Late last week, one of the final touchstones for the LGBT community closed their doors for good; Grand Central is permanently closing its doors after thirty years. The primary reason is simple: the closing is mainly due to “challenges created by the pandemic and our beverage-only driven business.”
Grand Central posted the message below on their Instagram making the shuttering official. Unfortunately, the closing does take a rich part of Baltimore’s LGBT history with it. Grand Central dates all the way back to September 12th, 1991,when owner Don Davis purchased a historic Baltimore townhouse, turning it into Central Station Pub. The former Stagecoach was next door, and early in 2003 that was purchased as well, adding both a large duel bar and dance floor, state of the art sound and lighting systems, as well as another lounge upstairs. Re-christening the bar “Grand Central” completed the transition and breathed new life into the establishment, making it a destination for the LGBT community in Baltimore for decades.
I spoke exclusively with longtime Grand Central DJ Ryan Walter, who let me know “Grand Central was the last standing true nightclub offered to the LGBTQ+ community and with its closure, we are left with no true dance event spaces and only two bars. It’s a sad time because just three years ago we were drawing crowds from surrounding states and as far as NYC, LA and Florida because the nightlife here was the best I’d seen it in my six years of living here. DJ’s were thriving with work, drag queens had multiple shows and everyone was happy. Now, we can only hope someone steps in and brings us a new space post-COVID life.”