But then came the friggin’ Internet, upending everything. Never mind that I’m using the Internet now…

          • CanuckDon

            What will happen (or is happening) is that we go back to the days of yore when we find out which bar in a city is popular for gays frequenting it. I find it totally frustrating because here we are now, once again, searching for signs of gaydom in boring, straight bars!

        • Goodboy

          75% might be a bit exaggerated but definitely mixed. If you’re looking to hook a bi guy or questioning it’s the place to go. Yes you have to be careful there too as in knowing the sexuality of who your cruising or touching.

    • dr morbius

      That ship has vibrated.

    • Cousin Bleh

      I am always amused when I go to bars and see guys there who are on their phones scrolling through hook-up sites.

      • KCMC

        confess to that. It(profiles) can serve as icebreaker and/or warning. I admit, I laugh with buddies asking, “where is this (0 feet distance) man?”
        On our phns.

    • It’s the distance not the phone.

    • another_steve

      Alas, the art of person-to-person-real-mouths-moving-in-person conversation is dying or already dead. Why talk when you can tweet?

      (I know I know… I’ll get off your fuckin’ lawn, grandpa.)

    • Kyle Deetz

      Though I think the apps are great for people, like me, who grew up with social anxiety. You definitely lose the sense of community, but at least you’re getting a little strange, and who knows, some of those tricks may turn into friends.

      • romanhans

        I’ve been on those apps for a few months now and don’t get it. Do you kids really ask strangers to come to your house to have sex with you? I meet men face-to-face in bars and STILL require a date — at least coffee — before they see my apartment or even semi-naked me.

        • Kyle Deetz

          Well it depends, but oftentimes, yeah. But it’s not just us kids doing it. I’m often into “daddy” types and Ive met a couple really good guys who I “met” for the first time in my bedroom.

    • Jamie Brewer

      A very good friend of mine was co-owner of a prominent NYC gay bar in the 1990’s. He has the figures to prove how the bar business dropped way off and never recovered when AOL went from a pay per minute model to an unlimited monthly billed access.

  • ShawnSwagger

    Two things killed the gay bars.
    1) Grindr (and Scruff, Manhunt, Adam4Adam, etc.)
    2) Indoor smoking bans

    • Jafafa Hots

      I was glad abut the smoking bans. I didn’t go into a bar from age 19
      until age 38 when the ban was passed. Finally in my middle age I could
      stand to go in a place and get a damned drink without being asphyxiated.

      • ShawnSwagger

        For some people I’m sure it was a great relief, but for those who had been going to bars since the 70s/80s, it had a very noticeable effect on the size of the crowds. And it was predictable, which is why the bar owners fought those laws the hardest (except perhaps for the casinos).

        • Jafafa Hots

          In my city, ONE bar fought the ban vociferously and managed to get a waiver because the workers all smoked.

          So they were allowed to be a smoking bar.

          Their 35 year business closed less than six months after the ban passed despite their waiver. Meanwhile not only all the others prosper, many more opened and the whole district transformed and became THE PLACE and attracted people from even the outer suburbs.

          The stubborn “smoking ban will kill us!” bar couldn’t survive even after plastering the city with coupons, etc.

          It turns out that even smokers have non-smoking friends who finally liked the chance to come along… and the smokers made a ritual of stepping out into the outdoor smoking spaces… like a little sub-group. Kind of the way a group of people at a party tends to form in the kitchen, another group on the back deck, etc.

          Overall the ban improved bars’ fortunes. Except for those few who fought it tooth and nail.

        • Do Something Nice

          Not in San Francisco.

          • Chuck in NYC

            Not in New York City either, which surprised me. Pleasantly surprised me.

        • Friday

          I was pretty fond of a place that was, actually, almost entirely divided in two, so one half could be smoking, as could the outdoor deck, and another area, smoke-free. (It was like right on Lake Superior, so stepping out for one was not very viable much of the year.) When Boston started with the bans, there were a lot of bars with similar divisibility but the bar owners resisted even buying ventilation systems, which would have worked out a whole lot better, so a full ban ended up getting passed. Kind of made the idea of going into your local to be around people while doing whatever, grabbing a break, etc, a lot less popular, actually, so everywhere had to kind of try going higher-end food and all that.

          • ShawnSwagger

            It was most noticeable in the cold-weather cities. I was living in Columbus, OH at the time and from one winter to the next the difference was stark.

      • Rambie

        I’m with you Jafafa, though I’d still go out to hit the clubs. I’d frequent the ones with a good patio so I could get some air.

        Grindr, etc has a far, far higher impact on gay bars than the smoking bad did.

      • djcoastermark

        At least the bars around here have large outdoor patios for smoking. It works pretty well it seems. ( makes the mirror ball so much easier to clean) The patio works well here I guess because of the year round warmth, more difficult up north when its zero outside.

        • ShawnSwagger

          Yes, they have been able to adapt to that much better with the large patios in California, Arizona, Florida, etc., which I think is why the bars are still doing (somewhat) better in those areas and they’re vanishing in places like Columbus and Cleveland.

          • Piernudo15

            My friend and i went to a gay bar in tucson a couple of years ago. We sat out on the patio at a table near some bushes. When my friend went to the bathroom and left me alone out there, some guy kept walking by my table and staring at me. I thought he wanted to fight me. I later told my gay cousin about the incident and he laughed his ass off. He said i was sitting at one of the designated “pickup” tables. Guys who sit there are available and looking for sex!!! D’oh!

          • djcoastermark

            Used to live in Cols years ago. Went back last summer (during the softball series) and was surprised how many bars are gone.

    • 1) People said the same thing about Craigslist. And before that about AOL.
      2) Because gay people smoke more and won’t go where they can’t smoke? That’s EVERYWHERE. They do smoke at a higher rate than straight but it’s still a minority and is offset by those who avoided bars because of the smoke.

    • LackofFaithify

      Grindr is bad on the hole.

      • tomfromthenews

        Did you mean “on the whole”? Well…maybe not… ๐Ÿ™‚

        • LackofFaithify

          I did not mean whole. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • EweTaw

      Odd thing about the smoking bans, they have increased the attendance of customers in both bars and restaurants. Hmmmm . . . . Come to think of it, I have never had many friends who smoked — cigarettes that is. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • ShawnSwagger

        There may have been an overall increase in attendance in hospitality establishments (I’ve never seen any numbers that claim that), but that was not the effect that I saw it have on gay bars.

