When Rosa Maria Hernandez and her husband Sergio Hernandez took over The New Jalisco Bar in Downtown Los Angeles in the 1990s, they transformed the space into a vibrant and truly unique place for the LGBTQ+ and Latinx community.
Located on South Main Street, The New Jalisco Bar has catered to a diverse crowd of folks, who visited it nightly for their famous drag shows and intimate feel. The outside of the iconic space is painted with a beautiful pink mural depicting The Famous 41 and Latinx queer experience, painted by artist Rafa Esparza and Gabriela Ruiz.
Prior to the Precinct’s opening in 2015, The New Jalisco Bar was the only gay bar in Downtown L.A.
Now, like so many other small businesses, The New Jalisco Bar is struggling financially as it fights to keep its space amid the pandemic. Their doors closed in March 2020 and they have not been able to secure financial relief in order to keep their business afloat. And as the new year has come, the harsh possibility of closing permanently has reared its ugly head and The New Jalisco Bar is behind on over 10 months of rent with interest.
It’s not a story that we like to hear. Especially for a place that represents safety, security, and acceptance for so many in the LGBTQ+ community.
As a last resort, the owners of The New Jalisco Bar have launched a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign, in hopes of securing enough funds to remain in business until the pandemic begins to fade out.
On December 20th, Rosa Hernandez wrote to her extended family, her patrons:
We are reaching out to our clients, supporters, and friends to please consider donating to our cause. Your contributions will help save a community space that has served as a safe haven for generations of Angelenos in our city.
In two weeks the fundraiser has only received $18,000 of its total $80,000 goal.
In December, Silverlake gay venue Akbar, shattered their $100,000 fundraising goal on their GoFundMe campaign, and has raised over $203,000 to date. An astonishing act of commitment from the bar’s loyal customers.
The New Jalisco Bar now needs the same type of support from its customers as other bars have received. Businesses owned by People of Color are also deserving of the attention and concern from those who love gathering and making connections there. Even Akbar just made a donation to save The Jalisco today, because they know that when one queer space closes, we all lose.
Consider making a donation to save The New Jalisco Bar and share. Every little bit helps so that when it is safe to return to the nightlife we so love, we can all meet at the Jalisco for a good perreo.