Thursday, October 23, 2014

San Francisco's Only Lesbian Bar, The Lexington, to Close

Owner cites increased rent and gentrification as reasons for closure.

By Anna Pulley
Thu, Oct 23, 2014 at 3:14 PM

click to enlarge FLICKR/MATTHEW RUTLEDGE
  • Flickr/Matthew Rutledge

It's telling that there's a solar eclipse today because we feel like the world is suddenly a lot darker. The City's only queer girl bar, The Lexington Club, is closing after eighteen years. The owner posted a somber message on the bar's Facebook page today, citing increased rent prices and gentrification as reasons why she was forced to sell.

See Also:
The San Francisco Bay Guardian to Close After 48 Years
Is New Social Media Site Ello Prompting a Queer Facebook Exodus?


As owner Lila Thirkield wrote in the FB message:
"A few years back my rent was raised to market rate, and though it was difficult, we seemed to weather it at first. But as the neighborhood continued to change, we began to see sales decline, and they continued to do so. We tried new concepts, different ways of doing things, but we were struggling. When a business caters to about 5% of the population, it has tremendous impact when 1% of them leave. When 3% or 4% of them can no longer afford to live in the neighborhood, or the City, it makes the business model unsustainable."
The end of The Lex marks the third recent LGBT bar closure of late, along with Esta Noche in the Mission and Marlena's in Hayes Valley. Thirkield noted in her message how difficult it is to lose queer spaces, but that The Lex could not survive:

Please know that if I thought The Lexington Club could be saved, I would not be writing this. I understand what a huge loss this is to the community. It is difficult and painful to lose our queer spaces.
The Lex will be sorely missed, but as Thirkield put it: "My faith in queer San Francisco still runs deep. It is the best place in the world and dykes and queers are still an integral part of this city. They always will be." 

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