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Gay LA

In 2010, I started compiling a list of gay bars, nightclubs, bathhouses, and sex clubs that have been in operation at some point in Los Angeles since the 1970s. The goal was to make it a history guide of the gay community in Los Angeles and where they socialized as a way of maintaining the rapidly disappearing history.

I got busy and wasn’t able to keep up with it, but this is what I had (with a few updates that I made as I went through it in 2021).  It was by no means comprehensive.

Note that this was only businesses that openly served a gay clientele. Underground clubs or bars that were straight but had gay customers are an important part of Gay LA history but are not what this list was going to be about.

It also only had businesses in the the Downtown LA, Silver Lake, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Venice, and the San Fernando Valley (North Hollywood, Studio City, etc.).   I never got around to areas outside the core of LA like Long Beach, Pasadena, and so on.

1350 Club, North Hollywood (Bathhouse; Closed)

  • 4877 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood
  • Opening date is unknown
  • Closing date was some time in the late 1980s or early 1990s but the exact date is unknown
  • As of 2011, part of the building is now a (straight) Tiki bar and the other half is a commercial space up for lease
  • There was another 1350 Club in Wilmington that stayed in business until 2020.

7702, West Hollywood (Bar; Closed)

  • 7702 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood
    This bar was a no frills space that was popular briefly because it was open 24 hours (although liquor was not served between 2-6am)
  • Opening date is unknown
  • Closing date is unknown

7969 Club, West Hollywood (Bar, Closed)

  • 7969 Santa Monica Blvd.
  • Was Peanuts before becoming 7969
  • Was a variety of different straight bars after 7969 including one called Voyeur
  • Is now Delilah Supper Club

8709 Club, West Hollywood (Bathhouse, Closed)

  • 8709 George Burns Dr.
  • This was a notoriously exclusive bathhouse in the 1980s that operated through word of mouth mostly. If you weren’t hot, you didn’t get in.
  • Exact opening and closing dates are unknown

The Abbey, West Hollywood (Bar, Open)

  • 692 N. Robertson Blvd.

Akbar, Silver Lake (Bar/Nightclub, Open)

  • 4356 Sunset Blvd.

Apache (Territory), Studio City (Bar/Nightclub, Closed)

  • 11608 Ventura Blvd.
  • Opened Late 1970s
  • Became Fuel gay nightclub

This bar opened in the late 1970s (exact date unknown) as Apache Territory, perhaps as an alternative to the “cowboy” Oil Can Harry’s located about a block away. It is unknown what the building/business was prior to the bar opening but there were longstanding rumors that the upstairs portion was used for male prostitutes. In its earliest incarnation it was most likely a house.

You entered onto an outdoor patio that was covered and enclosed on all four sides. A single door off the patio led to the interior of the bar, which was dominated by a rectangular bar in the center of the space. There was a small dance floor with a DJ booth at the end of it, a pool table, pinball machines, and (later) video games. There was a second small bar at the back near the bathrooms. At the back of the patio was a staircase that led upstairs to offices and storage.

Decor was heavy on the “hot Indian” motif with feathered headdresses and paintings of shirtless Native Americans. This – and its later years in decline – was what earned it its deragatory nickname, The Creepy Teepee.

The bar was purchased in the 1980s by Michael and Lann Neimeyer; brothers who would later go on to open Micky’s in West Hollywood. They made minor changes – eliminating much of the Indian decor and going for a more neutral neighborhood bar feeling. The only real significant change inside was filling in a wall between the bar and the dance floor, which was required due to earthquake codes.

The Apache was hugely popular in the 80s and early 90s, especially on their Tuesday night Cheap Drink Night, which (originally) charged a $3 cover and then served well drinks and domestic beers for 50 cents from 9pm to midnight. There was usually a line down the block by 10pm on Tuesday nights. Thursday nights were also popular with the DJ playing a retro/disco format and Friday and Saturdays usually saw long lines to get in.

Business started to fade in the early 90s as the ongoing AIDS crisis decimated the customer base and claimed the lives of many of the employees. By the time the Neimeyers sold the bar in the mid 1990s it was a ghost of its former self.

The bar went through a couple of owners after that who made only minor changes (which included moving the DJ booth from the end of the dance floor to the side of it and constructing new storage at the back of the patio).

The Apache was sold again in 2005 (date approximate) to a group of customers and former employees who redecorated and changed the name of the bar to Fuel.  It went of business a couple of years later.

The building was gutted and remodeled into an upscale (at least on the inside) nightclub that operated under a few different names for a few years, but is closed now.

