Redline gay bar in downtown LA launches GoFundMe to avoid closure

Redline gay bar

Redline, photographed on August 5, 2020, is an LGBTQ bar located in downtown Los Angeles. It has been closed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: Richard Grant for Q Voice News.

Redline has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help prevent the bar from having to permanently close.

The downtown Los Angeles queer space has been closed since March due to COVID-19 and a mandatory shutdown. It will be months before bars and clubs are allowed to re-open. When they do re-open, it will be at limited capacity and then gradually increased to maximum occupancy.

Several LGBTQ bars and clubs in the Los Angeles area have closed as a result of financial hardships during the pandemic.

During those 10 months, Redline’s $10,000 monthly rent has continued to accumulate without any government relief.

The GoFundMe campaign’s goal is to raise $100,000 and help Redline pay the rent debt.

The GoFundMe page, created January 6, has raised more than $20,000. It was created by Dominic Alpuche, the brother of Oliver Alpuche, who owns Redline.

The New Jalisco Bar launches GoFundMe page to save gay Latino bar

“We will lose a piece of our community if we don’t act soon,” Dominic wrote on the GoFundMe page.

“It is not just to save a bar, but a venue that has been home to many of us, from aspiring drag performers to seasoned professional drag artists, up and coming LGBTQ+ comedians and actors to an incubator for community forums and action groups,” Dominic said.

Oliver opened Redline July 14, 2015. Alongside Precinct and Bar Mattachine, which also opened that year, and the long standing New Jalisco Bar, the four spaces created a larger queer safe haven in downtown Los Angeles. Bar Mattachine, however closed in 2018.

The New Jalisco Bar launched a GoFundMe campaign in December to help pay their huge rent debt.

“The DTLA LGBTQIA+ community is small but mighty and our nightlife has always been much more than a place to drink. They are spaces where we can come together as a community, as a family,” Dominic said on the GoFundMe page. “Often , we as a community do not have the comforts of being ourselves and our bar scene has become a home where we can just be!”

Ex L.A. City Councilman Tom LaBonge helped demolish Circus Disco

Dominic says Oliver created Redline as bar “that would not only be a safe space for the Eastside’s queer community, but would also be more accessible and inclusive.”

In 2016, Oliver founded DTLA Proud, an LGBTQ festival near Pershing Square in downtown. It has featured musicians, a drag contest, a waterpark, and a marketplace with various vendors and artisans selling clothes, jewelry, and art.

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.

Share This

Share this post with your friends!