Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Delilah's Bar

Delilah's Bar
Delilah's Bar

Location: 67555 East Palm Canyon, Cathedral City, California, USA

Founded: March 2006

Closed: 2007

Here's how the (re)opening of Delilah's was announced back in 2006:

Interior, Delilah's Bar
Cindy Chaisson and Paula Huettl are proud to announce the return of Delilah's, a bar for women and their friends. Once voted the Best Bar in its first year of operation by Lifestyle Magazine Awards. Delilah's has been sorely missed by Palm Springs area locals and visitors alike. On Friday, March 31, 2006 we saw the opening of the new DELILAH'S, just in time for Dinah Shore Weekend! If you joined us these past few weekends you'll want to join us again for even more fun and friendship, and if you haven't stopped by yet, please take a few moments to check us out!

Here's how GayCities announced Delilah's homecoming:

Delilah's is a recent and welcome addition to the GLBT bar scene in the desert. Women owned and operated, Delilah's is one of the few lesbian bars in the Palm Springs area. Lifestyle Magazine awarded it the "Best Bar" award in its first year.

And then there's clubfly's usual terse description:

In a nutshell: For women and their friends with karaoke, video, food and music...

Delilah's was certainly ready and waiting for the big lesbian event of the year: the big Dinah Shore Weekend in Palm Springs, which was held in April. (Though back in 1997, the LPGA was still sticking its collective head in the sand and denying the existence of the huge "lesbian spring break" in their midst--nearly 20,000 women from around the world who gathered to drink, party, ogle...and, oh, maybe watch some golf.) Trish Owens, the co-manager of Delilah's, told Sports Illustrated that the players were skittish about openly acknowledging their sexuality, though she conceded that "we've had several players this week." The reason was clearly money: "They worry they'll lose endorsements." But skittishness didn't stop the then president of NOW, Patricia Ireland ("my sport is politics"), from selling books at Delilah's--this also according to Sports Illustrated.  

Several sites mentioned that Delilah's had been the only surviving lesbian bar in the area. Yet Delilah's hardly lasted out the year. By September 2007--if not earlier--the business was for sale:

Delilah's Business for sale - Cathedral City, California

Popular bar and dance club in Cathedral City located in busy center. Across the street from Target and Trader Joe's. Has a full 48 liquor license. They have a full patio that has been approved for alcohol with misting system. There are many attached improvements on this property. They have installed ... - Cathedral City, California

By 2009, area lesbians had the usual crumbs they have come to expect nearly everywhere:

By the way, Delilah's was once the Palm Springs area's only lesbian bar. It went out of business, but you will find women sprinkled throughout many bars in the Palm Springs area including Toucans, and Sidewinders. The Hunters nightclub has a women's night on the last Saturday of the month, 7 to 10 p.m.

And as often happens, the space formerly occupied by a lesbian bar was eventually subplanted by a (mostly male?) gay bar called Studio One 11.

Photo: Delilah's Bar (exterior), and the interior.  

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