Some in Hell’s Kitchen Say No to Gay Sports Bar
A gay New York sports bar looking to expand to a new location has encountered resistance from the denizens of its target neighborhood, Hell’s Kitchen, tabloid newspaper the New York Post reported on Aug. 22.
The proposed location for a new Boxers -- to be called Boxers HK -- is right near two schools, one of them parochial and the other public.
Boxers is so named because of the minimal attire worn by its well-build bartenders. The bar hosts frequent events of interest to the gay community, such as a recent appearance by GLBT equality advocate and English rugby champion Ben Cohen.
One local, 53-year-old Iyanth Davis, told the Post that it was "disgusting" to consider putting the bar at an address with such proximity to schools. "That’s absolutely too close to these two schools," Davis said, adding, "And the issue is not that it’s a gay bar." Rather, that Boxer’s is any sort of establishment where drinking takes place was at the heart of the objection.
The original Boxers, a popular nightspot, is in Chelsea. The Hell’s Kitchen address where the second bar would be built is a "dilapidated" structure that the business would overhaul, noted Advocate.com in an Aug. 23 article.
A lawyer representing Boxers told Advocate.com that the owners of the popular gay bar are informed as to the law and intend to follow established ordinances regarding zoning.
"We have investigated that -- we’ve done some area surveys -- and based upon what we’ve seen, so far we feel as though we are in compliance with the law," the lawyer said.
The Post article said that while that might be so, it was only barely: Part of the building Boxer’s wants to renovate is located too near to one of the schools to conform to zoning requirements. To address that problem, the Post article said, Boxer’s is allegedly considering subdividing the space, keeping the bar area just far enough away from the school to stay within the letter of the law.
Though some residents were troubled (or disgusted) with the idea, others saw no problem with it, noting that schoolchildren would frequent the area by day while the adult patrons of the bar would show up at night.