Redline, downtown LA gay bar, to close

Redline gay bar downtown LA to close

Redline, the downtown L.A. gay bar that helped spawn a queer business renaissance, will close in 2024. Photo: Richard Grant for Q Voice News.

Redline, the downtown L.A. gay bar that helped spawn a queer business renaissance, will close in 2024.

Owner Oliver Alpuche made the announcement on social media.

“It’s been an amazing experience and words can’t describe how appreciative I am to all who made REDLINE a reality and to all the people that created such an amazing inclusive space ❤️,” Alpuche said Sunday on his and the Redline Instagram pages.

“Believe (it) or not, our 10 year lease is expiring and I have made the tough decision (to) not renew.

“Instead – we will be putting all our affording into supporting the opening of the newest queer gay of DTLA @kiso__la,” he said.

Kiso LA, with partner Bradley Nitz, is scheduled to open in early 2024.

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Redline opened July 14, 2015, on the ground floor of the Santa Fe Lofts on Sixth Street. The 1,900-square-foot watering hole features a dance floor, menu, and brunch.

Alongside Precinct and Bar Mattachine, which also opened that year, and the long standing gay-Latino New Jalisco Bar, the four spaces created a larger queer safe haven in downtown Los Angeles.

Bar Mattachine, however, closed in 2018.

In 2016, Alpuche launched DTLA Proud, a queer celebration of downtown L.A. and its growing LGBTQ community.

Redline and DTLA Proud are near Pershing Square, which was the center of “The Run,” a circuit of numerous gay-friendly establishments and cruising spots that existed from the 1920s to the 1960s. Pershing Square also was a centralized place where people could meet and socialize in the absence of a strong openly visible gay community. “The Run” included the Central Library, the bar at the Biltmore Hotel, and the Subway Terminal Building’s bathrooms.

In 2021, Redline has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help prevent the bar from having to permanently close, due to the mandatory shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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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