Arena/The Circus, Hollywood (Nightclub, Open)

  • 6655 Santa Monica Blvd.
  • Popular nightclub that opened sometime in the 1970s
  • Closed in 2015 and was torn down to make way for condos

The Barracks, Silver Lake (Sex Club, Closed)

Basic Plumbing, Silver Lake (Sex Club, Closed)

  • 1924 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake
  • Opened in the early 1990s, exact date unknown
  • Closed in the late 1990s, exact date unknown

Basic Plumbing was one of a wave of sex clubs that popped up in Los Angeles in the 80s and 90s. These businesses differed from the traditional bathhouse model by not requiring patrons to wear towels (everything from street clothes to fetish gear to being totally naked was acceptable) and by not having private rooms, gyms, or other typical bathhouse amenities.

Basic Plumbing was a fairly small facility located on Hyperion Avenue, across the street from Cuffs bar and just a few doors north of Casita del Campo.

Customers entered through large wooden doors at the front of the property into a vestibule where they paid the entry fee and/or membership. A second door led to the interior of the club, which featured a few lockers, a TV room, a cock sucking pit, and a couple of rooms that had various play equipment in them (one, oddly, had bunk beds). Out back was a large covered patio that had heavy landscaping and more play areas including some quonset-hut type sheds and a piss tub. There were few private places to play so most of the action took place out in the open, usually drawing an audience and/or other participants.

The club was popular on weekends and especially on their once a month “Full Moon” Parties, which occurred on whatever day the full moon did.

Many people also enjoyed the music played in the club, which differed from most sex clubs and their mindless house music by adding in jazz, soul, rock, and pop hits.

The club closed in the late 1990s during a crackdown by the city on the sex clubs and bathhouses that were deemed to be operating with the proper licensing and/or in violation of zoning restrictions.

The building is now a manufacturing, mail order, and showroom facility for a handbag and accessories company.

Bitter End West, West Hollywood (Bar, Closed)

  • 8409 Santa Monica Blvd.
  • Opening and closing unknown
  • May have been a sister bar to the Bitter End in Manhattan?
  • Building is now home to an appliance repair business.

Blacklite, Hollywood (Bar, Closed)

  • 1159 N. Western Ave.
  • Opening and closing unknown
  • Is now Le Descarga, a straight rum and cigar bar

The Black Pipe, West Hollywood (Bar, Closed)

  • 2440 S La Cienega
  • Opened 1970; closed unknown
  • Is now a tire and motorsports company

The Blue Parrot, West Hollywood (Bar, Closed)

  • 8851 Santa Monica Blvd.
  • Opening and closing unknown
  • Became Revolver, which became East|West, which became Revolver again

Boots, Los Angeles (Bar, Closed)

  • Location unknown but think it was Downtown
  • Leather Bar
  • Opened 1977

Bullet, North Hollywood (Bar, Open)

  • 10522 Burbank Blvd.
  • Leather bar in North Hollywood – still in operation

Cfrenz, Reseda (Bar/Nightclub, Open)
7026 Reseda Blvd.
Club 22, North Hollywood (Lesbian Bar, Closed)
4882 Lankershim Blvd.
Building was damaged in the 1994 Northridge earthquake and torn down
Club Cobra, North Hollywood (Latin Bar, Open)
10937 Burbank Blvd.
Club Tempo, West Hollywood (Latin Bar, Open)
5520 Santa Monica Blvd.
The Compound, North Hollywood (Bathhouse, Closed)
5636 Vineland Ave.
Became North Hollywood Spa
Corral Club, Universal City (Bathhouse, Closed)
3747 Cahuenga Blvd., Universal City
Opening and closing dates unknown
Is now a day spa
The Corral Club was a small bathhouse located on Cahuenga Blvd. near Universal City, between Lankershim and the entrance/exit to the 101.

Customers entered on the main floor and walked up a narrow staircase to the second floor reception area where they paid and got their towel and locker or room key.

Once inside there was a small locker room facility with bathrooms, a steam room, and a sauna plus a lounge area with a TV playing adult films.

Past the TV room were a few private rooms arranged in a maze like layout plus a second staircase that led down to the ground level.

On that level were more private rooms and a large communal space that had a stage (for strippers and the occasional “big dick” or “best ass” contest). Above this area was a loft space accessible only by a ladder. The loft had low ceilings – maybe four feet at the most – and padded floors.

The club drew a diverse crowd, mainly from guys that lived in the valley, and was a little less intimidating and more intimate than the larger Compound in North Hollywood.

It closed in the early 1990s when the city cracked down on gay bathhouses and is now a (non-sexual) day spa.

Cuffs, Silver Lake (Bar, Closed)
1941 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake
Opened 1981
Closed in 2007 or 2008. Is now a straight bar called the Hyperion Tavern.
Cuffs was a tiny bar located on Hyperion Avenue between Fountain and Lyric, near Casita Del Campo Mexican restaurant. It had a small bar with room for maybe half a dozen stools, a couple of pinball machines, a couple of video games, two bathrooms, and that was about it. Exact occupancy is unknown but it couldn’t have been more than 50 people.

