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Boston's first new queer bar in a long time approved in the Back Bay

Rocha

The Boston Licensing Board today approved the sale of the Pour House's liquor license to Dani’s Queer Bar, 909 Boylston St. in the Back Bay.

Manager Thais Rocha hopes to open a full-service restaurant and bar aimed at "LGBTQ+ women and non-binary people" later this summer or early this fall, in the old Pour House location, using the license being acquired from landlord Charles Talanian.

The Pour House closed, like its neighboring bars, in the early months of the pandemic in 2020.

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Comments

No, the fact that the bar will be aimed at "LGBTQ+ women and non-binary people" does not mean they will ban men. So now you don't have to ask that just-askin' question (but, of course, you will, and you'll do so anonymously, which means nobody will ever see it, since I'll just hit the Delete button).

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It's so rare for a place like this to open these days..

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But I'm impressed that the Pour House closed 1800 years ago and the space was still available.

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Dumb typo fixed, thanks.

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I'm happy to have this bar in the neighborhood, I just wish it could've taken Lir's space. It kills me that Pour House is officially gone forever...it was the last great dive bar in Back Bay

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n/t

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When almost all your beers cost $9+ like Bukowski's, you're a dive bar in name only. (At least in my opinion)

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Was Playland, drops mike

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And across the street from Playland was The Carnival. I kind of think of them as a matched set. It certainly matched Playland in dive-ness.

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Of stupid grad student antics that might prevent my admission? Asking for a friend.

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"Queer Bar" was actually in the zoning code.

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unless they really really welcome everyone, including groups of bros going to and from Red Sox games. They will be tested.

They are on shaky ground with these public statements saying they are "aimed" for a group excluding several protected classes.

Legally, saying they're "aimed at LGBTQ+ women and non-binary people" is no different than saying you're aiming at white people, or straight men and women. All of the above are protected classes under the law.

Don't think you could cure the issue of "Chad's White Bar" by saying "Of course we welcome black people too."

The Eire gets away with the "Men's Bar" sign only as a legacy, and as a kind of joke. This is like the owner of the Eire saying today "We really aim for the male clientele."

MGL c.272 c.92A and 98 Discrimination in Public Accomodations

Section 92A. No owner, lessee, proprietor, manager, superintendent, agent or employee of any place of public accommodation, resort or amusement shall, directly or indirectly, by himself or another, publish, issue, circulate, distribute or display, or cause to be published, issued, circulated, distributed or displayed, in any way, any advertisement, circular, folder, book, pamphlet, written or painted or printed notice or sign, of any kind or description, intended to discriminate against or actually discriminating against persons of any religious sect, creed, class, race, color, denomination, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, which shall not include persons whose sexual orientation involves minor children as the sex object, nationality, or because of deafness or blindness, or any physical or mental disability, in the full enjoyment of the accommodations, advantages, facilities or privileges offered to the general public by such places of public accommodation, resort or amusement.

Section 98. Whoever makes any distinction, discrimination or restriction on account of race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, which shall not include persons whose sexual orientation involves minor children as the sex object, deafness, blindness or any physical or mental disability or ancestry relative to the admission of any person to, or his treatment in any place of public accommodation, resort or amusement, as defined in section ninety-two A, or whoever aids or incites such distinction, discrimination or restriction, shall be punished by a fine of not more than twenty-five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, and shall be liable to any person aggrieved thereby for such damages as are enumerated in section five of chapter one hundred and fifty-one B; provided, however, that such civil forfeiture shall be of an amount not less than three hundred dollars; but such person so aggrieved shall not recover against more than one person by reason of any one act of distinction, discrimination or restriction. All persons shall have the right to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of any place of public accommodation, resort or amusement subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law and applicable to all persons. This right is recognized and declared to be a civil right.

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In other news, it sure seems like you've never been to a gay bar. Newsflash: the bouncers just check your ID, not your sexual orientation or gender identity at the door.

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I'm just bringing this up because I love talking about the 1970s golden era of gay bars, but there was indeed a "lesbian bar" or "women's bar" as they were called then, at which men were forbidden. It was called Saints and it was in the financial district. And there were some very imposing female bouncers at the door to see that this policy was adhered to. To be honest, those of us around back then didn't give it much thought, it was just accepted. There were numerous gay bars around then, and most catered to a male clientele (though women were not verboten, there were relatively few in these establishments) so for "women to have a place of their own" was kind of understood. Down the street from Saints there was another women's bar called Somewhere (which later moved a few doors down and became Somewhere Else) which had a looser admission policy and admitted men.

