West Hollywood Gay Bar Shutters, Victim of COVID Downturn

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday August 18, 2020

Flaming Saddles, a West Hollywood gay bar, has announced it will be closing its doors for good after negotiations with the landlord failed to secure the space for a reopening after five months of closure due to COVID-19.

An Aug. 16 post at the Flaming Saddles Twitter feed announced that the bar would not be going back into business. "I had spoken to landlords, thought I had worked out deals, and we were watching the science carefully as well as city and state regulations," posted co-owner Jacqui Squatriglia.

But, the post added, "As we were drawing close to opening Flaming Saddles WeHo it was revealed to us that we did not have a secure deal" to continue renting the space. "Please know that we have absolutely exhausted every way possible to make a deal," the tweet went on to say, before announcing that the bar would be shut down for good.

Positing that "with a better national strategy" there might have been a happier outcome, the tweet explained, "With the rules as they stand today there is no way we could have fulfilled our fiscal obligations that were presented to us at this location."

The ravages that the pandemic has inflicted on the country's economy has put even national chains into positions of hardship, noted food industry news source Eater. Many smaller businesses, the publication pointed out, have had to resort to negotiations with landlords as they hope to hang on until they are able to reopen.

Flaming Saddles West Hollywood had been in operation since 2011. Eater recalled that a second location remains in New York City.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.