Decades ago, I used to dream of opening my own gay bar. I had it all planned out in my head. I envisioned a little local saloon, downtown Fort Lauderdale, somewhere on the beachside of the Intracoastal. I had it all mapped out, the floorplan, the decor, the music, the beers on tap. But the one thing I could never come up with was the name of the place. Because, as every gay man reading this post knows, since the very first gay bar hung up its sign, gay men have been right there to make fun of the name by calling the bar something similar, but really mean.
Usually the name is a biting, sarcastic comment on the bar’s clientele. San Francisco’s bar, Pacific Heights, whose patrons were for known for their social-climbing, snobbish A-listery, was called Specific Whites. The Detour, known for the patronage of cracked-out tweakers, was called The Detox. Bars that posed as bastions of tough butchness usually received names that mocked the patrons’ masculinity. Hence, The Eagle becomes The E-Girl. The Powerhouse becomes The Powderpuff.
What’s your own short list of mean bar names? I’ll start with mine:
Badlands – Sadlands (too easy, really.)
The Copa – The Coma (true, once the attendance died.)
Port Au Prince – Port Au Pussy (it became it dyke bar!)
Midnight Sun – Midnight Scum (this one, I never got.)
The Stud – The Stub (the doorman had one arm, for real!)