LGBT

Is the Price of Freedom the Closing of Lesbian Bars?

|

Via the interesting and entertaining website NY Barfly comes this NY Times tale of the cost of social progress: Rubyfruit Bar and Grill, a 14-year-old establishment catering to lesbians is closing because the closet just isn't as full in these Sodomite end of days:

"Back then in 1994 there wasn't this liberation yet for lesbian women, so it became a haven with private, intimate dinners, great wines, a place to hold hands and feel comfortable being out and having dinner," said Rubyfruit's owner, Debra C. Fierro, who told customers of her decision to close the business at a private event last Monday, then publicly announced her decision over the weekend. "Here we are in 2008, where they no longer need to have their own place. They can go anywhere and do whatever they want. It's kind of a good thing, I guess."

More here.

Rita Mae Brown's groundbreaking novel, Rubyfruit Jungle, on sale here.

NEXT: Pity the Poor Incumbent

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Repression creates markets for sin.

    Someone run and tell the Christianists, before it is too late.

  2. I’m collecting donations to keep this and other like establishments open. Having lesbians segregated from the female community makes the job of picking up bar skanks much easier.

  3. The business owner closing her doors says –

    They can go anywhere and do whatever they want. It’s kind of a good thing, I guess.

    You’re a class act, Debra C. Fierro.

  4. a 14-year-old establishment

    Idunno, I find the porn lesbians hot, but the idea of bars for 14 year old lesbians just creeps me out. They should wait at least another 4 years.

  5. Wait.
    You mean lesbians might start going to my bar?

  6. I’ll pay any price! Bear any burden! To prevent a lesbian from enjoying a nice cocktail or glass of wine!

  7. the idea of bars for 14 year old lesbians just creeps me out.

    You’re a eunuch, aren’t you? Be honest.

  8. fish,

    cocktail

    I doubt the womyn pictured have any interest in anything with the word “cock” in it.

  9. I doubt the womyn pictured have any interest in anything with the word “cock” in it.

    “tail” on the other hand…

  10. fish,

    I have a bicycle to sell you. Interested?

  11. fish,

    Betcha they drive HEMIS so they can fishtail.

  12. The idea of 14-year-old lesbians doesn’t “creep me out.”
    But something on me is definitely creeping, and it’s the reason I have to sit at my desk with my legs crossed for the next four hours thinking of nothing but dead kittens.

  13. Geez, Nick, that’s the best image of lesbians you could find?

  14. This is kind of interesting. One would think that a place that was once a haven for a minority would have a great head start on operating in a more open, accepting society.

    What we see here is not only that lesbian women are more accepted and comfortable in the greater society, but that Rubyfruit has been unable to match that openess and acceptance. In other words, perhaps if Fierro had solicited customers from the greater community as that same community was attracting more lesbian customers, she wouldn’t have to close up shop.

  15. Abdul,

    I think he was going for that real-life NOW lesbian look. Not the Ashley Renee and her friends, perfect bondage porn lesbian affect.

    Seems the experiment went too far . . .

  16. Guy,

    Thanks for making me spew Pepsi all over my friends table. I’m not going to clean it up so I’m moving to the coffee table.

  17. perhaps if Fierro had solicited customers from the greater community as that same community was attracting more lesbian customers, she wouldn’t have to close up shop.

    Good point.

  18. Wait, are you saying that bars with names like Manhole, The Seaman’s Inn*, The Back Door, The Pacific Rim, and so on will go out of business and deprive us of their awesome names?

    * that is the name of a real, legitimate non-gay inn in Mystic, CT that–irony of ironies–is frequently used for high school proms

  19. I bet if there was a picture of three hot lesbians in fanzi jackets Nick would have posted that picure instead.

  20. Epi,

    I think Nashville had a bar called the Manhole, but the connotation did not dawn on me until your post.

    Almost swallowed tobacco juice when I saw it.

  21. Tobacco juice? What a man . . .

  22. I love you.

  23. I bet if there was a picture of three hot lesbians in fanzi jackets Nick would have posted that picure instead.

    Please, Naga, it’s FONZIE, with an “o.” Didn’t they teach you about Fonzie in school? He freed the squares!

  24. wasn’t there a bar in Chicago called The White Swallow?

  25. Fonzie was violent.
    No father. High-school dropout.
    He died in prison, cut through the jugular with knife made from plate-shop metal.

  26. Fonzie . . . fonzie . . . fonzie . . . alright I think I got it. Better ask about his signature saying . . . so it AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY or EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEY?

  27. NS,

    I think the silly novelty license plates said AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY.

  28. How will the military figure out which bars to tell Uniformed Military Personel not to frequent? Guess they will have to list them all from now on. No bars of any kind for anyone!!!!

  29. Jaime Kelly,

    You sure? I thought he died from a virulent form of syphillis.

  30. You know lesbian bars are behind the curve when mainstream restaurants like Applebee’s openly solicit Sapphic types in their TV ads.

  31. Henry Winkler was Jewish so I’m pretty sure it was “Ooooooooooooy”.

  32. No bars for military personel? What are you trying to do? Start a mutiny?

  33. I bet if there was a picture of three hot lesbians in fonzi jackets Nick would have posted that picture instead.

    The problem with this is that the thought of three little fonzies immediately recalls an image of Samuel L. Jackson with an Awesome fro and a hand cannon, a pale-as-death Tim Roth, and a ready-to-pee-her-pants Amanda Plummer.

