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Gold Coast bar in West Hollywood latest LGBTQ space to close

Gold Coast bar West Hollywood

The Gold Coast bar, seen here in an undated photo, is the fourth LGBTQ space to close in West Hollywood during the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: Facebook.

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.

Club Cobra – North Hollywood gay Latino bar – will not reopen

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.

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.”

Cuties, L.A.’s only queer focused coffee shop, has closed

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.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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