After 18 years, the only lesbian bar in San Francisco has announced it will be closing.
“It is with a heavy heart, great thought and consideration that I have made the very difficult decision to sell The Lexington Club,” owner Lila Thirkield wrote. “Eighteen years ago I opened The Lex to create a space for the dykes, queers, artists, musicians, and neighborhood folks who made up the community that surrounded it. Eighteen years later, I find myself struggling to run a neighborhood dyke bar in a neighborhood that has dramatically changed.”
Thirkield said the rent was raised, and with the changing neighborhood and declining sales, she could no longer afford to keep her bar open.
“Please know that if I thought The Lexington Club could be saved, I would not be writing this,” she said. “I understand what a huge loss this is to the community.”
Currently, the median home price in San Francisco is over $1 million, surpassing New York City’s. The city has seen cultural institutions, historic music venues and bookstores close because of the economy.
Last year, the gay bar Marlena’s closed, and just a few months ago the Latino gay bar Esta Noche closed as well.
Regardless, Thirkield, whose bar will stay open until the end of the year, hasn’t lost her hope in the community.
“It is difficult and painful to lose our queer spaces,” Thirkield said. “However, my faith in queer San Francisco still runs deep. It is the best place in the world and dykes and queers are still an integral part of this city.”