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The Upper West Side Is Losing its Only Gay Bar: Candle to Close This Month

Manager Amonte Demarko calls Candle Bar a "gay 'Cheers.'"

Facebook/Candle Bar

Candle Bar, the Upper West Side's oldest and only gay bar, is going dark June 22. The bar has been around since the mid-1960's and some argue that it's been operating as openly gay since before West Village bar Julius, which many count as the city's oldest gay bar. The building was recently sold and the new owners aren't interested in keeping the bar around, reports DNAinfo. Manager Amonte Demarko, who describes the bar as a "gay ‘Cheers'" worries where his customers will go: "90 percent of the business is from regulars... [they're] family to each other...Where are they going to go?" The nearest gay bars are in Hells Kitchen or Suite, which opened at 109th and Amsterdam a few years ago.

While Candle Bar will say its goodbyes this month, the Landmarks Preservation Commission is considering making Stonewall Inn, the home of the riots that launched the modern LGBT movement, an official city landmark. The Greenwich Village Society for Historical Preservation, which nominated Stonewall also wanted to make Julius a landmark, but the LPC hasn't taken the bar on for consideration.

Candle Bar

309 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10023 (212) 799-0062

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