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Last WeHo Lesbian Bar Closes, City Seeks New Hub

Photo by essygie via Flickr.
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Sunday marked last call for West Hollywood's last lesbian bar. Now the enclave of L.A. has no official hub for lesbians in Los Angeles, leaving an opportunity for entrepreneurs, and a lack of a gathering space for a part of the LGBT community. Sure, there are the rotating nights at gay bars, but that's about it at present.

The Palms had operated on Santa Monica Boulevard in Boystown for 50 years, and during it's heyday saw visitors like Ellen Degeneres, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Melissa Etheridge, but closed it's doors at the end of Pride Weekend. (Sunday was the closing party, but technically it will stay open til June 9.)

According to WeHoVille, the building will be demolished shortly after its closure. Property owner Michael Talla, who owns the entire block on the south side of Santa Monica Boulevard between West Knoll and Westbourne drives, plans to combine the Palms with the adjacent vacant lot (site of the old Athletic Club) to erect a four-story building with 19 residential units and 8,700 square feet of retail.

In a Column One written for the L.A. Times says that experts believe gay men tend to cluster in upscale urban neighborhoods, while lesbians tend to settle in less flashy, more family-friendly communities."

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But that doesn't mean that there shouldn't be an option for lesbian women in L.A. West Hollywood is currently addressing the issue by opening a community space. Says the Times:

In response, city officials plan to open what they call a "lesbian social space" in a Robertson Boulevard building to help foster the community. The city's Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board has also been talking about ways to attract more lesbians to the city as well as bring in more lesbian-owned businesses.

Sounds like the perfect opportunity for a the right entrepreneur. We hope someone classy steps up. Til then, RIP to the Palms.