Sunday, November 18, 2018

Church of the New Ideal

Image result for Liscard concert hall
Wallasey
Church of the New Ideal

Location: Wallasey, Cheshire, England


Opened: March 1914


Closed: Before end of World War I (1918)





I found this news item while reading a newspaper from April 1914: 






There's more at this blog: Making a Track

In early 1914, adverts began to appear in women’s suffrage and local papers for the start of a Women’s Church in Wallasey, Cheshire.  Entitled the Church of the New Ideal, it was formally launched at its first service on 29 March 1914.  Held at the Liscard Concert hall,  this offered both mixed-gender and women-only services, but was organised and officered by women alone.  A proto-ecumenical adventure, women from seven different Christian denominations (including Anglican and Quaker) were represented in its management and it sought to include those who felt no place in any church: those women who, finding the Church


like a cage… (had) come away in sheer disgust at the attitude of the clergy towards the things which to women are dearer than life.


(Miss M.Hoy, letter to the Wallasey & Wirral Chronicle, 14 March 1914).
The Church of the New Ideal flourished initially but did not survive through to the end of the first world war, for by this time ministry opportunities for women were slowly beginning to open up.  Yet the Wallasey Women’s Church thus not only created unprecedented space for women but also attempted to offer a more feminine aspect of God, adding to the impetus building up within mainstream religious circles.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Hershee Bar

Hershee Bar
Hershee Bar
The closing of Hershee Bar

Location: 1083 W 37th Street, Norfolk, Virginia, USA 

Opened: 1983

Closed: 2018

From the Virginian-Pilot:

"We're losing our home": The last lesbian bar in Hampton Roads closes its doors
By Saleen Martin and Amy Poulter
Staff writers
Nov 1, 2018 Updated 5 hrs ago

NORFOLK
Outside of the Hershee Bar's main entrance, two lit candles sat on a bench Wednesday night. Sandwiched between them was a sign.

"Thank you Hershee Bar for 'being there' for me when no one else was," it read.

Inside, flashing lights lit up the dance floor. A 1990s R&B mix blared through the speakers as people dressed as Run DMC, Minnie Mouse and pharaohs flashed their driver's licenses to get in.

It was their last night to grab drinks and feast on shrimp and french fries at the bar on Sewells Point Road before the building is torn down and the property is sold to the city. At 1:45 a.m., supporters said on social media, police arrived and watched the doors from the parking lot.

Bernie Gerlach was there with her two friends, Christi Hogge and Rene Hayes.

She met them at Hershee in 1998, she said.

For the past 20 years, the trio has gone there to remember lost loved ones, attend wedding receptions and unwind, they said. The bar was a safe haven for lesbians when it first opened, said Gerlach, who's from Newport News.

"We're losing our home," she said.

In February, the City Council voted unanimously to spend $1.5 million on the property in the Five Points neighborhood. Hershee was told to leave after Oct. 31.

Charles Cooper, who owns the property, asked the city to buy the lot in 2017 after his family removes the buildings, The Pilot reported. Cooper's son has said the bar was not targeted and other nearby businesses would also be affected by the sale.

Most recently, a spokesperson for Gov. Ralph Northam said they had received four calls by Wednesday afternoon about the bar, but an application to designate the location as historic had not been filed.

Bar owner Annette Stone hugged customers as she walked in Wednesday night. Over 200 people showed up, she said.

"It's overwhelming," she said. "But I expected that because that's how great these people are. That's how much this bar means to them."

Stone and a group of her supporters both posted on Facebook in the early hours Thursday that several Norfolk police officers showed up about 1:45 a.m., minutes before the bar shut down for good.

Michael Carney also came to celebrate one last time.

He has been visiting the bar since it opened in 1983, and he was one of the few men allowed into the bar back then, he said.

"There were maybe four or five of us who could get past the door person," Carney said. "Men would come in and harass the girls."

