Thursday, February 5, 2015

Downtown L.A. Goes Gay !!!! New GLBT Establishments Bring Flair to Downtown Los Angeles

Downtown Los Angeles was once known during the prohibition period for its underground speakeasy bars of the Roaring 20’s.  Now Downtown seems set on a course for an upcoming Roaring 2020’s.  According to the Press Telegram, the “gayborhood” is coming back to Downtown Los Angeles.  Two LGBT bars are set to launch in the next few months. One of them is expected to open its doors any day now.

A new bar and lounge called Redline is planned to open in the Historic Core on the ground floor of the Santa Fe Lofts, reports the Downtown News. The 1,900 square foot bar and lounge is under construction at 121 E. Sixth Street, featuring a dance floor and food along with its many beverages.
Another new gay-oriented bar, Precinct, is scheduled to open just a few blocks away at Broadway and Fourth Street. The 8,500 square foot bar is being designed with a Prohibition-era police theme, a patio, pub and dance floor. The bars are under construction near Pershing Square, which is historically significiant to LGBT people since the area was gay hotspot for decades.
Downtown was previously home to many gay bars in the 1960’s and earlier as journaled in John Rechy’s novels City of Night and Numbers, as well as Gore Vidal’s Salt & the Pillar, but with LAPD harrassment & the rise toward West Hollywood Gay establishments, which were under the less stringent administration by the LA County Sherrifs, the DTLA Gay bars slowly disappeared. The last two Gay bars in DTLA, as remembered by one Yelp reviewer, were the Waldorf, with tough, street smart drag queens, and Harold’s, which some say harbored “rough trade” who hung around the bar to get money from Johns who tried to curry special favors from the street smart boys. By the mid 1980’s both Harold’s & Waldorf, which were on 527 & 555 South Main Street, were considered by the city officials to be the center of vice, and were thus condemned with parking structures to take their place.
Sometime around the 1990’s, Score, a Gay bar, was located on 107 West 4th Street catering somewhat to businessmen in DTLA & the local Latino population living nearby. More recently, there is another gay bar mostly patronized by a Latino crowd called Jalisco Bar on 245 South Main Street, near the old LA Times-Mirror Building. Hip downtown Los Angeles crosses the gentrification threshold with the first brick-and-mortar gay bar opening this summer on Broadway and Fourth in the Historic Core, Frontiers reports. While LGBT parties have one-off nights in venues throughout Downtown Los Angeles (now commonly called DTLA), Precinct will be the first one to have a regular home. Party promoters Brian McIntire and Thor Stephens are behind the venue, which will include a bar, dance floor, performance stage, and second-floor patio/veranda facing the lively intersection. McIntire and Stephens were drawn to DTLA because of its many LGBT residents and a fondness for the area’s historic architecture. “As is the case with most of the Historic District, the building we are in was constructed just after the turn of the 20th-century,” McIntire told the magazine. “Personally, we’re fans of the architecture of the era — a time when there was a more open celebration of individual craftsmanship and artistry — less disposable cookie-cuttery.” McIntire and Stephens also like the idea of DTLA because of its role in gay history, which is, sadly, mostly forgotten.
While many Los Angeles gays splintered off to West Hollywood or Silver Lake in the late-20th century, they’re returning to the city center and Precinct will welcome every stripe of LGBT humanity. “We’re hoping to see lots of beards and tattoos, with equal parts glitter, lipstick and leather,” McIntire said. Broadway also houses a new Ace Hotel and a forthcoming outpost of Big Gay Ice Cream Shop.

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