        • m_lp_ql_m

          I’d say that’s a fair tradeoff.

          • Jafafa Hots

            It may have decreased cancer ward attendance too.

    • Rambie

      #1 had a much higher impact on gay bars

    • BearEyes

      I stopped going to bars with the bans. just didn’t feel like a bar any more.

      • Miji

        I’m not a smoker, but I’ll admit there was something atmospheric about the smoke in the air. However, I quickly got over that nostalgia and came to appreciate not having to get the cigarette funk out of my clothes after a night out, and of course the obvious health benefit.

    • Cousin Bleh

      3) Bachelorette parties

      • PickyPecker

        yeah, kinda wish the bouncers would keep from happening.

    • Circle Thomas

      4) Lack of beer choices.

      I’m still amazed at how many gay bars are limited in choices to either the Budweiser or Coors families of beers, even as younger consumers more and more chose craft and local brews.

    • cowboyram

      Equality killed the gay bar, not Grindr or smoking bans. Equality has allowed younger generations to find mates in the same way that their parents had; high school, college, etc. Equality means that you no longer have to wait until you are 21 and move away from home to find love. You can find it in your own hometown and get to take that love to the prom. That’s never been our history before, but it has been the life that we all desired. Closing of gay spaces is just the price of admission for having that life now come true.

      • Rex

        We wanted to be treated the same as everyone else. So, now that it’s happening more often, now that the younger generation gays don’t feel the need to hide, we’re bitching because gay bars are disappearing. I’ll admit, it’s good to be at a gay bar where we can “be ourselves” but that’s the older gay generation. The younger gay men feel they can be themselves at any bar. Good for them.

      • CanuckDon

        Well yeah…that’s great except their parents had a much wider playground of personalities to select from. A young gayling has maybe 10% of that and it would be the luck of the draw if mutual attraction blossomed within those dynamics.

        A few months ago during one of these types of discussions, some wise person on this site believed that we’re likely in a transitory period. Currently, LGBTs craving evidence of equality are busy patting themselves on the back every time a gay bar closes. Eventually, the void of those unique spaces will begin the re-development. The bars were far more than just safe places to hook up.

        • cowboyram

          I think that as we move forward in our proud new world of equality, we will discover that the percentage of available mates for same-sex folks is much higher than 10% that we have used for so long.

          Looking at it from there’s limited fish in the rainbow pond would actually be an argument FOR love blossoming in those circumstances. Less competition, less of a chance that someone else could steal their heart away; etc. The world of younger gay folks is far different from the ‘I’m the only one who feels like this’ world that some of us bar-going gays recall from our youth. They have a much better opportunity than we in seeking each other out before coming of legal drinking age; hence, the better opportunity for building a relationship at a younger age. And these were opportunities that we created for them.

          Bars will close but new “spaces” will open up for gay folks. Excursions, tours, sports leagues, book clubs, volunteer groups organized by and for the gay community will become the new watering holes. And eventually someone will wise up to the idea of ‘singles nights and groups’ for gays the same way they have existed for straight folks for years.

  • Bill Harnsberger

    Not true. Blackstones remains. http://www.blackstones.com/

  • TK

    The first gay bar I ever went to was a bar in Joliet, IL. This was 4 years ago and you had to be buzzed in. The people were great, the buzzing in thing felt strange and it set the mood for the evening like I had something to feel edgy about.

  • Skokieguy [Larry]

    O/T: Cher comes to Chicago this weekend for Hillary rally.

    https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20161025/downtown/cher-headlines-rally-for-clinton-chicago-this-weekend

    Also, this weekend is the Lakeview Halloween parade. Coincidence? Cher, PLEASE crash the party!

    • pj

      hope its not too cold

    • Rambie

      What you going to wear Skokieguy?… asking for a friend. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Skokieguy [Larry]

        A sparkly brooch and a smile perhaps

        • Rambie

          A well positioned brooch will always draw the eye.

    • Uncle Mark

      I’m sure there will be several Chers there anyway

      • Skokieguy [Larry]

        A plethora of Chers?
        A flock of Chers?
        A pride of Chers?
        An exultation of Chers?

        Someone help out, what is the correct descriptor?

        • TuuxKabin

          A Cherish of Chers.

          • Skokieguy [Larry]

            Duh, of course! Well done.

          • TheManicMechanic

            Luurrrve it!

        • FatNance

          A shitload of Chers

  • Gustav2

    Why isn’t Trump blaming all the gay bar closings and job losses on China instead of the the real reason, internet access/computerization.

  • The Milkman

    Picture it, Stillwater Oklahoma circa 1989. This small college town was briefly the host to a gay bar called Snuffy’s. As I recall, someone nailed a dead dog to the front door as a warning. Shortly afterward, the place burned to the ground in suspicious circumstances.

    • William

      Gee, did the police ever figure out who did it?

      • PLAINTOM

        Not when the empty gas cans were in the trunk of a police cruiser .

        • William

          Aww, it was thoughtful of them to tidy up.

      • The Milkman

        Try to contain your shock when I say that the Stillwater Police Department didn’t dedicate its full resources to this issue. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • William

          The cops were busy trying to solve The Case of the Overdue Library Book.

  • Oikos

    Been there more than a few times. Too bad.

  • Bill Post

    STYXX- A RIVER IN HELL

    • boatboy_srq

      And how many Buybull-thumping Xtian homophones would darken its door?

      See? Marketing WORKS.

  • Lumpy Gaga

    It started with rising rents in resort areas (e..g, Rehoboth) and gentrifying cities: the gay enclaves de-concentrated; hordes of young people who went out to dance and show it off couldn’t relate to going an hour away each direction to do it.

  • Ta-er al-Asfer

    That’s a bummer.

  • Kevin Perez

    Portland Oregon is a gay bar.

    • boatboy_srq

      Pity it’s 3000 miles from the place in the article

    • Ray Taylor

      Entirely.

  • FatNance

    Sad, sad news.

    There’s a song for every occasion:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulPgWVC08KI

    • KCMC

      that’s a stitch!

      • The_Wretched

        Ah, good. It’s not the censored version. They bleep “nuclear war” (I’m not making that up).

