PHOTO: Nathan James
For more than a dozen years, the location at 135 Christopher Street in Manhattan was home to the legendary Chi Chiz. After several raids and closures lead to a protracted legal battle and charges by the New York State Liquor Authority, the owners announced they would close the bar for good on January 3, 2011. The bar's closure marks the final chapter of Christoper Street's once-fabled reputation of being home to a number of Black gay-owned bars such as Keller's and Two Potato. And the "prime retail space" is in a neighborhood that has become saturated with unoccupied commercial square footage.
The Starlite Lounge, the first Black-owned gay bar in New York City and one of the oldest Black gay bars in the United States, closed last summer following the sale of its building. It's now a Metro PCS location.
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PHOTO: Brooklyn's Former Starlite Lounge Now Metro PCS