Yesterday at Slate, June Thomas examined why the LGBT rights movement was "born in a gay bar," but "the gay bar as a locus of political organizing and resistance was short-lived." Her top ten most important establishments are the Stonewall Inn, Julius, Black Cat (SF + LA), Dixie's, Club 82 [above via], Mona's 440 Club, the Eagle's Nest, the Atlantic House, and the Double Header.
Today, Thomas offers a limited discussion on whether or not gay bars can make money anymore. You'd think this would be entirely about the impact of the internet but that topic gets one third of one sentence. Instead, it's about location and gentrification and the rise of mixed straight-gay spots and the high costs bar owners face. The statistics are mainly based on Damron guide listings in 2005 vs 2011 (gay bars down 12%, mixed straight-gay up 42%) which may say more about Damron widening its scope as its core market dwindles. The article does not avoid stereotypes:
Bar owner in Iowa: "A gay will come in; they'll try to figure out how they can get the most booze in that glass for the lowest price. Straight people don't plan it out as much as gay people do."
Bar owner in Seattle: "in gay bars, customers expect cheap, strong drinks in large glasses."
Lesbian party promoter in New York: "Women tend to go out seeking a partner. When they find one, I don't see them for two years. Then all of a sudden they're out—you know, when they break up. You see them every single week at every single party until they find the next [girlfriend], and then they disappear, and the pattern continues." She adds, "Gay men go out a lot more because they cruise. They're more interested in finding fun."
Lesbian bar owner who also ran a straight bar on Long Island: "straight men spend a lot more money. They tip better. They're used to it. Of course, they make more money [than women]."
Also, a lite round-up of things gay bars are named after.