  • BearEyes

    too bad. that’s a fun bar.

  • EweTaw

    That’s sad. My first gay bar, The Radio City Lounge, was never invested in by its straight owners and allowed to become a major dive. It was a gay bar beginning in 1947 until it finally closed 61 years later. But because it lived and died in SLC it never got the recognition as the oldest gay bar west of the Mississippi. In its hey day the place was so packed at night it was impossible to move.

  • i’m always so torn about this kind of stuff. i still remember when GirlBar closed. that was a sad day. botoh, it was a sad space, by that time. as in, nobody you really wanted to fuck or date showed up there. this is one of the reasons why i’m a longtime veteran of men’s bars. i’m the type of woman who only wanted to dance in a “queer” space, and as long as nobody spat at me, when i walked in, “get out, Fish!” i was cool to give that bar my money and pick up a fellow “i don’t hate men if they are queer” sort of woman.

    community is probably better when anchored in something other than hedonism. young LGBT folk deserve what we never had, which is a great environment to meet potentials and tricks in, but also one in which we are ‘just one aspect’ of it all. then again, str8 dance clubs were very different back in my day, mainly in that the music sucked, they were always too full of stupid kids, and the layout and/or lighting was lame.

    i hope inclusion has changed this. i’ve been retired from the club world for years now. i don’t miss it, but occasionally i have the urge to check up on it, in my city. it was pretty lame long ago (this is cleveland) when i was just a visitor. i have no idea if it’s dying or thriving now. and i feel too mature to bully my way to the front of the lines, like i used to do. i’m sure as hell not waiting an hour in the cold to find out the old fashioned way. assuming there are still lines and that whole protocol, in clubs these days. or should i say, “outside.” heh.

    are any of the SF lezzie places still going? i haven’t checked.

    • Friday

      Admittedly I was never a huge gay-club-goer, …more a pub-goer, and neither one with the intention of actually getting picked up. Clubs, for dancing, (usually the goth-industrial sort) neighborhood pubs, (usually neihborhood Irish places back home) for community. ๐Ÿ™‚ I used to go to what used to be the lesbian bar back North, which had to become a general LGBT place, (partly cause it’d gotten a rep for not being too friendly, and, you know, it was OK. But if I stopped in for a beer in the afternoon, I’d often as not be the only one there. )

      I’d always kind of wondered if relying too much on cruising meant a lot of these gay *guy* clubs were too vulnerable to the likes of that Grindr thing.

      And of course there’s the economic times, who’s got money? So they gentrify, rents go or stay up, fewer people show up cause it’s more expensive, then fewer people with the money show up cause fewer people are showing up period… and of course people can’t afford to live in walking distance of a place so much, …there’s the whole problem of lots of downtowns period, basically.

  • Treant

    I’m right on the border of these things; I’ve only been in a gay bar a handful of times. I can’t say I enjoyed it much–but I don’t favor loud music. I’d rather talk to people.

    By my late youth, the Internet was the way to meet folks. And my husband was an Internet pickup. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Oikos

      Back in the day, it was how I met gay people in my small town. We had one gay bar and you parked in back so no one could see your car from the road. When AIDs struck, it was where you went to get news and emotional support.

    • PickyPecker
    • another_steve

      I remember with considerable fondness and nostalgia the time when people actually talked to one another, and not through their electronic tchotchkes.

      Do the under-40s ever actually talk to each other these days?

      • Treant

        Yes, and they’re masters at multi-tasking, too. They can have a basic discussion AND text at the same time.

  • Mark McGovern

    Just driving home from Montreal and 4 consecutive nights of dancing in gay bars till 3 am. Nothing like it.

    • EweTaw

      I drag my sorry ass to Europe at least twice a year and am amazed at the packed gay clubs in Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Berlin and even Rome. It’s worth the trip just to get out among crowds who really know how to enjoy themselves.

      • LackofFaithify

        Mmmm, dark back rooms. I mean…look at the beautiful historic building!

        • EweTaw

          ๐Ÿ˜€

          • LackofFaithify

            Had my first absinthe at the Cock Ring in Amsterdam. That combined with all of the damned near vertical and skinny stairs is a death trap.

          • EweTaw

            That’s curious. I had my first absinthe at the Absinthe Bar in Barcelona’s Raval district. Ended up in bed for three days with a heart throb I could have easily fallen in love with an married. Sheesh. That was in 1999!

          • LackofFaithify

            Overseas flings are fun. Or, if you’re in Berlin, a bit kinky. Not complaining or anything. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • jomai

        I sooooo wanted to go the the bars in Madrid. However, i let social anxiety prevent me. I did have a few early nights getting drunk at the Vinoteca and Taberna el Buo. And a few moments of flirting with the waiter. But never got up the guts to go to the bars.

  • Guest

    I think it’s sad. Of course, I’m old………………….but it was such a thrill in my younger days to discover gay clubs.

    • another_steve

      The ultimate fun spots were the gay organization dances of the 1970s. In New York City there were several of them. The Gay Activists Alliance on Wooster Street in the Village was THE hot spot to dance away a Saturday night during the early and mid-70s. I met my husband at one of those dances, in 1974.

      The Gay Alliance of Brooklyn held dances in the incredible ballroom of the Hotel Bossert in Brooklyn Heights. The gay organizations at Columbia University and Brooklyn College held well-attended dances as well.

      Such fun we had.

      • FatNance

        I dunno. My “ultimate fun spots” would be those bars where I swallowed a load in a dark corner or got fucked bareback in a bathroom stall. But that’s just me…

      • canoebum

        I used to go to the GAA dances regularly. Not only was it great fun inside with the dancing, but it was so easy to meet cute guys hanging around on the street outside as well, or upstairs in the lounge.

        • another_steve

          I probably sold beer to you or checked your coat.

          I volunteered for GAA and occasionally did those things at their dances.

  • James

    Sad.

  • jsmukg

    Extremely sad. ‘Social media’ continues to destroy actual community, in every way. The fact that everyone is now forced to meet online for lack of viable alternatives does not mean this is progress or a good idea. Yes, bars are unbearably loud–but at least one is not dealing with AOL inches and all the other baldfaced lies of online meetings.

