Laguna Beach’s Boom Boom Room to Shutter After Labor Day


The Orange County Register is reporting that Laguna Beach’s historic bastion of gay nightlife, the Boom Boom Room and Coast Inn, will close its doors for good after Labor Day weekend after its co-owners were unable to reach an agreement with landlord Steven Udvar-Hazy.

MolbDespite valiant efforts by local resident Fred Karger who spearheaded a Save the Boom campaign that went so far as to plead with Brad Pitt and George Clooney (who were once rumored to be interested in the property) to rescue the landmark, the Boom will shutter on September 3rd. A Men of Laguna Beach calendar was also produced to help publicize the cause and raise money for it. Karger said he still has hope that someone will still arrive to save the day.

Said former Laguna councilman and mayor Robert Gentry: “It’s not as much the actual place, but a symbol of the gay community’s role in the city of Laguna Beach – its development, shape and sense of character. There is a certain sense of history there that is really important. I don’t want the gay community to return to second-class citizens in that wonderful seaside community that it helped develop.”

Landmark gay bar to close [oc register]
Boom Boom Room’s Last Swish [curbed la]



  1. the queen says

    Went to the Boom Boom a few times, but these times are a changing. I knew it was curtains when the one gay bookstore closed some years ago. Laguna used to be gay sandbox until AIDS started decimating the population. Now Laguna is teeming with hetties and their families. Overcrowded to the max. No, I’d much rather go to Palm Springs. You get more bang for your buck there.

  2. Sebastian says

    The Boom was the bomb in its day, but, once HIV hit the area and decimated it, it was never the same. From a gay mecca for those who wanted a mellow beach life to a area filed with snooty snobs with new money, the area has none of the charm it had in the day, gay or straight.

    But, that’s progress, or regress in this case. Now the OC gays will have what’s close by, fabulous Garden Grove, to get their swirl on in! Talk about a bummer!

  3. says

    I checked out the link to those calendar men and there’s something very odd about the whole thing. I can’t put my finger on it, but the men all looked… well, just odd. The strangest one was the man with the wife and kid who was posing for the calendar. All of it, very odd.

  4. Greg says

    Very sorry to hear about the Boom Boom Room closing after all the effort to save it. Best of luck on the next course for all involved..

    That said, the guy with the bike is possibly the hottest guy I’ve ever seen.. WOOF!

  5. Zeke says

    For the life of me I can’t understand the priorities of some people.

    The time, money and effort that went into saving this bar is unbelievable. You would think that gay people weren’t the daily targets of hate crimes and that they were fully recognized citizens in this country and that the only thing we had left to fight for was a place to hang out and get a drink.

    From all the pictures I’ve seen here of the efforts to save the Boom Boom Room I can’t help but notice the difference in the faces of those who publicly demonstrated to save this bar as opposed to those who publicly demonstrate for issues of GLBT civil rights and protections.

    Where are all of these young, pretty, “looks and acts straight”, boys when it comes time to fight for things that really matter in the LIVES of gays and lesbians across America today?

    I think it’s funny that people like this so often think that, and even brag that, they don’t fit into any of the gay stereotypes but honestly, what could be more stereotypically gay than being so shallow that you spend your time, talent and money fighting for a bar when you don’t have basic civil and social rights and your likely to be beaten to death simply for being gay when you leave said bar?

  6. Luke says

    Zeke, I guess that is why so many have a hard time relating to the real issues that gay people have, they always see the young,rich pretty boys who have that not a care in the world look. Hardly what real gay is in most parts of the globe who are fighting for a simple life free of hate and discrimination, but, since most gays have fallen for this sort of sterotype and help it along by buying the products and other things that this look sells.

  7. Zeke says

    That’s a very good point Luke; and one that I hadn’t considered.

    I can’t imagine what message these guys send out to straight people who don’t understand the legal and social oppression that gay people face on a daily basis in their city, in their state and in this country. They have the Focus on the Family, American Family Association and Concerned Women for America crews telling them every day that gay people are just playing victim and making up stories of discrimination, that there is no REAL discrimination and that gays and lesbians (who are ALL wealthy and selfish) just want special rights.

