Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Fish Bowl

7367 Exchange Place today
The Fish Bowl

Location: 7367 Exchange Place, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

Opened/Closed: Early 2000s

Perhaps one of the earliest reviews of The Fish Bowl is this undated description from mygayweb:

The newest lesbian bar in Baton Rouge. Relax and enjoy a drink after work with our daily happy hour while you gaze into our aquariums. Beat your friends at a game of pool or darts, or just get wild and crazy on the weekend with our DJs and our weekly events like the Frozen T-Shirt Contest. Whatever you decide, you will always have a good time!
The Fish Bowl was obviously around--and apparently still fairly new--in April 2002, when she got this shout out in New Orlean's Ambush Magazine:
The Fish Bowl on Exchange Place is having a benefit drag show on Apr. 5, 2002 to raise money for assisting local players in the APA National Singles Pool Championship. With Tasha Sinclair, Erica Rodriguez, Monique Clairborne and others leading the way, this one should prove to be a good show.

In case you haven't checked out The Fish Bowl, you really need to do so soon. Jamie and Michelle are doing a great job, and I can vouch for the sincerity these two have in support of the Gay and Lesbian programs. This is a very nice place to spend some time. The drinks are great. The friendships are lasting. And the memories made here will last a lifetime.
Little John went with me last week to dine at our favorite Mexican restaurant, and we stopped in to see how things were going. Jennifer was there again. I had met her on my previous visit, and I find her to be so very happy and carefree, a really nice human being. She and Amie made a nice couple for my camera to present to you. I also found Sandra to be exceptionally nice. She appears so cordial and friendly that you realize immediately that you have met a very special person.
Make time to pay The Fish Bowl a visit. It's where the Hide-A-Way used to be located, and the new bar staff/managers want everyone to know that they would appreciate your patronage. Just because it's a girls' bar is no sign that they don't want men around. They are open to welcoming all people and all races and want you to know how pleased they will be to have you visit them. Do it soon.

The Hide-A-Way was evidently another former gay male or "mixed" bar.

This event in August 2002 is also listed:

Mark your calendars now for Aug. 10th. The Baton Rouge Krewe of Apollo is presenting a gender-bending comedy where men become women and women become men in a little ditty called "Drag-net." This is all going to take place at The Fish Bowl, 7367 Exchange Place (formerly the Hide-A-Way).

Then there's this brief mention of the Fish Bowl in an article on gay bars in Baton Route. From the Daily Isureveille, April 6, 2003:

Woman playing pool at The Fish Bowl (2003)
The Fishbowl, located at 7367 Exchange Place, is a lesbian bar whose clientele varies greatly. During the week, The Fishbowl is a low-key place, a good place to sit, have a beer, and shoot pool or play darts. These mellow nights usually are enjoyed by an older, middle-aged crowd, but the weekends are vastly different.

A Friday night at The Fishbowl is filled with many younger people dancing to rap, techno, some top 40 and requested music. While men do party at The Fishbowl, mostly women frequent this place.

That same year (2003), Fish Bowl was cited as the "sole survivor" in terms of Baton Rouge's lesbian bars:

There is one lesbian bar remaining, the Fish Bowl on Exchange Place.

And then she was gone. Seemingly with little announcement or fanfare. At least none that I can detect.

It appears that for a while, the Fish Bowl was replaced by a gay (male?) bar called Doubloons. But by February 2012, this address was identified as the Soiree Event Hall.

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