    • Rex

      I always laugh to myself when someone online tells me “you’re so hot” or whatever. I just think that if we were out at the bars they wouldn’t give me the time of day.

      • EweTaw

        Which reminds me of something that seems to be a lost art and which I miss: cruising. Cruising ain’t what it used to be. And it’s not because I’m getting on in years. I still attract a steady number of admirers, but I miss the cat and mouse chase that made things more interesting.

        • Rex

          The stories I could tell about cruising. The places I ended up and the things I did. I wouldn’t even think about doing now. But then, I was young and horny.

          • right there with you, my friend. but i gotta admit: it’s more dangerous today, for all sorts of reasons. i got of out the cruising thing b/c i realized that. even for w4w sex, it’s still much more risky today.

            i wonder if that’s what all of us oldsters are missing. the lack of concern, before the HIV days, and now, the other stuff (which are worse, for all even top bloggers like Joe rarely talk about it).

            i guess the difference is that now the ronnie generation of policy makers are dead, and they can no longer defend cuts to public health programs as “all the fault of those irresponsible, promiscuous homosexuals.” hell, they are running HPV shots for 12 yos ads, on daytime TV, these days.

            oops, i guess it wasn’t really jeebus cursing the sodomites with a plague that was theirs alone to bear. yes, Beulah. your teen granddaughter is not only pregnant, but her baby will be born (b/c jeebus says she must be!) with permanent deformative conditions and serious disorders. cause there are a mess of rapidly spreading diseases that cause that too. in places that are whiter than a lily, more xtian than a cross, and in the South.

          • Rex

            It’s far to risky today. Back then I’d make eye contact and 5 minutes later going at it at his apartment or back of a car. Now, doing something like that would scare me to death. I suppose it wasn’t all that safe then either, I’m older and wiser. Worst thing that happened is following some guy to his house and then not having a clue as to how to get back home, again, way before GPS, or any apps.

          • EweTaw

            Even here in Mormon town life was so salacious. Before AIDS I would go to Memory Grove at dusk and fall into some amazing encounters. And these were men you’d never find in the local bars. Where they came from is anyone’s guess. Hell, even SLC’s vice squad police cruised the bushes on those unpaved paths for group gropes. Then they’d arrest you. But first — “ChiChi!!” ๐Ÿ™‚

    • m_lp_ql_m

      Not in every way though. Communities are liquid.

    • Tempus Fuggit

      Oh, indubitably. Hell in a handbasket, fer sher, fer sherโ€ฆand here you are bitching about it on the (class? Anyone? Bueller?) internet.

      As they say on the internet: LOLROFL.

      • jsmukg

        And here you are bitching about being called on your unfounded generalizations, your hilarious and uneducated belief in the myth of perpetual ‘progress,’ and your smug amour-propre–to say nothing of the smarmy, dated preciosity of your little attempts at humor and/or satire and your ‘writing style’ (term used loosely)…
        As I say on the internet: ROTFLMFAO……..and GFU. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • AtticusP

    I’m sure that Tony PerKKKins, Pat Robertson, Michele Bachman, the 203 moms and the rest will all say that prayer caused the gay bars to close.

    Praise Jeebus.

    It has nothing to do with the fact that these people are trying to live in the 1950s, while the rest of us sane people are happy living here in the 21st-century.

  • I didn’t read the first word and I was extremely confused because Portland had more than one bar six months ago.

    • Friday

      (someone below said another one’s actually still there. )

  • A lot of what is happening here is than more and more gay men are forced to move to neighborhoods that aren’t accommodating to gay bars but it’s cheaper. Contrary to the media portrayals of gay affluence, most gay men work in fields that don’t pay high enough to live in these areas anymore. As a result, traditional gayborhoods in urban centers are fading.

    • Trog

      Tell me about it. I just got priced out of a neighborhood with lots of gay bars. I’m settling down now, so don’t miss it as much as I would have when I was 25, but it’s sad to not have the option.

  • boatboy_srq

    Maine in general is having a really hard time. Nearly all the decent careers have left: healthcare (Unum), timber (mainly pulp for particle board, paper and Duraflame), fishing and tourist-centric service jobs are mainly what’s left. Not surprising that Portland would lose out here.

    I miss the old Underground: that was a fun place. Don’t know Styxx, but it will likely be missed as well. At least Ogunquit is still there…

    • Jmdintpa

      When I was stationed at Brunswick NAS back in the 80s i often so wanted to venture down those stairs to the “Underground”. Usually ended up with the boys at 3 Dollar Dooeys or some other club around from underground where they always were trying to hit on the “chicks”.

      • boatboy_srq

        Underground was fun. The stairs were the scary part: inside was comfortable and the patrons were friendly.

  • Treant

    OT: Rubio booed at Latino festival.

    http://www.npr.org/2016/10/25/499302234/attempting-to-woo-latino-voters-marco-rubio-gets-booed-at-orlando-festival

    I love the smell of Trumperdammerung in the morning.

    • Gustav2

      Gee, who knew the Puerto Ricans didn’t care for the Cuban? /s

      • Corsair Tact

        Ay dios! Que sorpresa!

        • TuuxKabin

          Madre de perla, madona mia!

    • Piernudo15

      After the Pulse massacre, Rubio flew to Orlando with President Obama as a sign of solidarity. I saw him exit the plane, but i never saw him again after that. Maybe he did visit the site of the murders and maybe he did meet with survivors and families of the victims like Obama did. I’m just saying i didnt see any coverage of him consoling anyone.

    • Bruno

      That is the one Senator I’m rooting for the most to be ousted. It’s doable.

      • Jmdintpa

        sorry to disappoint but i see him winning down here. these republicans down here may not turn out for trump but all these aold ass white people love rubio. i would LOVE to see him defeated. One thing that worries me a little is that in Florida there reporting republicans have sent in more mail in ballots than democrats. in most states im reading the opposite is occurring. ill keep hoping for the best and hope you and i can watch him go down in flames.

        • Bruno

          Supposedly, though, the margin by which Rethugs are mailing in over Dems is considerably smaller this year than it was in 2012, so that’s a good thing. Who knows. I wouldn’t put the FL Senate seat at the top of the list for Dem acquisitions, but I think it’s more possible than others like OH and IA.

