Sunday, November 27, 2011

Her Bar

Her Bar
Her Bar

Location: 629 East Colfax Avenue, Denver, Colorado, USA

Opened: May 15, 2009

Closed: October 2010?

Her Bar was one long-awaited baby. Here's the birth announcment from Gayette:

Alright my lesbian sisters. . . Jody B. and the girls of tHERe are opening another bar! HER bar (how cute) opens this Saturday. It gets better . . . guess what, it’s actually on the hill!
HER bar is located at 629 E. Colfax Ave.
See you there!

And here's the birth announcment from Babes Around Denver (BAD), which was headlined "Hot New Lesbian Bar in Denver - Grand Opening Party Friday":

Party Friday May 15th at “Her Bar” -Denver’s newest lesbian club – great space, great sound and great vibe.  We welcome the new bar and BAD looks forward to hosting some fun events at Her Bar. Watch for Pride weekend updates and make sure you watch the parade in front of Her Bar.

As her name implies, Her Bar was certainly not the shy and retiring type as lesbian bars go. The same was true in her self-description. From her facebook page:

Her Bar interior
When you visit HER BAR, you're in for a treat. Live Music, weekly drink specials, pool tables, girls that dress like boys, boys that dress like girls, top, bottom, you name it, we got it....

And check this out. On Thursday nights, there was "Free Poker and Free Karaoke with Cupcake." As in real cupcakes with frosting? Or is this a person?

By the time that Denver Pride rolled around a few weeks after her grand opening, Her Bar was still riding high as the New Girl on the Block. From Metromix Denver:

First Look: HER Bar

With Pride weekend among us, we wanted to feature the newest member in the GLBT bar scene—HER Bar (standing for Homosexual Equal Rights). Although lesbian-owned, they say they welcome people of all walks of life.

Jody B. is the owner of this fab lesbian installment to the scene. She also owns tHERe Coffee Bar and Lounge on Colfax. You can tell she has fun with her businesses—by having the bathroom signs read “Butch” and “Femme.”

In addition to the big circular bar located inside, HER Bar also has Wii Fit that partygoers can get down on (no pun intended). They have fun pinball games, a great jukebox and sassy bartenders to chat with. They offer live music, weekly drink specials, pool tables and more. Within five minutes, you'll feel like a regular thanks to their welcoming nature.

Denver Pride 2009 in front of Her Bar

Her Bar played hostess to many Pride 2009 events:
HER Bar (629 E. Colfax Ave.) is a short walk from Civic Center, at East Colfax Avenue and Washington Street. This lady- focused hangout had its grand opening in May, taking over the former Harry's Bar space.
Appropriately, HER Bar is a hotbed of Pride events, starting tonight with "Miss Dee's Country Pride," Wear your dancin' boots — and bring a fiver for the cover charge.
Then, on Saturday, it's time for a ball to mark the happy occasion. There's no need to get too fancy, though: It's a come-as-you-are dress code. Cover is $10.

Here's a youtube clip of Steff Mehan performing at Her Bar around August 2009. Gives you an extra sense of the space.

So what did the patrons think? The reactions seemed to be very polarized: there were those who adored the place, and, well, those who weren't so keen on it. Representative of the superfans was Alllie V. in November 2009:

Weekends here are lively and bustling with gorgeous and intelligent ladies dancing, playing pinball, pool, darts, having discussions about poetry, books, and art all the while sipping on a variety of drinks poured by fun and attentive bartenders.

Owners Jodi B. and Dee know what it takes to create and maintain a safe haven for women who love women and anyone else who feels like they are marginalized from the LoDo scene or the aggressive one-night stand crowds in some of the rest of the bars on Colfax.

They even have Him at Her night, where boys are welcome to come and express themselves with true freedom and just have as much fun as the girls with girls! Weekdays there's also poetry, karaoke, and poker nights. The interior is warm and inviting, with big turquoise and fuschia colored walls and art made by Jodi B. herself. There is also a food menu with pizza, hummus and sandwiches at cheap prices, a fun dance floor and tables to rest on and just chat after all the dancing.

I'm glad a place like this exists that lets women just be women and as a straight girl I'm glad there's a place that is diverse and bursting at the seams with intellectual minds who are accepting of who you are no matter what you may be into!

Then there were the usual nattering nabobs of negativity. Some of the complaints: too hot inside, no ventillation, staff too slow at closing the tab, not enough people, too much drama, place too "hyped" overall. Also seems owner Jodie B. rubbed some folks the wrong way. Which seems to be par for the course with most bar owners. (Did Jodi B. really hang a "No Men Allowed" sign inside?)

Whatever her faults, Her Bar did win an award from Out Front Colorado in 2010:

OUTstanding Women's Bar
629 E. Colfax Ave., Denver
When it's women you're wantin' (no, we didn't say "wanton women"), look no further than HER Bar, where OFC readers go for dancing, pool, football, poetry, plenty of fun - and, of course, women.

So when did Her Bar close down? She had a review dated as late as October 3, 2010 (Lauren K. declared that Her Bar was "Fun and friendly!"). Her Bar was seemingly still open as of October 13, 2010, as a Professional Women's networking event was scheduled at Her Bar for that date. 

But she was certainly gone by mid-November 2010 as X Bar, a self-declared GLBT (read: gay men's) bar, had taken over the space. As GayCities so astutely observed,

From her to him
In the place of Her Bar (the former lesbian hangout), X Bar has opened and leans much more towards the male end of the spectrum.

From her to him: the phrase perfectly encapsulates the fate of so many lesbian bars....

Photo: Her Bar exterior and interior, Denver Pride

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