Confirmed: WeHo Gay Bar Faultline has Shuttered Longtime Location

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Saturday January 23, 2021

The owner of West Hollywood gay bar Faultline has confirmed an earlier report that the establishment has closed down its longtime location on Melrose Avenue, local news source the WeHo Times reports.

The WeHo Times had initially reported on the closure on Jan. 17, prompting denials from owner Ruby De Fresno, the publication said in its Jan. 21 follow-up.

"In two false statements under the fake name Ruby De Faultline, De Fresno vehemently denied the bars closure, stating, 'The Faultline Bar is still in business,' and 'Statements describing the Faultline and its exit from Melrose Avenue in the WeHo Times' story are factually incorrect,' " the WeHo Times follow-up said.

Speaking to another publication, the Q Voice News, De Fresno confirmed that the bar has left its current location after more than a quarter century. De Fresno suggested the situation is only temporary, with the Faultline looking to move into a new space.

The WeHo Times recalled that, "According to the Los Feliz Ledger, the Faultline space was a venue called the Red Rouge in the early 1960s, owned by Judy Garland and her then husband, Sid Luft.

"Legend has it that as the concrete floor was being laid down, the star put her handprint and signed her name on the cement slab behind the bar back in 1963."

De Fresno told Q Voice that it had been "a difficult decision" to give up the bar's longtime location, and said, "Rent had something to do with it."

It's a now-familiar story as gay bars, already challenged by cultural shifts, struggle to stay in business while the COVID-19 pandemic drags on. In West Hollywood alone, at least five GLBTQ establishments have gone under since last May. Club Cobra shuttered that month, with Gym Sportsbar, Flaming Saddles, Rage, and Gold Coast all following suit in a series of closures that spanned the summer into Sepember.

De Fresno said the Faultline Bar's famed works of art - including a "neon penis" and "larger-than-life, iconic Faultline leather men" - had been put into storage, hopefully to grace a future incarnation of the bar at a new location.

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.