  • xtal

    I have more of a gay life now than I did when I frequented gay bars, but that’s because I’m 36 in a committed long term relationship with a 57 year old man. Our life with our friends and family – as out and proud gay men – beats anything else. When I was younger, I could only be myself at night, in a bar. Now that things are changing, the nightlife has nothing to do with my identity and it seems peculiar to associate the two. Also, the smell of alcohol is barf inducing so there’s that…..

    • ShawnSwagger

      They were never super-healthy environments, but they were what we had back then, and then we discovered the gyms.

      I can still vividly remember one time I was trying to get to a urinal in the mens room of a gay bar because I had to pee so bad, and I couldn’t because the line of drag queens waiting to do lines of coke in the back stall was so long it was blocking everything. It’s one of those Hallmark moments you never forget.

      • xtal

        That’s another thing. I had never been exposed to hard drugs before I started going out at night. I have a lot of former friends who got sucked down the drug path which angers me a lot of the times. If these men had healthy, supportive environments and societies, then maybe they would not have used drugs to quell their anxiety and I know for a fact that a lot of their anxieties stemmed from homophobia and a sense of not belonging. It’s so real.

        • ShawnSwagger

          Yes, but that sense of not belonging is also why the gay bars back then were so exhilarating. To go from feeling like you didn’t belong anywhere your whole life to walking into a giant room filled wall-to-wall with gorgeous, sweaty, half-naked men grinding to Jody Watley was like a Eureka moment that divided your life into a before and after. There is nothing comparable to that experience now.

          • xtal

            I totally get what you are saying, but a lot of problematic things can arise from that kind of pigeon-holed experience. I really do get what you are saying and I’m not suggesting that gay bars cease to exist but gay people are human beings and are more dynamic – and deserve better – than to have our eureka moments occur in a bar. We deserve everything that the world has to offer.

          • jsmukg

            And what is replacing gay bars, and any actual sense of community, is the sterility, lies, and appalling delusions of the world of ‘social media.’ Prisoners of smartphones–who are, make no mistake, prisoners by their own device–are the epitome of limited and ‘pigeonholed’ experience.

          • xtal

            I’m perplexed as to why you think my opinions in any way underscore your criticisms of modern life. Explain yourself. I just saw an excellent Black Mirror episode last night called “Nosedive” which was all about what you’re mentioning. Like anti-gay bigots, you exhibit totalitarian opinion about how gay men should experience themselves. Screw bars – and soclal media. Be yourself and fight for everyone else.

            Good luck.

          • jsmukg

            I’m perplexed as to why you think your opinions are important, interesting, or correct. Your lovely accusations of bigotry and totalitarianism put you completely beyond the pale of civilized discussion or civilized JMG poster. Blocked, with the greatest pleasure. Good luck. YOU NEED IT.

          • xtal

            Why are yours important, interesting and correct? What are your accusations? They exist. I’m uncivilzed?

            You’re sooo mad.

          • xtal

            I think when you say “gay bars” are being replaced by “social media” – well you sound like a Trumpist conflating and using hyperbole. Using no facts. Just reacting emotionally to change.

          • Cousin Bleh

            I think it’s simply adorable that he’s spent the entirety of this thread railing against social media WHILE USING A DISQUS ACCOUNT.

            And twice he’s “blocked” people who have challenged his persistent trolling. He’s like the most basic social media cliche.

          • Chucktech

            He apparently has a fan who calls himself “obiedobie” who upvotes his comments.

          • CanuckDon

            Lots of truth in what you’re saying. Look for our community on Grindr et al and you’ll see a huge display of headless torsos with short descriptions. Men can be very vague and restrictive in talking about themselves so we end up approaching someone online because of their jpeg. Add to that is our own narrow view of what we find attractive and it’s like quickly leafing thru a catalogue. The bars forced us to acknowledge and be aware of the wider community…not just the headless torsos promising to fulfill our fantasies.

          • WTR

            As long as you were good looking, of course. If you were 10 pounds overweight you might as well be in a church.

      • a little honesty, hey babe?

        it’s not like every gym bunny i ever knew wasn’t at the club, at least on the weekends. or that the whole point of being a gym bunny was anything other than that period, late at night in a club, when all the menz took off their clothes and showed each other their junk, up or down. and gosh i knew a great deal of bunnies who were all about Teh Drugz, if they made the male junk harder, slimmer, whatever.

        drugs are drugs. people take them. everywhere. all the time. *that* will never change, no matter what sexual norms do.

        • ShawnSwagger

          Yes. I was trying to be snarky with the gym comment.

  • GregoireNYC

    If they wanted to stay open, then they should have appealed to the other people who go to gay bars — bachelorette parties.

    • FatNance

      I think its safe to say that the majority of owners of gay bars would rather see their places burn to the ground than make them into appealing destinations for bachelorette parties.

      There’s a time and place for most social gatherings. You don’t see leather queens going to a yoga class for fuck-and-fist party, do you?

      • Michael R

        Now you’ve put an image in everyone’s head .

        • Friday

          Of weird BDSM scenes with New Age music. Yes.

          • most people i’ve met in yoga class or seminar? totally excited and willing for F&F.

            it’s a sign you’ve mastered control of your muscles and no longer feel shame that some of the asanas are all about making your ‘dirty parts’ healthier. just sayin.

      • EweTaw

        Excellent point.

      • William

        I’ve always wondered what goes on in Yoga class.

        • EweTaw

          A lot of silent and not so silent farts.

      • Chuck in NYC

        Apparently you’ve never heard of nude yoga parties? ‘Cause they exist.

        • FatNance

          Yes, they exist and they advertise themselves as such and attract a suitable crowd. And your point is?

  • Kirby

    111 comments and no one mentioned the simple fact that the headline is incorrect. Maine still has a gay bar. Blackstone’s is still open and is a fine establishment!
    http://www.blackstones.com

    • JoeMyGod

      The first comment (from me) notes that Blackstones website is still active. Was waiting for confirmation that they’re open.

    • Chuck in NYC

      The entire state of Maine? One gay bar? The headline may be incorrect, but if there’s just one in the entire state then I think a lot of the comments here are still kind of on point.

  • Treant

    More OT: Trump cancels interview. The reporter wouldn’t give him the questions in advance!

    http://www.mediaite.com/online/trump-cancels-local-media-interview-after-reporter-refused-to-give-him-questions-in-advance/

    • PLAINTOM

      Trump was confused because Hannity gives him the questions and the answers when he is interviewed.

