Queer bars have always been a part of a diverse NYC spirit. Many of them served New Yorkers to temporarily relax from a daily routine, sip their favorite cocktail, and chat with the buddies. Then the pandemic came and forever changed the lifestyle and habits of the LGBTQ community. With lockdown in place, bars closed across the city, and uncertainty about their future emerged. Later on, when the cases dropped and some states, including New York, started reopening, there appeared a glimpse of hope for some queer bars to rise from the ashes with outdoor dining allowed. With cases currently at rise, the chances for one more shut down increase. That is how thighs developed at a glance. In reality, it is way more complicated.
Despite the authorities keep saying that small businesses support being their top priority, many places had to raise funds for survival. We have already reported an effort to save Stonewall Inn, an iconic spot that contributed to the establishment of the modern LGBTQ community.
Other successful fundraising examples include Henrietta Hudson (West Village) and Alibi Lounge (Harlem). However, even for these places, full capacity has never been restored, allowing Alibi just to survive and Henrietta Hudson to be shut down for better times. Next, Therapy (Hell’s Kitchen) turn has come. According to Tom Johnson, Therapy co-owner, the bar will most likely be closed for good. The reasons for such a decision are quite simple. With 30-40% of pre-COVID19 capacity and absence of guests from over the world, it is highly unlikely for Therapy to stay afloat.
On top of the devastation caused by a coronavirus, the bar was also temporarily shut down last year in the midst of Stonewall celebration due to the destruction of an adjacent building. This reality made frequenters of Therapy around the world very upset. Lots of them were wondering whether GoFundMe can be launched right away to support the team and business. In an interview with Eater, Johnson has supported such an idea. “It’s great if people want to come together and invest in Therapy at some point. I want nothing more than for all of this to go away, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.” Let us hope for community support and Therapy resurrection sometimes in the future.