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it was down around Batterymarch and Franklin Street. My bro and I got turned away at the door while bar-hopping in the 1980s(?). Entering innocently, confronted at the door: "This is a lesbian bar." Well, ok . . on to Jose McIntyre's or whatever it was at the time.

Of course Saints is no more, and I attribute that to its turning away our Bud-pounding patronage.

It wasn't like that at Jacques' or the old Playland, or that place on Merrimac St. Come in, get served, give them cash.

There's a fine line between defining a theme for your bar, and rebuffing most of the public.

Most bars get it right. Preemptively defining your place to exclude at least 80% of the public? "Problematic." This is the home of Harold Shurtleff, after all.

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Many of those LGBTQ bars were owned by the mob or rented from the mob... it's one of the reasons why they were able to exist. Not sure if that bar was but if it was even partly affiliated that would have given it protections. It could have also been tolerated at the time because that self enforcement might have been in the "best interest" of those in charge. It keeps men away from same sex stuff and it intimidates straight women from wanting to go in. It's kind of like how the right wing goes nuts over drag queens, they are willing to tolerate it as long as they don't see it. Which is the same LGBTQ response ethos you see with those types "why do you have to stick it in our face" types responding to an ad with two men holding hands.

I could see the lesbian bar exclusion being mutually beneficial for many people.

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There's a fine line between defining a theme for your bar, and rebuffing most of the public.

When "most of the public" doesn't act like assholes towards LGBTQ+ people, we won't want our own spaces.

(but that's something that you need to work on, not us)

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What about the hot chicks in boots and shorts coming to and from the country music concerts at Fenway?

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Yet somehow the Alley Bar remains open despite being aimed at "bears" , all those bars that have Ohio State game days seem to remain open, Hooters maintains several restaurants in MA. Strip clubs... I think we might have an Irish Bar or two in town too if I recall? I remember the Eagle had a lot of random straight college guys who would stop in because they had a pool table. Jaques Cabaret is a drag bar and yet it's now over run with straight women, apparently they have money and Jaques likes money lol. Who knows maybe five years from now this bar will be a bro red sox hangout , but I doubt it, that clientle won't really be interested in the atmosphere.

I'm a gay guy, this bar isn't aimed at me , that's fine. I think I might survive. I also most likely won't visit , but I don't envision anyone stopping me if I so desired.

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I say "know your audience" alot. but it also means "know your crowd" and being self aware about that.

It's fine, they will allow anyone in? Sure. Will I go as a LGBTQXI+ member? Maybe for a special event, but...

Over the past several years gay spaces (namely gay bars for me) have become the zoo for bachelorette parties. They come in, take over, and generally make what was a 'safe space' (god I hate that phrase but it fits), not so safe anymore. I love my straight women friends, and welcome them to where I hangout. But sometimes I need a space where I can be with other gay men and gay men only. Its important to me to have a spot where I know I can relax and be myself with other people. It means so much to me.

Same with this bar. Its a lesbian bar. So will I go? NO because I want my lesbian sisters to have a space that is to themselves so they can have the same 'safe space' (ugh) that i want with my bar of gay men. I know I am welcome, but I respect that its their space, so I won't go.

Its really about respect for other people's spaces. This matriculates elsewhere too. As I've said before I am in Chelsea. I am also white. I do not patronize many of the smaller latino bars and restaurants here in town. Why? See above for why.. Respect of spaces where they want to be with others like them. I shouldn't disturb & disrespect that space.

People should have a space where its OK to be themselves and with other like minded people. And I respect that. Its just that simple. I wish people had more respect for others' spaces, especially when the others, they themselves are not familiar with.

Sadly I don't think that will happen here. People just do not respect other people at all these days.

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Regarding the Latino spaces, I'll be honest most of them appreciate the business if you go in and respect the space. Four of them have bought my large canvases and have them hanging around their shops. El santaneco is the site of the only canvas by me that I've personally signed because he insisted, although it's in the ladies room so the audience is limited lol. If I haven't been into Mi Salvador for a while I've had him come running out when he sees me asking why he hasn't seen me for a while (the honest answer is I've been losing weight quickly this year and pupusa and tacos don't get me to that goal!) I've never really felt unwelcome in any of those small shops despite knowing very minimal Spanish.

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