Friday, April 25, 2014

Crescent Tavern

Crescent Tavern (2009)
Crescent Tavern

Location: 1413 East Olive Way, Seattle, Washington, USA

Opened: Late 60s as lesbian bar

Closed: Late 70s?

From the Free Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History, a very interesting piece of historical information:

Lesbian Mothers National Defense Fund holds first benefit fundraiser on October 19, 1974.

On October 19, 1974, the Lesbian Mothers National Defense Fund holds its first benefit fundraiser at the Crescent Tavern, a lesbian bar, located in Seattle at 1413 E. Olive Way. The group, which had been meeting for some months, scheduled the fundraiser two days after founding member Geraldine Cole's 21st birthday, because "We thought it would be fun to be legal" (Cole). This was one of the first organizations in the United States to offer legal advice, support, and other resources to lesbians involved in child custody battles.


Northwest Lesbian and Gay History Museum Project, "Claiming Space: A Historical Map of Lesbian and Gay Seattle," Seattle: Northwest Lesbian and Gay History Museum Project, 1996, Capitol Hill, Map position and Note 9; Geraldine Cole, founding member LMNDF, Email to, February 16, 2004.
Note: This essay was corrected on February 16, 2004. By Greg Lange, May 31, 1999

Here it is claimed that Crescent Tavern began functioning as a lesbian bar in the late 60s.

Citysearch reports that Crescent Tavern is still open, but that it is no longer a lesbian bar.
Crescent interior (2009)

Formally a lesbian bar, this re-vamped karaoke joint offers Capitol Hill clubbers a dive bar scene where everyone is welcome

Certainly the reviews at yelp indicate that this is a mainly straight dive bar. However, nobody there seems to even remember this being a lesbian bar, just "gay friendly" in a vague sort of way.

Seattlebars sketches in the history (as of 2009):

Historical Notes: The "Arterial Tavern" begins appearing in city guides at this address in 1939 and it is listed as the "Crescent Tavern" in the 1948. It is said to have been an old carriage house, although the current building wasn't constructed until 1924. It was a lesbian bar by the early 70s and now caters to older gay men, with a broad mix for karaoke.

Not sure when the place made the transition from older gay men to straight dudes, but it was clearly still a gay place in January 2009 when an anti-gay terrorist threatened to poison customers at gay bars with ricin. Eleven gay bars in Seattle were sent warning letters, with the Crescent Tavern being one of them.

Curious about the dynamics by which men (gay or straight) take over a womyn's space as this one was. Clearly, they do not lack for drinking establishments that cater to them, so it's certainly not scarcity that drives the process. But we have seen this happen again and again....

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.