Thursday, September 1, 2011

Club Broadway

Club Broadway
Club Broadway

Location: 3348 East Broadway, Long Beach, California, USA

Opened: Earliest reference I have found to someone going there is 2003, but it probably opened well before that

Closed: March-April 2010?

First of all, allow the lady to introduce herself:

Hi there. I am a bar at the corner of Redondo and Broadway in Long Beach. I have pool, darts, and alcohol. Lots of alcohol. I have the friendliest bartenders in town. If you see Jeff at the bar, buy him a drink.

Okay. Interesting self-introduction, that. Here's what the indomitable Andrew Collins had to say about Club Broadway over at

Small, laid-back, and generally pretty mellow, Club Broadway (3348 E. Broadway, 562-438-7700) is a long-running lesbian bar along the city's main GLBT-bar strip, East Broadway (it's actually several blocks east of most of the other bars). Inside you'll find a pool table, darts, and ample seating and standing areas. It's just a few steps from one of the more raffishly endearing dive bars in Long Beach, the Reno Room, which is mostly hetero but also draws quite a few gays and lesbians.

Clubplanet also had complementary things to say:

Club Broadway - This cozy little joint close to the beach can make most girls happy. You can play darts, pool, or watch the tube. Great spot for the ladies to just chill.

GayCities, was, uh, a bit less diplomatic:

Lesbian dive bar on the Broadway strip
Not to be confused with the Broadway Cocktail Lounge, which caters to the men, Club Broadway features a predominantly female clientele for dancing and drinks.

As for patron reviews, I have never seen so many self-centered, entitled men, who, upon barging into a lesbian bar, immediately start whining about all the dykes--and how they all didn't promptly fall down and kiss their male feet upon entry. Notice how these men were basically demanding the following: that they not be ignored, that they be paid attention to, that their "straight"/bi-curious girlfriend have access to the lesbians, and that they be "liked." Even as one grudgingly admitted that there were hardly any bars for lesbians in Long Beach! Doesn't matter. Men still "deserved" unfettered access on their terms.

Like Raphael M. (December 2006):

I've been here twice.
Once, I was ignored (being a solitary guy in a lesbian bar, I should have expected that). The second time was great, and I met some cool neighbors.

Or Robert P. (April 2007):

Aside from all the lesbians, this place rocks! No seriously, this bar kicks ass. I mean sure, it's all women, but who needs all the attention all the time anyway? This is a great place to bring your lesbian sister (like me,) or to bring your "straight" girlfriend who SWEARS she's "straight"...but likes kissing girls when she's drunk (like me.) It's a bit small, but since they have room for a pool table, they have room for me! The two male bartenders are the sweetest guys ever! They always make my night. However, I do not recommend this place if you are a single guy with not even one girl in your realm of association.

Or Eric T. (April 2008):

The girls at Club Broadway don't like me!  It saddens me a little.
I rolled up here once with a posse of two gay boys, one "straight" boy and a confused "bi-curious" girl.  The looks we got at this place made it clear we weren't welcome.  I can understand.  The gays in Long Beach have taken over everything.  The lesbians have been alienated and only have, like, three bars in all of Long Beach that they can call predominantly lesbian.  But, damn bitches, can't some fags just have a beer and not have to incur your wrath?

Some of the same complaints were echoed by the (ostensibly straight?) women as well, who demanded nothing less than kind and adoring looks (no rude staring!) for their boyfriends. Come on all you dykes! Put on your happy faces for the menz!

Like Soleil D. (January 2010):

If you plan on coming here (a primarily Lesbian bar), lose the males and all is well. If you don't mind the awkward, "why are they here" stares then abuse the no waiting for drinks, admire the pro-pool players, and sit wherever you like.

Or Lauren M. (October 2009):

As far as gay bars go, don't walk into this one if you are any of the following; Gay Male, Straight Women, straight male, or under 45. let me assure you,  not only get the look of death from the regular pool nazis, you might never get a drink from any of the bartenders. If you do happen to enter this abyss, march as fast as you can up the stairs to the "crows nest" and stay there the entire evening. It will be your only safety net.

The bitching got to the point where even a gay man felt the need to intervene with something like a voice of reason. Here's David M. (May 2008):

Listen, this is a Lesbian BAR!
I'm a gay guy and I don't expect to be treated special here.

A few lesbians chipped in a few words of support as well. (Though there were also a few complaints interspersed here and there about all the "ex-military closeted 40+ diesel dyke" types and the "gnarly" bathrooms.) Here's eve I (May 2007), who had nothing but pure adoration for the place:

OK, am I the only person that LOVES this bar?? Does that make me weird? Am I destined to wear  flannel and own 10 cats in my golden years? So be it!
This bar is tiny, or "cozy" as some might say but I love going here for the happy hour and chatting it up. The bartenders usually show a little extra love in their drink mixing and they have one of those digital jukeboxes but the selections that you don't have to pay extra for are pretty awesome and varied (Devo, Siouxsie, MJ, Madonna, The Clash, etc) despite being a little heavy on the Melissa Etheridge but what else did you expect? This is a dyke bar! Also, of all the times that I've been in here, I've noticed a, older and wiser (perhaps?) assortment of ladies.
I love the upstairs perch so I can view all the action but have a more quiet place to gossip. I've also noticed that this is a fave spot for semi-PDAs.
Also, the second to last time that I was here, an older drunk butch serenaded me and kissed my hand like a gentlemen! Now, if I could only feel this loved at all the other bars I go to!

Or Ann P. (January 2009):

This bar has been around for quite some time. It is labeled a "lesbian" bar but I've seen every walk of life in here. I'm not going to sit here and label lesbians that frequent this establishment cause that shit is low. Were all rowing up shit river together so everybody grab an oar and row together damn-it ! I go in here maybe 2 times a year with my pals and I always have a good time.

Or Betty N. (August 2009):

LOVE this place!
Fun people and fun times.
Bartenders HOOKED it up . . ordered a shot . . . it became a triple. Each and every time. THANK YOU, oh so friendly bartenders!
Simple layout with kooky dark bar and one bathroom. There is a pool table and a dart board.
Great vibe and no stinky eye! LOVE it!

Erin V--despite a lot of ambivalence--dredged up something of a final eulogy for Club Broadway...once it was gone:

This establishment has finally closed their doors forever.
It was predominantly a lesbian bar.  It had been for so many years.  Was is a cool lesbian bar?  Sadly no.  I think some of the the locals were were not as friendly towards their own.  I've felt that before.  The stares, well I suppose its because you're fresh meat in a fish market.  It's really sad.  I mean really, considering we're still fighting for our rights to be an equal citizen.  How can you not be queer friendly towards your own.  I'm not a man hater,  I've brought some of my straight friends here. At one point it was an okay bar.  They did have some pretty strong drinks from what I remember.
There aren't too many lez bars in LB to begin with so it's a little sad that this location is now closed

Since at least May 2010, a (gay male?) "sports bar" called Baddeley's Pourhouse has been operating at this location. And finally, all the boys are happy because they're not being "discriminated" against any more. As one guy proclaimed, "Great addition to the neighborhood. To me Club Broadway was a bit scary. Probably the thought of getting beat up by a girl was a little too much for my ego to take."

Yea, probably so.

Interesting, that you don't see any (out) lesbians reviewing Baddeley's or whether they feel welcomed there. I suspect that, as usual, they're not. They didn't expect to feel welcomed though. And they're just keeping quiet about it.

Photo: Club Broadway (exterior) by Andrew Collins

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