    Not exactly stroking material.

    No conclusive info on whether Plummer’s character was a lesbian, but highly doubtful given the context.

  34. Guy,

    Well, I want to be sure. I’ll ask ClubMedSux what his license plate says.

  35. Geez, Nick, that’s the best image of lesbians you could find?

    You don’t think Alice B. Toklas is hot, Abdul?

  36. How will the military figure out which bars to tell Uniformed Military Personel not to frequent?

    I didn’t know that they brought back the off-limits lists. They were pretty much dropped in the early 1990s and I have not heard of them returning, but I have not been out to a unit in a while either.

    One of the better ones around here, from a source who used to administer said lists, was Murphey’s on King St. in Alexandria, VA. Not for being a gay bar, but allegedly because that is where Sen. Ted Kennedy used to meet with his IRA buddies.

    Another one was the Hamburger Hamlet in the Crystal City Underground. But that was for foreign operatives frequenting the place when the Navy had a huge presence in the neighborhood.

  37. Elemonope,

    Snap out of it man! Focus on the part of three hot lesbians. If you have to ignore the part of Fonzie jackets, then do it. Just abort the image if you must.

  38. Henry Winkler was Jewish

    It all went downhill when he converted to Russian Orthodox

  39. It all went downhill when he converted to Russian Orthodox

    That was Kramer on Seinfeld, silly.

    BTW, the ad generator is broken. Not seeing any hot lesbian action on my screen.

  40. Maybe now we’ll have historically gay bars, kind of like historically black colleges…only gay…and bars.

  41. Off Limit List,

    We were talking military, not Air Force.

  42. Naga-

    My license plate actually reads “SIT ONIT.”

  43. BTW, the ad generator is broken. Not seeing any hot lesbian action on my screen.

    I think this is the first time I’ve seen the RealJock ad though

  44. Naga,
    Focus on…three hot lesbians

    Done and done.
    Sandy, Sophie and Zaphira?
    Perhaps not lesbians, but definitely “gay for pay.” Which, by the way, is fine by me.
    Thank you Denys Defrancesco!

  45. It all went downhill when he converted to Russian Orthodox

    No, I think Happy Days jumped the shark when Fonzie tried to leap the flaming bowl of motza ball soup.
    Or when he attempted to jump a shark or something. I forget.

  46. We were talking military, not Air Force.

    Ooh! Sick burn!

  47. I do what I can for the community, Kool. Now if I can just get healing fists like Fonzie, I’ll be set.

  48. Naga Sadow | July 9, 2008, 2:03pm | #

    Fonzie . . . fonzie . . . fonzie . . . alright I think I got it. Better ask about his signature saying . . . so it AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY or EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEY?

    I thought it DonderooooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOO!

  49. Geez, Nick, that’s the best image of lesbians you could find?

    New theory: Reason is trying to manipulate the hot lesbian image market by flooding the intertubes with frumpy lesbian images.

    Next thing you know, there will be a Congressional investigation. Thanks Nick!

  50. What? Did they get the date wrong? 1994? Sounds like she’s describing 1964 or ’74. There were plenty of liberation for lesbians in 1994, and plenty of lesbian and mixed bars in NYC. Weird.

  51. It all went downhill when he converted to Russian Orthodox

    That was Kramer on Seinfeld, silly.

    Not to pick nits, but I believe it was George. Kramer just has the Kevorka(sp?).

    No, I think Happy Days jumped the shark when Fonzie tried to leap the flaming bowl of motza ball soup.
    Or when he attempted to jump a shark or something. I forget.

    It was when Richie Cunningham got his hands on Fonzie’s real birth certificate from Hawaii.

  52. What? Did they get the date wrong? 1994? Sounds like she’s describing 1964 or ’74. There were plenty of liberation for lesbians in 1994, and plenty of lesbian and mixed bars in NYC. Weird.

    It seems that people generally have a problem remembering how it was for people who were not them a decade-and-a-half ago.

    The ’90s, while certainly a better decade for homosexuals, were still fairly closet-encouraging. The Gay Rights Movement, culturally, has made *huge* strides since then in the aughts.

  53. That should read: “…while certainly a better decade for homosexuals than those that had come before

  54. Seems to me the real reason for the closing was spelled out in the very sentence previous to the quoted paragraph:

    a result of higher rents and the more diffuse residential patterns of gay men and lesbians

    In other words, they couldn’t afford the rent, and the Village is now populated by celebrities and investment bankers. The rest just sounds like silver lining.

  55. Not to pick nits, but I believe it was George. Kramer just has the Kevorka(sp?).

    Oh yea. oops!

  56. hey, whatever makes them happy is what I always say. Who am I to judge?

    JT
    http://www.iurlz.com/datools

  57. Geez, Nick, that’s the best image of lesbians you could find?

    Happy now? (NSFW)

    Or if you’re too jaded for softcore (REALLY nsfw)

  58. I went to a lesbian bar (more of a tavern really…it is hard to get a booze license in Oregon) in Portland by accident and they would not let me smoke inside so i had to smoke outside in the rain and cold.

    Aside from me and a few friends the place was empty.

    The irony being that the name of the place was “The Dive”.

  59. “I’ll pay any price! Bear any burden! To prevent a lesbian from enjoying a nice cocktail or glass of wine!”

    By that you mean a tall glass of PBR, correct?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.