When his partner died, he went to Hershee to find solace. He went through a three-day depression when he found out the fate of the bar, he said.

"Today was also a very emotional day," said Carney. "The reality of it. I've dealt with it, but a lot of people haven't."

Lakela Fuller, who has been going to Hershee since she was 18, showed up, too. The bar's staff has seen her at her best and her worst, she said, grinning and pointing toward Burt McManus, a bartender at Hershee for 34 years.

McManus and other staff at Hershee have taken care of her and helped her accept who she is, she said.

If the bar ever opens in another location, she said, she'll be there.

"Whatever place they tell me they're going, I will go," she said. "It's like a family."

Pilot writer Amy Poulter contributed to this story.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Women's Beer Forum

A group of women in a brewery.
Women's Beer Forum
Women's Beer Forum

Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

Opened: 2011

Closed: 2018

It's true. The boys are even afraid of you sharing a brew with your gal pals. God only knows what you're talking about or you're planning. They need to be there to monitor!

By Beth Demmon

Oct 19 2018, 2:34pm

Women-Only Craft Beer Forum Shut Down By Men’s Rights Activist
Ting Su, co-founder of Eagle Rock Brewery and host of the event, now finds herself needing to raise money for a legal defense fund.

The Women’s Beer Forum, hosted by Los Angeles-based Eagle Rock Brewery, is the latest victim in a long line of so-called “gender-based discrimination” lawsuits initiated by various men’s rights activists (MRAs), who are lashing out events and promotions designed for women.

According to its GoFundMe page, the monthly meetup—started by Eagle Rock co-founder Ting Su—was created in March 2011 after Su witnessed women get “pigeonholed by their male counterparts into drinking only specific beer styles. And when women asked me (a fellow woman behind the bar) about beer-style recommendations," Su continues, "some men would interject by sharing what they thought women should drink. After seeing this so frequently I felt compelled to create an environment that was less male-dominated than anything else in the beer world.”

The group’s overall goal was “to serve as an educational platform for more women interested in learning about beer, tasting through different beer styles, and being with a community of other women who enjoy good beer.” In short, it was a group created to serve as a counterbalance to a culture in which roughly 70 percent of craft beer drinkers are men.

It's far from the only group with this goal; the national women’s organization Pink Boots Society, with over a thousand members across North America, was also designed to “assist, inspire and encourage women beer industry professionals to advance their careers through education.”

Aggressive exclusionary tactics to keep men out were never used, Su says. In fact, men often participated and even presented at the meetups in the past. But in November 2017, a self-described MRA contacted Eagle Rock Brewery regarding the upcoming forum and was told it was for women only. That’s when the threats began.

“He then proceeded to demand thousands of dollars from us, while also threatening a discrimination complaint through the government if we refused to pay. Since he had never purchased admission through our online sales portal, we were unaware about his request to attend the Women’s Beer Forum. We apologized about the miscommunication and offered him an opportunity to learn about the same flight of beers provided at the event for the same ticket price. He declined the educational opportunity and instead filed a claim through the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH),” explains Su on the GoFundMe page.

At the advice of her attorney, Su declined to name the activist. However, public court records and other media reports identify the man as Steve Frye, who once sued Donald Trump for being sexist against men.

See the rest here

Monday, October 15, 2018

Stouffer's Ladies Restaurant

Stouffer's Ladies Restaurant

Location: 4 North Court Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA

Opened/Closed: c. 1916

Here's an ad for a ladies restaurant that appeared in the Harrisburg Daily Independent, June 16, 1916:


Stouffer's at least appeared to have a strict code about admitting men, even relative to other local restaurants: "It is the only one of its kind in the city where a Gentleman must be accompanied by a Lady to be admitted. It is, therefore, practically a private Ladies' Restaurant...." 

Wonder what was on the menu? 

And, most importantly, do you take reservations???


