2020, as many if not all know by now, has been absolute torture for small businesses who have had to deal with insurmountable changes to their daily structures thanks to the novel Coronavirus pandemic.
We have seen several legendary gay bars close as a result of COVID-19. Places that we considered our 2nd homes, locations we met up at with our boyfriends and BFF’s, the spots we would go to drink and dance the night away, are no more.
It’s a heartbreaking reality for many who utilized them as a way to break free from the heteronormative world they were in, not to mention the staff who’s only source of income was working at these establishments.
Gym Sports Bar, one of the best gay bars in New York City, is at risk of this kind of ordeal as the future remains largely unknown. It has had to deal with different whammies compared to the rules set in other areas of the world as The Big Apple shut down indoor dining again earlier this month, even though the COVID statistics for this are very low (1.43 percent overall of the recent spread).
The bar put up a GoFundMe yesterday with a goal set in place that will keep the establishment afloat over the next couple of months. Gym Sports Bar first opened its doors back in 2004 (there are sister locations in Florida and California) and has been delighting guests ever since with its variety of fun events, drink specials, hot guys, great atmosphere, and much more.
When I was a baby gay back in the late 2000’s, it was the first bar that I went to where I felt comfortable and truly welcomed by its staff. Certain spaces (that will remain a mystery) primarily have staff, i.e. bartenders and owners, who are downright rude to their patrons, but that is not the case at Gym. It’s also a spot where I had many memorable nights with my friends and a decent amount of make out sessions with guys I do and don’t remember, hehe.
“Never has a job felt like home to me where we are not just coworkers or friends but a family,” Gym staff member Mikey told Instinct exclusively. “Gym Sports Bar not only does amazing things for its staff but also for the community. It’s a privilege to be part of this.”
Gym has, like many other gay bars, been very charitable over its near 20-year existence. Along the way they have sponsored sports leagues, clothing drives, raised money for homeless LGBTQ youth and have hosted several events that support a variety of causes. Oh, and its staff is smoking hot. Just thought I’d add that in there.
If you have the means to donate to not only Gym but any gay bar in need right now, please do so. My hope is that these spots will thrive in the most beautiful of ways when COVID is all said and done, but it’s up to us as a community to make that happen in the interim.