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21 August 2010



Chi Chiz (a.k.a. "The Chicken Coop," as my friends affectionately call it because fried chicken is served there) is definitely being targeted by the cops and the neighbors. I'm sure there are plenty of drug sales at other, less "colorful" establishments along Christopher Street.

But I liked the comparison to Riker's Island. Actually, a large number of the patrons at Chi Chiz have already spent some time at Riker's Island ;-)


really...i think that this turn of events is bad news for black gays in NYC

No more Kellers, Two potatoes etc etc

Do they check for drug sales in bars like G...just saying


Wow, this is ridiculous, the police have really been targeting Chi Chiz unfairly, first it was enforcing occupancy limits, with 5 officers near by Chi Chiz, while other nearby bars were packed to the gills, now this. Really? Rather than standing around and inside Chi Chis how about you crack down on the drug sales going on at every corner? You can't walk Christopher without someone offering drugs, but now I think of it, some of them maybe undercover, ugh, I'll pass.

Taylor Siluwé

Once again forces are gathering to shut down a symbol of Black Gay New York. Love it or hate it, that's what Chiz Chiz is, a symbol, though only one of many. Sitting in the West Village on iconic Christopher St. mere blocks from the birth of the gay rights movement at the Stonewall Inn over 40 years ago.

It seems when it comes to Chi Chiz, modern West Village residents' tolerant attitudes falter and "they cry 'quality of life' and 'not in my neighborhood.'"

Hmmm ... would that be the same historic and globally renowned gayborhood that they moved into?

Are all Village bars being harassed equally, or just the black gay ones?

Bad things happen in bars occasionally and more aggressive action may be needed to tamp it down, but this pressure seems unfairly targeted at this ONE particular bar.

Whether we go to Chi Chiz's or not, ask yourself: as beautiful and as loud and as 'shade' throwin' as it is, should we sit back and watch the black gay experience be so easily displaced, only to watch it pop up in the next trendy location and have all this drama repeat itself?

Or should we do something? And if so, what?

Love it or not, letting it buckle to unfair pressure without a fight would be a sad blow from the community it caters to and shares a reputation with.

Maybe if we as a community of artists of all mediums began to hold more events there -- even more art openings and book signing, a virtual parade of talent -- we could actually change our black gay footprint on Christopher St.

As long as The Village is known around the world as NYC's 'gayborhood central', it should represent all in the LGBT rainbow (and not just one Chelsea Boy stripe).

Maybe it's time for Chi Chiz's to shut down and we'll visit the matter somewhere else. Or, maybe it's time for our talented community to grow up and take control of its reputation.


Actually, the patrons collectively need to grow up and realize gay black folk are not favored in this now white "utopia". No matter what the NYPD will find some reason to trample on the rights of young people at risk. For what I don't understand why. So, don't give them any reason to and let them know you know your rights and will take legal action neccesary. No, they don't even have personnel working the door at G lounge but the Eagle does! What does that say about our police force and city overall? Quit wasting taxpayers money on trivial shit and focus on the real crimes effecting new yorkers.


96 West is long gone. Keller’s is long gone. Better Days is long gone.

Manhattan is for the affluent: trust fund babies, Wall Street thieves, celebrities, children of the European rich. Most of the others who are left work to serve the rich and struggle just to survive. The bohemians and artists who made the Village famous could never live there now. San Francisco is no better.

Racism this surely is, but I can’t help wondering what there is of value to protect here. There must be much better places to go in Philly, and much more life. The last time I went to Manhattan, it felt as empty of souls as a tomb.


Didn't we just lose the Starlite Lounge a mere three weeks ago? http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2010/07/30/After_40_Years_The_Starlite_Lounge_Closes/

Black Pegasus

Lots of interesting comments here on this issue.
A Bit off Topic, but has anyone noticed that most of the Black Gay Bars and Clubs all across America aren't actually owned by Blacks?

I haven't gone to a Gay club in ages, but when I did, I always made it a point to ask the patrons if they knew who the owners were. Many of them didn't know, and the few who did could care less about the politics of Blacks not being Owners of these types of venues.

Just a thought..

Nathan James

Something else about Chi-Chiz nobody has yet mentioned: How can all this supposed "illegal activity" be going on at a bar next door to a PATH station, where two PATH cops are almost constantly stationed? I see them standing practically in front of Chi-Chiz almost every time I walk that block of Christopher Street.

The presence of two uniformed police officers would make it kind of difficult for drugs or other illegal activity to happen, no?

Mystic Stranger

At the same time though, we have to learn that we cannot do what white queens do. WE have to keep our noses clean and keep our business and clientele on the up and up ... don't make yourself a target and then act shocked when white folks come for you. Chi Chiz has been on their radar for years and they should have done more to get their stuff together. Everybody knows of the shady clientele of dealers, ex-cons and hookers who run up and through there. Every bar regardless of color has those elements but unfortunately we can't play that game.

I don't go to bars much anymore, but I know for my part the black ones here in DC are DUMPS. And I feel like we deserve and should demand much better for our money. White queens annoy me, but they don't tolerate partying in dives the way we do. I don't get it. I work hard for my paper and I'm not giving it to a bar where I can't put my elbow on it without it sticking because they are too trifling to wipe the damn thing off. Just sayin'. Or places like the Fireplace and the Delta where they pack people in so tight it's beyond unsafe. Why stand for that? It's ridiculous.

Or maybe I'm just getting older and my fuse is getting shorter. Who knows?



I considered that as well, but the presence of the cops at the PATH entrance doesn't deter crime and drug sales from happening right at the corner on Christopher and Greenwich St, so I wouldn't rule it out at ChiChiz or any nearby bar.

Though the cops presence brings up an interesting point, because honestly I haven't seen cops posted regularly at any other PATH station the way they hound the one next to ChiChiz. In addition, how many other bars are they running stings on and threatening to close?

Though I agree that Manhattan has changed, and especially the west village, I'm not ready to cede the entire borough (and do what, move to Atlanta? hmph!) Gotta see how to get involved to prevent them from closing this place.

Nathan James

I have yet to see The Hangar, or the Monster, or any of the other gay bars on Christopher Street get investigated and raided like Chi-Chiz. Also, you are correct, PATH doesn't post cops at the entrance to ANY of its other stations every single day, like they do at the Christopher Street stop. I do believe that has more to do with gay men of color at the station entrance, than it does with any real issue of transit security. Just my $0.02.


I hope this place doesn't get shut down and they fight this.

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