A piece in the current New York Observer reveals that the owners of Stonewall, the bar that currently occupies the space where the storied bar of 1969 once stood, are being evicted because they are $150,000 behind in rent payments.
The old Stonewall Inn (pictured here) closed shortly after the riots in the 60’s and reopened 20 years later. The new owners, some charge, hoped to cash in on the historic cachet of the bar’s name.
Said co-owner Bob Gurecki: “People don’t really care. We’re famous all over the world, but no one in New York cares. The younger community doesn’t even know what it is. The older community doesn’t go out or care.”
Neighbors of the bar, like Bill Morgan who owns the Duplex bar down the street, are reportedly thrilled with the closing because they say the bar attracts a bunch of loitering youths: “They promote these urban youth parties. They pushed out the regular gay clientele in favor of this new, urban, hip-hop, gangster clientele. Then you bring a bunch of 18-to-20-year-olds in the area who have no place to go and start goofing off and being loud. It’s disruptive to the neighborhood and brings in the wrong element in the neighborhood.”
David Carter, the author of Stonewall: The Riots that Sparked the Gay Revolution notes the irony in the complaints: “In Stonewall’s heyday you had underage hustlers, people selling drugs, and it was really a seedy place. Out of a fluke of fate, the Stonewall is probably closer now to what it was in 1969 than the super-gentrified, yuppified Village is to the bohemian Village of 1969.”
Stonewall to Shutter? Queen Bees Stinging Glad! [new york observer]