    Then they turn on their television, or walk down the street, and see gay people passionately fighting for a cause. So what’s the BIGGEST and most visible concern of the young, pretty boy, gay people in Laguna Beach? Saving a gay bar that’s past it’s prime from being torn down!

    Check mate for FOF, AFA and CWFA!

  8. says

    I went back to the Boom for Fourth of July this year and had a great time. The trip was nostalgic but also new in it’s own way. I’ll miss the bar, but more importantly what it stand for.

    With the closing of the Boom and the fire at Mickey’s, somehow it seems like the end of an era.

  9. says

    To Zeke and the others who think this is just “a gay bar that’s past it’s prime”, let me offer some perspective.

    Before there were any domestic partner agreement, before there were battles over marriage, before there were employment protections, before there were any gay elected officials or AIDS services or GSAs or anti-bullying efforts or the right to have sex with whom you wanted, there were gay bars. Gay bars were that place where we weren’t alone, where we first thought of ourselves as a people, where we first thought we were worthy.

    And the Boom was there.

    The Boom Boom Room was a haven in Orange County when the Briggs Initiative was fought, when local congressmen proposed quarantine. In a bastion of conservative thought there was a safe space in Laguna Beach at the Boom.

    These great social causes you are fighting for did not originate in the street or some committee room. They were born in the gay bars. And many of the efforts to make sure that you are safe on the streets of Laguna – and indeed much of the country – came from people meeting and talking and organizing at the Boom.

    As the oldest gay bar in the Western United States, the Boom is an important part of our history as a people. It’s not just “some bar”. It is a symbol of a place and a time. In many ways, the Boom Boom Room serves the same sort of reminder and cultural connection that is found at the Stonewall Inn (another bar worth fighting for).

    You may resent that these people fighting for our history are young and pretty and presumed to be rich. You may think they have no care in the world. You may even wish they were off somewhere else helping you fight for what you consider to be more important.

    But your battle is your battle. And their battle is their own.

    And perhaps you should consider that they are fighting for your history precisely because they (and their neighbors) have ALREADY fought for your freedoms. The people some consider most responsible for defeating the Briggs Initiative (the first time the voting public showed support for the gay community) lived in Laguna. And the first gay mayor in the nation was in Laguna Beach.

    So perhaps instead of being resentful, you should be grateful.

  10. Zeke says

    I will grant you that there is a case to be made for it’s historical significance but I still think that the time, effort and money invested in this cause was over the top in light of so many other issues facing gay men and lesbians today.

    With all due respect I think some of your other arguments are laughable at best and insulting at worst. Comparing this campaign with Stonewall or the fight against the Briggs Initiative? You guys can’t really be serious with that. I wasn’t aware that the Boom Boom Room was command central in the current fight for GLBT civil and social rights.

    As for the gay history lesson, save it! Unlike ANY of the kids in these pictures, I LIVED it.

  11. sugarrhill says

    Zeke, I’d hate to mistake you for the type of gay that only dates “str8 acting” guys and is dismissive of silly bar queens because ever since you shacked up you’ve lost interest in “the scene.” I totally support your right to be the gay equivalent of your married straight counterparts with 2.5 kids, but the Boom Boom Room closure is a loss for the GLBT community mainly because it is one less place in an overly conservative area to congregate, feel welcomed and accepted.

  12. Zeke says

    First, even if I weren’t married, I would never date a person that referred to himself as “straight acting”.

    Second, yes I am married and have a kid but not because I’m trying to be the equivalent of my straight counterparts. To the contrary I’m living MY dream on MY terms. A dream, I might add that ALL the straight people and ALL the GAY people in my life told me could never happen. I don’t allow my dreams to be limited by buying into some of the myths that have been sold to me by people with low expectations of what a gay person can and cannot be.

    Having cleared up those misconceptions let me change direction a bit and just say that I appreciate the desire of these young men to preserve a gay landmark and important meeting place for the GLBT community; I’m glad they have something that they are willing to fight for; and I salute their dedication to the cause.

    I’m sorry that they weren’t able to save the historic club.

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