Saturday, September 29, 2018

Mr. M. M'Ginley's Ladies Restaurant

Mr. M. M'Ginley's Ladies' Restaurant

Location: Fifth Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Opened/Closed: c. 1858

I wasn't even trying to do research on ladies restaurants when I happened to stumble across this little item. It's from the Pittsburgh Daily Post, Oct. 29, 1858:

Ladies Restaurant.--Mr. M. M'Ginley's Ladies' Restaurant, on Fifth Street, opposite the Exchange Bank, is a great public convenience. He has fitted up his rooms in elegant style, and the ladies can enjoy a dish of "stewed, fried or roasted" in the most complete privacy. When at a distance from their residences at meal time, the ladies will find this establishment fully prepared to furnish them with good things.




Saturday, August 11, 2018

Page Three

Buddy Kent and friends at Page Three
(Lesbian Herstory Archives)
Page Three

Location: Greenwich Village, New York

Opened: 1940s?

Closed: 1965

Martin Duberman identifies Page Three as "one of the few lesbian bars in the village" back in the 1940s and 50s. The others he mentions are The Seven Steps, Bagatelle, Swing Rendezvous, Pony Stable, and Laurel's "(famous for its free Chinese food on Sunday afternoons)." This was also an era in which Greenwich Village lesbian bars were still considered "white women's bars" where Black women were "ignored or treated like an oddity."

Buddy Kent (aka Bubbles Kent), a lesbian club entertainer from that era, shared memories of Page Three (and other gay and lesbian bars of her youth) with Lisa Davis back in 2006:

She turned to another photo. “Here’s Kicky with me and Jacquie Howe and a couple of kids. Everybody in the Village back then knew Jacquie Howe.”

She paused. “We owned this place in the photo called the Page Three. You can see it had a nice little intimate room where we had some good acts. Tiny Tim got his start at the Page Three.”

“Jacquie looks like FDR with that cigarette-holder,” I said.

“Oh, she was a real character.” Buddy smiled a loving smile. “If somebody had told me that Jacquie went to bed with Queen Elizabeth, I wouldn’t have been surprised! She’d been to bed with everybody else!”

“So you always felt safe in the Village?” I asked.

“It was home,” Buddy replied, “and we had the best protection in the world from the Mafia. They ran everything.”

Buddy is also reported as saying the following about Page Three in this article:

Then Kicky and Jackie decided to get this little place that was doing nothing, The Page Three. We struck a deal with the owners and bought into the place. So finally we were working for ourselves and getting a little bit of the gravy. A lot of very big people used to come down there, like Jimmy Donahue. And the crowd followed us, the hookers and the madams and the kinky guys with money. Our show was a success from the first week.

Regarding Tiny Tim, we're told the following: 

In 1962, calling himself Larry Love, he [Tiny Tim] landed his first paying jobs, on the Greenwich Village lesbian bar circuit, and shortly the big vampire scarecrow - a singularly striking figure even amid the emerging period weirdness - began to develop a cult following. At this point, a manager took hold of Larry Love and sought to rename him Sir Timothy Thames. Herbie didn't like that much. Eventually, the two settled on Tiny Tim. IN 1965, following the shutdown of his chief Village venue, a bar called Page Three, Tiny Tim wandered up to midtown and got himself installed as a house regular at a happening disco called The Scene, which is where Mo Ostin of Reprise Records heard him in late 1967 and, there at the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, signed him to a recording contract on the spot.

Stage Three is also mentioned in Ruby, a novel by Cynthia Bond. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Bon Ton Cafe Ladies Cafe

Bon Ton Cafe Ladies Cafe

Location: Jackson, Mississippi, USA

Opened/Closed: c. 1917

Here's an ad for a ladies cafe in Jackson, Mississippi from October 1917. Needless to say, all the usual caveats about race and social/economic class apply. Still, what a menu!

Bon Ton Cafe 21 Oct 1917 - 50c -SPECIAL SUNDAY DINNER-50c ", . - AT BON...
Jackson Daily News (Jackson, Mississippi) - Oct. 21, 1917