Thursday, July 3, 2014

Sadie's Tavern

Sadie's Tavern
Sadie's Tavern

Location: 415 South Orlando Avenue, Winter Park, Florida, USA. Also at 17-92 Fairbanks?

Opened: 1990

Closed: 2000

Here's how an October 2006 article on Orlando Gay history describes Sadie's:

Sadie’s Tavern: Former lesbian hangout on Orlando Avenue in Winter Park.

Other than that, Sadie's is listed as a bar that opened in the 1990s, but nothing more. Oh, and obviously that it was gone by 2006.

Fortunately, we were able to find a more detailed description at the GLBT History Museum of Central Florida:

1990 - Sadie's Tavern Opens           
Owned by Judy Shaw and located on 17-92 at Fairbanks, this bar became a well-known lesbian bar, as well as hang-out for Rollins College students. The bar featured live music on the week-ends, including many lesbian performers. During the mid-90's Sadie's Tavern was the local 'Cheers' for many in the lesbian community.

Sadie's is further discussed in this article on an all-women "surf rock" band called SOSUMI:

[Lead Singer Sue] Bowlus says SOSUMI was born out of a desire to socialize. "[It was] a good reason for us to get together, all of us loved music and we got free beer out of it, we're all good friends." While hanging out at Sadie's Tavern, the renowned lesbian bar in Winter Park, the girls began bragging about being in a band, prompting establishment owner Judy Shaw to book them for a show. This caused the girls to go scattering for their instruments, practicing and taking the punk crash course in learning your craft while you perform. The debut show, in July of 1997 was a smash. Soon, Bowlus, [bassist Courtney] Lowrance, lead guitarist Rihan Al-Samurai, drummer Tracey Gibbs and singer Mia Livingston would develop a thick lesbian following through effective word of mouth.

And we know that Sadie's Tavern was still open in March 2000 from this ad:

Lucid Fly, with Product: doors at 8 p.m. Saturday; Sadie's Tavern, 415 S. Orlando Ave., Winter Park; $6 (ages 18-20), $4 (age 21 and up); 407-628-4562.

But Sadie's was apparently gone by May 2000, according to this article:

Changes are under way over at Winter Park's Sadie's Tavern - think of this as a mental field trip - which by the time you read this may officially be called Midtown Tavern.

The new name refers not to location but to the fact that ``a lot of people come into the tavern and say this reminds them of a bar in New York City,'' says owner Dave Shaw.

Well-known as a lesbian bar in the Sadie's days, Midtown puts the focus on music. ``Everyone's still welcome - we're just moving to be more open to the entire public,'' Shaw says.

Whether you're looking for jazz, rock 'n' roll, hardcore, punk, swing, big band or rockabilly, Shaw aims to provide it.

Wednesday nights are devoted to jazz, and Fridays and Saturdays almost always feature some kind of live music. Although the bar generally is closed Sundays, there will be a Sunday night performance this weekend by New York swingers Dem Brooklyn Bums.

Sadie's was apparently pretty memorable as it ended up on a 2008 list of "weird/fun places in Orlando that are extinct."

Sadie's Tavern/Midtown Tavern - Bar on Mills and Fairbanks (where Chipotle is). It was kind of a lesbian bar, but also a biker bar. Not a bad place to swing in for a beer or 3.

No comments:

Post a Comment

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