Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Trader Vic's

Trader Vic's
The "other" Trader Vic's in Dallas
Trader Vic's

Location: 3018 Monticello Avenue, Dallas Texas, USA

Opened: 1962

Closed: 1967

According to Through the years: Dallas’ gay culture, Trader Vic's was the State of Texas' first lesbian bar. It was opened in 1962 by Donna Foster, who reportedly died in March 2002.

This was NOT part of the California-based chain of  Polynesian restaurant called Trader Vic's that opened across the U.S. back in the 1960s. In fact, Trader Vic's (the lesbian bar) predated Trader Vic's (the restaurant), which didn't open in Dallas until 1967. (That Trader Vic's was located on Mockingbird and North Central Expressway, and closed in 1989. It then reopened in March 2007 before closing again in 2010.) There was actually a court battle in May 1967 over the Trader Vic's name, which the lesbian bar lost.  Note that the newspaper article (see to the side) does not mention Donna Foster, but states that the owner's name is Ethyl Boyd.

Started the search on these pioneering women. But I quickly figured out that there are too many women named "Donna Foster" for this to be an easy project. Surprisingly, there are lots of women named "Ethyl Boyd" or "Ethel Boyd" as well. Perhaps the most promising candidate is an Ethyl Boyd who (in the 1940 Census) lived on Belmont Street in the City of Dallas. That particular Ethyl would have been in her mid-60s about the time of the lawsuit. But I'm not yet convinced this is the right party.

If anybody has a lead let me know. Otherwise, I'll just keep plowing through and other on-line obituaries and see if they show up.

It looks like the original site for the lesbian Trader Vic's was demolished for road work. And I can find no other photos.

Sort of an aside: It is not unheard of for a lesbian place to lose the right to use its own name. The same thing happened to the Amazon Bookstore Cooperative in Minneapolis (later known after the True Colors Bookstore) after their 10-year fight with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.