Monday, December 2, 2013

Unnamed Lesbian Bar (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

Unnamed Lesbian Bar
(now the Garage Door Saloon)
Unnamed Lesbian Bar

Location: Corner of Atwood and Sennott Streets (223 Atwood Street), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Opened/Closed: 1990s?

Honest. I'd much rather post about a lost womyn's place where I have lots of interesting information to share.

But quite often, the herstorian tracking down lesbian bars finds erasure and disappearance more than neat anecdotes and personal reminiscences. And because [induced] amnesia is not uncommon in womyn's history, it is important to note and record the erasures as well.

Take this particular Unnamed Lesbian Bar. The reason we know there was once a lesbian bar at this site is because a longish article on this particular site tells us so. But only is passing.

Most of the article is devoted to The Decade, a (dudely) rock & roll joint that existed at this site from 1973 to the mid 1990s:

Appearing at the Decade early in their careers were the Police, U2, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Ramones, David Johansen (aka Buster Poindexter).The Pretenders, Joe Jackson, The Romantics and others. Another regular to bless the stage of the Decade was blues man and comedian the Reverend Billy C. Wirtz.

And so on and so forth for several paragraphs. All dudes, with the notable exception of Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders. Not surprising.

But the article doesn't limit the discussion to just The Decade. We're also told that this place was a hotel in the early 1900s and later a restaurant called Atwoods Garden. It was a place called the Pizza Pub in the early 70s. If you want more information on any of these places, feel free to check out the link above, but I won't bore you with the details here.

And then at the very end, we're told the following:

It has since been a deli, a lesbian bar, a produce store, and a bar named Cumpie’s.  It is currently the Garage Door Saloon.

So no information on the lesbian bar. No list of performers, bands, musicians, and so forth that played there. No recollections from patrons. Not even a name. Just a random throwaway reference.

Welcome to the world of lesbian history.

1 comment:

  1. Nothing was written about the deli, the produce store, and Cumpie’s bar that also later inhabited the space. Does that means the author is ignoring the history of deli's in Pittsburgh......Gee the story is on a music history website to remember the Decade Rock and Roll Club.


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