  • HomerTh

    Tucson has three bars now, down from about 9 in 1993 when I moved here. I am surprised that one of the three hasn’t closed.

    • Piernudo15

      9? Wow. I dont ever remember tucson having that many. The best one was 2520 on oracle road. Great dance floors, good music and a mix of people. It was so popular that even straights started going there.

    • ShawnSwagger

      I had a maaaaarvelous time once at the Venture-N in the 90s.

      • Piernudo15

        Some of my friends now refer to it as the Denture-N. Lol. They’re mean.

    • William

      Austin has three bars, I can’t tell if a fourth is still open. There is one other bar that is ‘friendly’, at the location of a nearly historic lesbian bar.

    • Tiger Quinn

      I was there 1998-2000, and I RULED IBTS. Heh. Sorry, but I was kind of a grad school slut. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Bruno

    O/T:
    NEVADA (Rasmussen!)
    Cortez Masto 43, Heck 41

    • Bruno

      Also, Hillary is actually LEADING the USC Dornslife/LA Times and IBD/TIPP polls.

    • EweTaw

      That’s great news. Joe Heck is a backwards “man” who has repeatedly voted to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood and if he could pass a law repealing the vote for women, he would. Just another Mormon asshole. He’s also been a big supporter of Ted Cruz. Ick. Just ick.

  • i should’ve known this thread would be faster than a Pete Burns remix at 4am in Berlin, heh.

    i feel compelled to add (cause i know yall care so much about what i think ๐Ÿ˜‰ is that it really is still very much the “old fashioned way” in communities of color. if you’re not a racist, and want to be with 90% gay people, try one of those.

    the LPTX’s are not going to be there, i promise you. similarly, a lot of blah folks don’t feel welcome in “uptown” clubs and bars, not back then and not today. the important fact hasn’t changed since back in my day. which is simply, blah and brownz people still have “our own spaces.” and that is a good thing. a small fraction of them will remind you of the Old Days, even if they are a little darker than you remember from your heyday of hedonism.

    • ShawnSwagger

      Yes, and they were deliberately made to feel unwelcome in many cases. I was a doorman at a gay bar in the early 80s, and the management told me to ask for up to 3 pieces of ID to let black men in. White men were only asked for one valid ID. When I asked the manager “Isn’t that illegal?” his attitude towards me changed immediately and he was never nice to me again. I was let go a few weeks later. The bar managers’ fear was that if too many blacks went to the club then the white patrons would stop coming.

      • jomai

        The key phrase at the front door of the bar that I worked in in the 90s was “it’s getting a little dark in here,” at which point the 3 pieces of ID plus a membership card rule kicked in. I loved going to LGBT POC clubs – I wasn’t always welcomed by everyone, but I figured that’s how my POC friends felt in predominately white spaces. What I did find was there was a big space for sissies – a celebratory space for us, as a matter of fact. Other than drag queens, which were largely desexualized, there wasn’t much space for anyone other than butch queens at the white bar. Just my history…

    • FatNance

      If I’m following what you’re saying, you are encouraging those of us who are missing the demise of gay bars to go to what? — (a) a gay bar that caters to a clientele of people of color or (b) any bar that caters to people of color (presumably mostly heterosexual)? If you could clarify, that would be much appreciated. Also, to help out the gays in Portland, can you recommend one or two specific bars they can check out?

      Of course, I’m working under the assumption that you were trying to make a coherent helpful comment. If it was just the logorrhea of a bitter old woman pining for relevance, my bad.

  • WTR

    Are there really a lot of gay people who feel safe and accepted to the point that they can hold hands, dance and kiss in a non-gay bar? I’m having a hard time believing it, but I’m very old.

    • xtal

      lol yea

    • djcoastermark

      Hubs and I for one like to go out to dance. Never feel comfortable in a SRT8 bar dancing. Lots of stares and pointing even though they try not to be obvious about it. Thankfully there still are some good ole fashioned gay bars left.

    • Romero

      The young ones are in such denial about that. Homophobia/anti-gay bigotry still plagues a large number of straights. So I’m not sure why so many of these naive kids haven’t gotten this reality check, given all that is still happening to gay folk in this country. I hate to be so blunt and hostile about this but it really pisses me off when these kids think they are going to be accepted, respected, and have their safety and well-being taken into consideration by every single hetero in the world.

  • Rex

    I’ll admit, I haven’t been to a gay bar in years. I’ve reached the age where going out at 11 pm, driving an hour to the bar, drinking until 2:30, driving back alone and feeling like shit the next day has lost it’s appeal. These days my disco nap lasts from 9 pm to 6 am.

    • madknits

      When I lived in Boston I never went to gay bars. We had gay contra dancing, gay two stepping, gay sports leagues, even a gay men’s knitting group. In New Orleans, it’s different. Everything is done through the bars. Every group has a beer bust somewhere, The Lords of Leather, The Pups, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, The Knights d’Orleans. If you want to be social with other gay folk, you go to the bar here.

  • Friday

    Of course, *lots* of establishments are closing because of the economics, of still-rising rents and often declining disposable income, …there’s a regular pattern around of places particularly in downtowns having to keep going for more-gentrified crowds that can pay higher prices that they don’t get that much margin on, etc etc.

    Easy to forget that factor, I suppose, but it’s probably where something could be *done* about it.

  • Tiger Quinn

    Mark my words, there’s going to be a backlash down the line of a lot of gays going “we have nowhere to hang out, we’ve lost our cultural centers, we don’t connect anymore!” And then suddenly gay ghettos will be a fad again. Sigh.

    • Gigi

      Sure, but are they still necessary? When I first moved to Toronto…when I was much younger…I practically lived in the village because it was the only place you could meet other gay guys. Funnily enough, I met my husband in an “alternative” bar that played The Smiths, The Cure, Skinny Puppy, etc., but it was much harder to talk to guys there. If you looked at the wrong one you could get punched. Now we go down there for a drink every now and then but we have so many more options. We can go for dinner or drinks anywhere in the city. In most places we could even canoodle if we were so inclined and no one would look twice. I’m not sure what it’s like in other cities but the straight dance clubs are all closing here as well. Thanks, social media apps!

