Tuesday, June 19, 2012


1209 Fifth Avenue today

Location: 1209 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Opened/Closed: c. 1978-1979

I have found just one short description of Shawn's, and that comes from a late 70s newspaper article on Pittsburgh's gay community.

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 27, 1979:

The only lesbian bar in Pittsburgh is Shawn's, at 1209 Fifth Ave. It is frequented by many lesbians, who drink, dance, socialize or play pool with each other. Men are not welcome.

A passing reference to Shawn's is found in a comment attached to a blog post about Anita Bryant. "Peg" recalled Bryant's visit to Pittsburgh, which was apparently in the spring of 1978:

In a blast from the past, your post made me recall a protest that I attended at the Civic Arena where Anita Bryant was scheduled to perform. It must have been around 1978-79. There were about 150 protesters, a little news coverage and then we went to Shawn's bar on 5th Ave, in the Lower Hill. Anyone else remember?

Seems that nobody did.

Today Shawn's former space is occupied by Consol Energy Center and Palumbo Center.

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