Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Happy Hour

Happy Hour
The Happy Hour location in a later

Location: 12801 Harbor Boulevard, Garden Grove (Orange County), California, USA

Opened: c. 1962-1964

Closed: 2003

From the OC Gay Timeline:


The Happy Hour, a lesbian bar, opens in Garden Grove. It remained open until 2003, marking it as the oldest continuously operating lesbian bar in the county.

Or there's this from OC Weekly:

1964 The Happy Hour, a women's bar in Garden Grove, opens. Lured by cheap rents, other gay bars spring up in the city throughout the next 10 years, including Rumour Hazzit, the Tiki Hut, the Mug, the Iron Spur, the Old Bavarian Inn, the Knotty Keg, the Hound's Tooth, the Ranger, the Saddle Club and DOK West. For a while, gay bars in Garden Grove actually outnumber West Hollywood's. Police harassment eventually shuts down most, but the Happy Hour is still there 35 years later.

So pick a date, any date....

More information is found in a Lesbian News article from September 2003:

On September 20, The Happy Hour, a friendly neighborhood lesbian bar located in Orange County, California, will celebrate their fortieth anniversary. The bar has had a tumultuous and colorful history. The club first opened in the early sixties as a beer bar. Many gay clubs opened up and down Garden Grove Boulevard during this decade, including DOK West, Rumor Hazzit, the Iron Spur, the Knotty Keg, the Hound's Tooth, the Ranger, the Tiki Hut and The Mug. Most of them catered to gay men, and the Happy Hour was a haven for lesbians who looked for a safe place to meet and relax. In 1968, Jo Moore look over The Happy Hour and has been running it ever since.

Unfortunately, Happy Hour wasn't a safe place for all women. In fact, it appears that at least some of the patrons were right-wing, nationalist, zenophobic @$$hats. This story from October 2001 is particularly blood curdling:

I recently moved to Orange County, and went to the Happy Hour -- a lesbian bar -- this past weekend, October 27, for a Halloween party. One woman there was educating the women in the bar about what it is like for women in Afghanistan. She was covered in a bloody burka with signs that said, "Oppressed by the Taliban, Murdered by the U.S.A." She was giving out information about RAWA and the Afghan Women's Mission to people.

Unfortunately, some of the white women there were very racist. One woman pulled a chair out from under her as she was sitting, causing her to fall. Several racist women in the bar laughed. Two other racist women pulled her burka costume off of her and threatened to kill her. When she told employees she was assaulted, they in essence told her she deserved it because of her costume, and refused to stop others from assaulting her. All night, people kept talking about her being a "terrorist towel head" and "rag head" and one woman told a bartender she would kill her if she didn't leave.

Someone had written on the chalkboard in the bathroom, "Equality for all women worldwide," but others crossed it out and wrote, "USA - love it or leave it, motherfucker!" White women kept walking by the burka-wearing woman and yelling, "GOD BLESS AMERICA!" When I made a comment about their racial hatred, a white woman told me to "shut up wetback!"

The blatant racims there was extremely appalling! The woman in the burka was doing well educating people, but was completely outnumbered by the racists ganging up on her. A lesbian space should be a safe place for women, not a threatening, racist and anti-woman place to be. The employees at the bar are at least partially responsible for allowing this hatred to exist and people of color to be attacked.

Please call or write the Happy Hour and tell them your are appalled at their racism, and tell them you refuse to patronize their place unless they apologize for their racism, and until they guarantee all patrons, especially people of color, that they won't tolerate racist attacks. Or just tell them you are disgusted at their racist attitudes. Tell the bar employees to inform the bar owner, too.

Call after 2 pm: (714)537-9079

or write:

The Happy Hour
12081 Garden Grove Blvd.
Garden Grove, CA 92864

I've been told that Orange County is known for its racism and lack of political activism, so please, everyone who is able, no matter where you live, just take a few short minutes to write or call! Even men, please call. I saw a few men there that evening. It doesn't matter what you sexual orientation is. Racism is racism, and it takes all of us working together to end it!

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