  • Gigi

    Back in the day whenever my man and I visited a new city the first thing we did was check out the local gay bar. It was a nice feeling to be with “our people,” and the locals could always spot new meat. That was then. We don’t do that any more. We were in Portland last summer and it never occurred to us to see if there was a gay bar. We went to a trendy restaurant downtown, had a great time chatting with the people seated around us, went to a local bar afterward for a drink and then went back to our hotel. We’re the reason gay bars are closing!!!!

    • TuuxKabin

      It’s no always your fault! ~ Bette Midler

    • EweTaw

      That’s nice. But I still enjoy places like the Bacon Bear Bar in BCN. But that’s just me.

      • Gigi

        We had fun at a gay cocktail bar in Amsterdam.

    • Friday

      From comments here I kind of wonder if part of the ‘reason’ is that guys who go traveling still kind of expect the actual *neighborhoods* to still be there around the country to keep the places open, but who actually lives there? I mean, most of my real-world LGBT friends are scattered all over the country, …even that whole ‘rural lesbians’ things happens a lot, ….my ex and I basically lived in college towns for most of our time together, and there really weren’t enough locals to keep a queer bar in business as such, never mind in walking distance of everyone necessarily. It seems a lot of these old ‘gayborhoods’ are more destinations for people to travel to than necessarily be able to live in.

  • Blackstones seems to be open and advertising as gay – or do they not count as a nightclub?

  • Jack M.

    Good! Let the infrastructure of commercialized promiscuity wither and die. I am glad to be alive to see this happening. I want the apps to go next. In their place, we can build real community institutions, not profit centers for loveless sexual hookups.

    • FatNance

      Do you know many men? Promiscuity will always be around.

      Are you new to America? If there’s a demand (e.g. for cock, throat and ass), somebody will find a way to make money off of it, even if its indirectly.

      You keep living your institutionalized fantasy.

      • Jack M.

        I know lots of men. More importantly, I can read the literature in sexology and sociology and I know that, while promiscuity may always be around, whether it is privileged and widely practiced or not turns on culture, including the cultural institutions that we build or, as in this case, dismantle. Promiscuity was central to gay urban life for decades and now it’s not. Cry about it!

        • FatNance

          I’m not crying. I’d label myself “promiscuous”. I’m living life and having fun (and I don’t live in large urban area with a prominent gay community).

          I’ll think of you when I swallow my next load of cum.

    • Cipher

      “Promiscuity” should die a dictionary word death along with “homosexual”.
      Gay/lesbian bars are just like straight bars; first and foremost they are bars. People go there to drink, dance, socialize, meet people and (gasp) maybe find a hook-up. It is nice when other spaces for LGBTQ people exist (e.g., coffee houses, community centers…) But bars are more than profit centers for “loveless sexual hookups” (no judgment applied).

      • Jack M.

        We can agree that you have no judgment. However, we do not agree that “LGBTQ people exist.” There is no such thing as LGBTQ people. There are, however, LGB people, and we deserve better than the amoral, predatory, profit-driven sexual ecosystem your generation has bequeathed to us.

        • Romero

          Thank you! This whole idea of being labeled “LGBTQ” (then add a “P” to that on occasions) is (to put in bluntly) just pure bullshit!

        • Cipher

          My generation? I’m happy to be a bicentennial baby, thanks. 40 is amazing.

          I remember going to my first gay bar, hearing the music and dancing all night. Seeing and meeting new people and meeting up with friends were part of the equation.

          Sure, I have no judgment… and refuse to tell groups of people they do not exist.

      • leastyebejudged

        “Gay/lesbian bars are just like straight bars”

        No. No. No. No,

        • Cipher

          That is fair. LOL. Straight bars are like black and white TV; ours are rainbow Technicolor?

          • leastyebejudged

            Granted, it’s been a while for me, but if that’s your experience then yeah, their purpose no longer exists.

    • hajaxavier

      what’s wrong with promiscuity?!

      • Jack M.

        Ask your therapist.

        • FatNance

          I will! As soon as he takes his thick 8-inch cock out of my mouth!

          {Goddamn. Where did those poppers go…?}

          • yes, where have the good brown bottles gone? I have been told stories about how a certain First Lady took up a cause to reduce the rise of HIV and all of a sudden you could not buy “Poppers” in the book store any more, you needed a specific product name. Years later a certain Popper King is deposed (not a happy story is you know anything of it), so do we look north for our succor? I have read too of a certain minister in the British House of Lords who pleaded with his fellows to not do the same thing there as has happened here. Why did I doodle so much during Chem 101?
            http://www.ruthholladay.com/2010/aug/26/joe-miller-is-dead/

          • FatNance

            LOL. I was actually referring to the bottle that I had momentarily put down to reply to Jack M.’s post. I dunno where you live, but in the tawdry video store (glory holes in several of the booths) that I visit in the small town of my mid-Atlantic state, I can usually find Rush, Amsterdam and a couple of varieties of Jungle Juice for purchase. Displayed in a glass case on top of the counter. The prices are a bit more than I used to pay at the shop in the local leather bar before it closed. I have a couple of bottles of Amsterdam in my fridge as I type these lines. (Granted, whether the formulas/ingredients match the batches from days of yore, I do not know. I do know that a fresh bottle of Amsterdam enables me to take Big Dave down to the base and opens up my hole to the liking of Stan the Man…)

            I know nothing of the Popper King you refer to — can you give me enough info that a google search will provide me with some reading material?

            Best to you, SIR.

          • its the formula and pre-cursors that cook up an actual felony. His name was Joe Miller, aka the Popper King. I am personally aware of 2 website owners who were dragged through hell by the Feds for their resale of his fine products. One website owner (i am sure many of you readers here know this website as well as at IML etc) admitted he had spent in excess of $50K to defend himself in Federal Court. The Feds had gotten a real hard-on for the so-called “real thing” using its prevalence in unprotected sex -> rise in HIV rates as the excuse.

          • leastyebejudged

            huffin is stupid, but huffing out of 1/2 oz bottles with no way to measure or regulate a dose was/is still idiotic, i’m glad this generation isn’t as saturated in that shit as mine was.

          • he committed suicide after relentless pressure from The Feds that would have him facing prison for being party to death rise in STDs or somesuch accusation.

