By Troy Becker

One of the sad facts of the pandemic is that many of our favorite gay bars and clubs are closing not just temporarily, but for good. Some of your favorite LGBTQ venues will not be back after COVID-19 lockdown measures have been eased. Gay bars and clubs already faced tough trading conditions before the pandemic. However, if things were tough before, the pandemic has made things worse. Many hospitality businesses are simply not equipped to stay closed for months at a time or to operate at a reduced capacity.

Here are just a few of the venues that are unlikely to reopen.

Therapy New York City

Therapy in New York City announced on Facebook this week it’s unlikely to reopen. The large, Hell’s Kitchen venue, which launched in 2003, is famed for its drag shows, often featuring queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race. “It’s with tears in our eyes that we have to admit it is highly unlikely that Therapy will ever reopen. Every one of YOU who has ever worked here, performed here, partied here… We love you. And though we cannot be together today, always know you are Therapy’s family.”

The Stud, San Francisco

In May, the owners of The Stud – San Francisco’s longest-operating LGBTQ bar – announced the business was vacating its long-term home. The venue has a history dating back to 1966. In 2016, its ownership was taken over by an LGBTQ collective of scene performers and promoters who breathed new life into the business. However, even they couldn’t contend with quarantine, and The Stud is no more at 399 Ninth Street.

Blow Buddies, San Francisco

One of the most infamous, gay sex clubs in the U.S., Blow Buddies opened in 1988. The 6,000 square-foot club opened in the midst of the AIDS epidemic. Last month, it posted the following message to its website: “Sadly, Blow Buddies will not be reopening after the pandemic. We tried many ways to figure out a path to return and were unsuccessful … It was a good run…August 8, 1988 to March 15, 2020. We are sad to see this chapter close. The club was created in response to one virus and done in by another.”

Badlands, San Francisco

The Castro-located Badlands dance club posted a message to its Facebook page in late July stating it would not be reopening and would be replaced by a new business. The bar first opened in 1975.

Parliament House, Orlando

The management of Parliament House – a 112-room hotel with several bars, dance floor and theatre – announced in October it would be closing on November, 2. “For over 45 years, The Parliament House has called Orange Blossom Trail our home,” it said. “We have to announce that our home at its current location will be closing Monday, November 2, 2020. We put up a good fight over the last 11 months to secure financing and renovate our existing property. Unfortunately, that fight ended today with no deal.”

Club Cobra, Los Angeles

This LGBTQ Latinx bar in North Hollywood was founded in 2007. In May, its owner, Julio Licón announced via Facebook it would not reopen after the COVID pandemic after the building’s landlord decided to sell the property.

Gold Coast Bar, West Hollywood

Gold Coast has been operating as a gay bar for 39 years. In September, one of its owners, Bryan Worl, took to Facebook to announce it would not be reopening after negotiations with the building’s landlord failed to save the business.

Rage, West Hollywood

Dance club Rage was a West Hollywood staple for 37 years. Sadly, in early September, it was reported it would not be returning.  The management was unable to secure a new lease with its landlords when the current lease expires in November, so it won’t be back when clubs are allowed to reopen.

CC Slaughters, Portland

This bar in Portland, Oregon, has been running for 39 years and is one of the best-known LGBTQ venues in the northwest. On October 4, it posted a message to its official Facebook page saying, “It saddens us to inform the public that as of Sunday October 11th, 2020, CC Slaughters Portland will be closing. We’d like to take the opportunity to thank you ALL for 39 amazing years of drinks, dancing, drama, and fun!

DC Eagle, Washington DC

Launched in 1971, the DC Eagle was the oldest gay bar in Washington DC. Employees were informed of the decision not to reopen in May during an online Zoom meeting. Although it began life as a leather and denim cruise bar, in recent years, DC Eagle had become a more inclusive-space, easing its dress code and hosting regular drag shows and community fundraisers.

Ziegfelds-Secrets, Washington DC

Like DC Eagle, the future of Ziegfelds-Secrets – the biggest LGBTQ venue in DC – was already in doubt after it was sold to new owners in 2016, with a view to potential property redevelopment. However, the pandemic was the final nail in the coffin. Management posted a message to social media in May stating, “Ziegfelds/Secrets regrettably has been forced to close our doors. We all have been honored to bring you the best in entertainment for 40 years, regrettably the option to stay and even have a closing event has been taken from us during this crisis.”

Attitudes, St.Louis

With a history dating back to 1988, Attitudes was the longest-running gay club in St Louis, Missouri. Its owners announced in August the venue was shuttering for good, via a message on Facebook.

The Albuquerque Social Club, Albuquerque

This long-running LGBTQ venue opened in the 1970s as The Heights, before becoming Albuquerque Social Club (or just “The Soch”) in 1983. It closed in March because of the pandemic. In late August, its board of directors said it would not be reopening, citing financial difficulties prompted by the ongoing pandemic.

BT2, Austin

North Austin gay bar ‘Bout Time 2 closed in March because of the pandemic and announced in May it was shuttering for good. Bout Time II opened in 2012, and was the second incarnation of the bar, with the first ‘Bout Time running from 1984-2012.

Grand Central, Baltimore

The much-loved LGBTQ venue opened in Baltimore in 1991 as Central Station. After it took over the neighboring Stagecoach it relaunched as Grand Central in 2003. However, in early September is posted an announcement on Instagram that it would not be returning due to “challenges created by the pandemic and our beverage-only driven business.”

Little Jim’s, Chicago

Little Jim’s was the first gay bar to open in the Boystown district around 45 years ago. A homely, attitude-free establishment, it had a reputation as being like a gay ‘Cheers’ (the bar in the long-running comedy show) where all members of the LGBTQ community were welcome. It closed in early July. The premises may be converted into a new, additional clinic for the Howard Brown Health center.

Please let us know any venues we might have missed–and that will be missed at