When it first opened it catered to the leather community but over the years became more of a jeans and t-shirt kind of place. It remained very tolerant (and encouraging) of leather, gear, and uniforms.

The bar was quite notorious in the 90’s and early 00’s for its anything goes atmosphere and it was not uncommon on busy weekend nights to find people discreetly (and sometimes otherwise) engaged in all manner of sexual activity. The place was usually so crowded on Friday and Saturday nights that it was fairly easy to give or receive blow jobs or hand jobs without only the couple of people right next to you noticing (and they usually didn’t mind).

The bathrooms were also pretty well known for being a slightly more private spot to have sex, although one of the bathrooms had a hole cut out in the door so you could expect and audience

It was this very activity that got the bar shut down at one point and their liquor license revoked. The bar reopened briefly serving only beer and non-alcoholic beverages, but they cracked down on the activity that made it popular and the bar folded permanently.

Detour, Silver Lake (Bar, Closed)
1087 Manzanita
Don’s, Atwater (Sex Club, Closed)
Drag Strip 66, Silver Lake (Nightclub, Closed)
2500 Riverside Dr.
Driveshaft, Van Nuys (Bar, Closed)
13641 Victory Blvd.
Eagle, Silver Lake (Leather Bar, Open)
4219 Santa Monica Blvd.
Opened in 2006, a renaming of the existing Gauntlet II leather bar.
Eagle, West Hollywood (Leather Bar, Closed)
Santa Monica Blvd.
The original version was on SMB near Crescent Hts
Closed in 1993
East/West, West Hollywood (Bar/Nightclub, Open)
8851 Santa Monica Blvd.
Eleven, West Hollywood (Bar/Nightclub, Open)
8811 Santa Monica Blvd.
Escapades, North Hollywood (Bar/Nightclub, Closed)
10437 Burbank Blvd.
Became Moonshadows
Exxile, Silver Lake (Sex Club, Closed)
Hyperion Ave.
Exxile II, Atwater (Bar/Bathhouse, Closed)
Factory, West Hollywood (Nightclub, Open)
652 N. La Peer
Faultline, Silver Lake (Leather Bar, Open)
4216 Melrose Ave.
Fiesta Cantina, West Hollywood (Bar, Open)
8865 Santa Monica Blvd.
Flex, Los Angeles (Bathhouse, Open)
Four Star, West Hollywood (Nightclub, Closed)
8857 Santa Monica Blvd.
Became Mickey’s
The Friendship, Santa Monica (Bar, Closed)
112 W. Channel
Fubar, West Hollywood (Bar, Open)
7994 Santa Monica Blvd.
Fuel, Studio City (Bar/Nightclub, Closed)
11608 Ventura Blvd.
Was Apache and was remodeled to become Fuel
Is now R Lounge (straight)
Garage, Silver Lake (Bar, Closed)
4519 Santa Monica Blvd.
Gauntlet II, Silver Lake (Leather Bar, Closed)
4219 Santa Monica Blvd.
Opened in 1984
Closed in 2006 to become the new Eagle LA.
Gold 9, Sherman Oaks (Bar, Closed)
13625 Moorpark St.
Gold Coast, West Hollywood (Bar, Open)
8228 Santa Monica Blvd.
Greg’s Blue Dot, Hollywood (Nightclub, Closed)
Griffs, Silver Lake (Bar, Closed)
4216 Melrose Ave.
The building house a famed leather bar called The Stud, which became The Zone (not the sex club) in 1988 and then Griffs in 1988 or 1989.
Became The Faultline in 1994
Gym Bar, West Hollywood (Sports Bar, Open)
Santa Monica Blvd.
Hayloft, Studio City (Bathhouse, Closed)
11818 Ventura Blvd.
Is now La Loggia Italian restaurant
Here Lounge, West Hollywood (Bar/Nightclub, Open)
696 N. Robertson Blvd
Hollywood Spa, Hollywood (Bathhouse, Open)
Hunters, West Hollywood (Bar, Closed)
7511 Santa Monica Blvd.
Hyperion/Woody’s, Silver Lake (Bar, Closed)
2810 Hyperion Ave.
Is now MJ’s
JJ’s Pub, Los Angeles (Bar, Closed)
2692 S. La Cienga
Jobsite, North Hollywood (Bar, Closed)
5620 Vineland Ave.