      • leastyebejudged

        it’s commercialized ? lol

  • Tempus Fuggit

    Don’t look now, but video rental stores are also closing up! And that’s all because of that goshdarned internet, too!

    • FatNance

      “Are closing up”? In this neck of the woods, they’re all gone, I think. A few years ago, the two locations of, seriously, the MOST AWESOME independent video store closed. I’m a huge fan of documentaries and without this shop I never would have seen such awesome films as:

      “The Devil and Daniel Johnston”
      “Betty Blowtorch and her Amazing True Life Adventures”
      “The Bridge”
      “Tarnation”
      “The Girls In The Band”

    • What is a “video rental store”? Do you mean the redbox machines at 7-11?

      • Tempus Fuggit

        Ah! Well y’see, long ago, in the beforetimes, back before seatbelts were good for us and leaded gasoline and cigarettes were bad for usโ€ฆ

  • Superman

    In the mid-70s whenever you landed in a new city you sought out the nearest gay bar. You could pick up a local gay paper, relax, talk to the bartender, meet a local, etc. I was a young man then, but the gay bars were our refuge from the big, unfriendly straight world that didn’t understand us. We could drink, dance, party among our own. It was wonderful. And it didn’t change until, well, now. I know that apps will help you find gay “community” even in small towns. But there was a reason why gay ghettos were in big cities and a few resort towns. I’m not familiar with the use of the apps and so to me I miss the gay bar I’ve been going to for 20 years in Indianapolis, which just closed. I don’t want to put my picture and stats online. And I wonder if the whole gay community hasn’t just evolved past me; it was never the handsome men I went for. I liked the interesting ones. And after a few drinks in a dark bar with Mr. Right now, when you lean in for that first nuzzle and kiss, and you smell his neck and….well…., I don’t know how to do that on my phone. I know the kids probably have it right. And that I just need to catch up. But at my age, nearly 60, I really don’t think I have the guts to put my preferences down in an app online. I’m going to miss you guys. Will the last one out of the bar turn off the lights.

    • FatNance

      I like your post, Superman. I’m about 10 years younger than you and used to enjoy the bars (I still venture out to the local gay dive bar once in a blue moon and visit the few remaining Leather/Levi bars when traveling) and found that the apps (hate Grindr, Scruff is more to my liking) have their place. But I wanted to respond to this sentence in your post: “I know that apps will help you find gay “community”…”. Not to burst your bubble, but I think you’ll find that the apps will help you find gay men, but not so much “community” — unless your idea of “community” is a three-way. And you can fill out as much/as little of the profile regarding your “preferences” as you feel comfortable. That said, there’s no shame in being a piggy bareback bottom, so go ahead and fly your freak flag!

  • Michael

    I’ve seen more “gay hookups” in the local straight Irish pub in the past month then I have at the local gay bar in years. I’ve also had many more men buy me drinks at this pub then they ever have at any gay bar.

    I would say RIP but gay bars have had their foot in the grave for years now.

  • I know it’s practically heresy to say it, but I’ve always hated bars (gay & straight). One could meet “quality” gentlemen doing volunteer work for LGBT community groups. For hookups there was gAyOL.

  • Tiger Quinn

    Straight bars just aren’t as fun as gay bars. Sorry, but straight people are just kind of….INTENSE about everything.

  • KQCA

    I am very pleased that the younger generation has no clue of the oppression we faced, but at the same time, I wish they had just a taste of it, to appreciate the place they now have in society. I know there is a long way to go, but they cannot imagine the hell we went through before their time.

    • So true, they are starting out with everything we have now as their baseline. Also, they have networked phones – the human need for bars is so much less. I’m actually shocked at how rarely some of them drink. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • CanuckDon

      Complete isolation?! There was a reason why straights started to nuzzle in on gay bars….because they were incredibly fun and exciting places to party. WE did that because that’s what we’re capable of doing. We didn’t suffer in isolation….we demanded our place and rights and worked hard to get them. That’s how the younger generation has what it has now. Our history is something to marvel and honour. Perhaps it was hell at times but we made sure we didn’t stay there.

  • fuzzybits

    My groove thang had to go in the shop to get fixed and I forgot to pick it up.

  • intrinsik808

    Really sad to see that Styxx is closing. Loved going to this place during my visits to Portland. Really great club, good people, good music. R.I.P. Styxx

  • guest

    Couldn’t focus enough to read the article. Totally FIXATED on the guy’s DELICIOUS beard! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • With the closing of Styxx, that leaves Blackstone’s as the last remaining gay bar in Portland. In 2006, Portland did, indeed, have 3 gay bars including one on Spring Street that was eventually owned by the folks that own Maine Street, the biggest gay club in Maine, 25 miles to the south in Ogunquit.

    Ogunquit has both Maine Street and The Front Porch, a wonderfully gay piano bar. While TFP has gentrified over the years and now tends to have more of a mixed crowd, Maine Street continues to be one of the best gay clubs in New England.

    • polyincorrectsynic

      There was only Roland’s – in Portland -a little hole in the wall with a jukebox when I opened Maine’s first “gay disco” Anabels – in Ogunquit
      41 years ago – which became “the Club”

      • Sadly, I was neither in Maine or of age to hit Roland’s or Anabels. I’m sure it was a fascinating time. I was able to enjoy some of the San Francisco scene growing up there in the late 70’s and early 80’s before heading east.

        Portland is amazingly gay friendly. With all of the great bars and restaurants in the Old Port, it’s no wonder that the Portland gay bars, which were never that great, are closing. That said, it’s sad to see that particular part of gay culture, the safe place, fade away.

        Who knows? With Trump in office, we may see a resurgence in gay bars. (probably the only silver lining)…

  • Sean Warner

    The whole of Vermont has not had a gay bar since Pearls closed and frankly it sucks

  • Dave

    That just makes me ill. Sometimes I think gay people are determined to shoot ourselves in the foot (as is evidenced by a frightening number of gay Trumpsters). I don’t give a damn if gay people can feel more accepted today in predominately straight bars. There’s still nothing like a bar catering primarily to gay patrons to let your guard down and be yourself. Shame on the community for turning our backs on the gay bars. Granted it’s gotten ridiculously expensive to party in any bar. But if you’re going to spend your bucks in a bar make it a gay bar.