WEST HOLLYWOOD — Gold Coast, the popular West Hollywood dive bar, will not re-open.
Bryan Worl, co-owner of the 39-year-old watering hole, announced the closing in a Thursday Facebook post.
Gold Coast is the fourth WeHo LGBTQ bar to close during the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to two other LGBTQ safe spaces in Los Angeles that are gone.
Gold Coast closed
“Yes. The GC is closing for good. We do not have a choice,” Worl said. “We have fought and tried everything in our power to keep this bar.”
“This is heart breaking for all and especially the employees of the GC who I wouldn’t trade for the world. They were so loyal and worked so hard,” Worl said. “I can’t even start with the customers right now and what unconditional love you gave to this little neighborhood dive bar.”
Robert Hastings, Worl’s business partner of 26 years, opened Gold Coast in 1981. The bar sits on the southeast corner at the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard and North La Jolla Avenue.
Not only is Gold Coast the fourth West Hollywood LGBTQ space to close since August, but it’s also the third property owned by Monte Overstreet.
Overstreet owns the property that housed Rage and Flaming Saddles. Some bar owners have publicly said they had to close after rent negotiations with Overstreet couldn’t be resolved.
Overstreet could not be reached for comment.
What’s a dive bar?
The colloquial term dive was first used in the U.S. press in the 1880s to describe disreputable places that were often in basements or cellars, where customers could dive as if to dive below without observation.
The term has come to mean a small, unglamorous, neighborhood bar where residents gather to drink and socialize. It usually has inexpensive drinks and features dim lighting, shabby or dated decor, neon beer signs.
Here are the other LGBTQ spaces that have closed.
- Rage nightclub closed earlier this month.
- Cuties in East Hollywood, L.A.’s only queer focused coffee shop, went out of business last month.
- Club Cobra, the North Hollywood gay Latino club, announced in May that it would not re-open.
- Gym Sportsbar closed in July and Flaming Saddles closed in August.
Gold Coast memories
One Gold Coast regular posted a description on Facebook of his favorite location.
“The Gold Coast was the real deal Cheers of West Hollywood. More than a bar, it was a clubhouse, recovery room, pick-up place, last call, first cocktail, the beginning of your day, and the end to many of mine.
“Its walls and tables absorbed decades of smoke, beer, and heaven knows what else. It offered an early morning refuge for older locals and an end of day haven to everyone else. All shapes, sizes, colors, leather, daddies, pups, twinks, transgender, drag queens, all in the rainbow spectrum and beyond felt comfortable at The Gold Coast, or as it was often referred to with affection, the Old Coast and the Mold Coast by and hard-core regulars.”
Worl also said in his post that on Saturday they will start cleaning out the bar. The front and back doors will be open for anyone who would like to visit.
“If you want to stop by and say hi or come in for a quick pic or last goodbye…I feel a lot of people would like that … just make sure you have a mask…A lot of people called the GC home, and we just want everyone to have a chance to say goodbye,” he said.