Was between Circus Liquor and North Hollywood Spa (then the Compound)
Jox, North Hollywood (Bar, Closed)
10721 Burbank Blvd.
Is now a straight bar
King of Hearts, Silver Lake (Sex Club, Closed)
Hyperion Ave.
Became Exxile
Larry’s, Hollywood (Bar, Closed)
Leather Bar
Le Bar, Silver Lake (Bar, Closed)
2375 Glendale Ave.
The Leather Game Bar, West Hollywood (Bar, Closed)
The Lodge, North Hollywood (Bar/Nightclub, Closed)
4923 Lankershim Blvd.
Is now Skinny’s (straight bar)
Mac’s, Silver Lake (Bathhouse, Closed)
Hyperion Ave.
The Mag, Van Nuys (Bar, Closed)
Mark IV Baths, Hollywood (Bathhouse, Closed)
The Meat Rack, Silver Lake (Sex Club, Closed)
Became the Barracks
Melrose Baths, Hollywood (Bathhouse, Open)
Mickey’s, West Hollywood (Nightclub, Open)
8857 Santa Monica Blvd.
Midtowne Baths, Los Angeles (Bathhouse, Open)
MJ’s, Silver Lake (Nightclub, Open)
2810 Hyperion Ave.
Mother Lode, West Hollywood (Bar, Open)
Santa Monica Blvd.
Mr. B’s, Los Angeles (Piano Bar, Closed)
Los Feliz
Mugi, Hollywood (Bar, Closed)
5221 Hollywood Blvd.
New York Company, Silver Lake (Piano Bar, Closed)
Is now a strip club
The Nighthawk, Silver Lake (Sex Club, Closed)
Myra Ave.
Was replaced by Prowl
Normandie Room, West Hollywood (Lesbian Bar, Closed)
Is now Gym Bar
Numbers, West Hollywood (Bar, Closed)
Sunset Blvd.
Moved to Santa Monica Blvd.
Numbers, West Hollywood (Bar, Closed)
Santa Monica Blvd.
Oasis, Studio City (Video bar, Closed)
11916 Ventura Blvd.
Is now Clear Lounge (straight bar)
O-Bar, West Hollywood (Bar, Open)
8279 Santa Monica Blvd.
Odyssey, West Hollywood (Nightclub, Closed)
8471 Beverly Blvd.
Burned down
The Office, West Hollywood (Bar, Closed)
Santa Monica Blvd.
Oil Can Harry’s, Studio City (Country Western Bar, Open)
11520 Ventura Blvd.
Opened 1968
The Other Side, Silver Lake (Piano Bar, Open)
2538 Hyperion Ave.
Oxwood, Van Nuys (Transgender Bar, Open)
13713 Oxnard St.
The Palms, West Hollywood (Lesbian Bar, Open)
8572 Santa Monica Blvd.
Peanuts, West Hollywood (Bar, Closed)
7969 Santa Monica Blvd.
Was previously 7969 Club
Is now Voyeur
Pink Elephant, Venice (Bar, Closed)
Probe, Hollywood (Nightclub, Closed)
836 N. Highland Ave.
Prowl, Silver Lake (Sex Club, Closed)
Myra Ave.
The Queen Mary, Studio City (Drag Club, Closed)
Ventura Blvd.
Rafters, West Hollywood (Bar, Closed)
7994 Santa Monica Blvd.
Became Fubar
Rage, West Hollywood (Nightclub, Open)
8911 Santa Monica Blvd.
Rascals, West Hollywood (Bar, Closed)
Santa Monica Blvd.
Became Mother Lode
The Rawhide, North Hollywood (Country Western Bar, Closed)
10937 Burbank Blvd.
Became Club Cobra
Revolver, West Hollywood (Video bar, Closed)
8851 Santa Monica Blvd.
Roman Holiday, Van Nuys (Bathhouse, Open)
14435 Victory Blvd., Van Nuys
Roosterfish, Venice (Bar, Open)
1302 Abbot Kinney Blvd.
Silver Rail, North Hollywood (Bar, Open)
Burbank Blvd.
Silverlake Lounge, Silver Lake (Bar, Closed)
2906 Sunset Blvd.
Slammer, Silver Lake (Sex Club, Open)
Beverly Blvd.
The Spike, West Hollywood (Leather Bar, Closed)
7746 Santa Monica Blvd.
Spotlight, Hollywood (Bar, Open)
1601 N. Cahuenga
The Stud, Silver Lake (Leather Bar, Closed)
4216 Melrose Ave.
Closed in 1988 and became The Zone (a bar, not the sex club), then Griffs, then Faultline.
Studio One, West Hollywood (Nightclub, Closed)
652 N. La Peer
Became the Factory
The Study, Hollywood (Bar, Closed)
1723 N. Western Ave.
Trunks, West Hollywood (Bar, Open)
8809 Santa Monica Blvd.
Venture Inn, Studio City (Bar, Closed)
Ventura Blvd.
Vortex, Silver Lake (Sex Club, Closed)
The Zone, Hollywood (Sex Club, Open)