Only 21 Lesbian Bars Are Left… In The Entire USA

There are over 63,000 bars throughout the 50 states. Only 21 one of them are lesbian. This stark reality is learned watching a video made by The Lesbian Bar Project, a group that “aim to celebrate, support, and preserve the remaining Lesbian bars that exist in the United States. We hope to ensure the bars not only survive but thrive in a post-pandemic landscape.” Already dwindling in number before the Covid-19 pandemic, some of the few Lesbian bars might not be able to reopen. According to CNBC, 60% of businesses closed during the lockdown will not reopen.


Queer bars have always been more than a place to get a drink. Ask any gay man or lesbian the name of their first “gay” bar and chances are they will not only tell you the name (mine was Pieces in the West Village!), but the exact date, and how it felt to finally be in a place they felt welcomed and not alone anymore. Sharni Tapuke-O’Neal, the general manager of Henrietta Hudson, one of the two lesbian bars open in Manhattan spoke to the Commercial Observer, about the importance of the famed bar,

“It was about the place. It was about having a space where you could come in and nobody was going to judge you. Nobody was going to misgender you. Nobody was going to turn around and say, ‘Oh, why are you wearing that? What are you? Are you bi, are you les?’” 


Queer bars are vital to the LGBTQ community. They are more than just buildings. They house our history and can help our future. They are havens for the young providing them social interactions with those just like them, maybe for the first time in their lives. In the 1980s, queer bars became the meeting point for activism as the AIDS epidemic decimated the community. As the world changed in the 90s and 2000s, so did queer nightlife. A record number of queer bars and clubs provided endless nights of dancing, karaoke and drag bingo. DJ Miller, 62, from Maplewood, NJ fondly remembers going to lesbian bars,

“Years ago, when I traveled for work a lot, I could find a lesbian bar in almost every city in this country. Now, almost all of the grrrl bars are gone. I surely do miss lesbian bars and bookstores.” 

As nightlife evolved through the decades, it has been harder and harder for queer bars to keep the doors open. In the past few years queer NYC nightlife has shifted towards roaming weekly or monthly parties, a move designed to keep overhead costs at a minimum. “Pop-Up” nights have also become popular. Even with the advent of these new parties, the LGBTQ community still needs the “traditional” queer bars. Lisa Cannistraci, owner of Henrietta Hudson, plans on doing whatever it takes to keep the historic institution open,

It would be devastating to the community, to our culture, and to those connections we’re making that could be lost. Losing the ability to congregate and be around like minded people that accept you would be terrible. I’m not going down. I’m not going to let Henrietta Hudson close. We’re going to work this out.


The Lesbian Bar Project echoes her sentiments. They raised over $114,000 in 2020 for the 21 bars they are fundraising for. They plan to continue to work to save the bars for as long as the need is there, 

On June 3, 2021 we are launching a 20 min. documentary film. The film will be through the lens of the bar owners, community activists, archivists, and patrons – their struggles during the pandemic, their hopes for the future, and why we must work to save these sacred spaces. This will launch another 4 week fundraising effort. Our goal is to raise $200k during Pride month 2021. –

For more information on the Lesbian Bar Project, you can watch the video below and go to As read on their website, “When our history isn’t protected, we must protect it ourselves.”




{Due to the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown and re-opening, the exact number of Lesbian bars open when this article was researched and remains unknown}

Sources: Commercial Observer, Them, CNBC, The Lesbian Bar Project

3 thoughts on “Only 21 Lesbian Bars Are Left… In The Entire USA”

  1. good to see lesbians are not drunks with better things to do …I agree with social side though…you need more groups that scratch that itch..We also understand that males will crawl onto anything..regardless..Women… more honorable in naturally they need less places to play

  2. Lesbian bars are boring. It’s like hanging out in your friends basement drinking. Planning a night out at a lesbian bar is like planning on taking a nice long nap.

    • Haha well said Jake. They did it to themselves. Most lesbians I know stay home with their partner and cats. Except for the occasional SAPHO meeting,they really aren’t interested in night life. Meanwhile, gay mens drop at least a hundred a night on drinks,tips,dancers etc.


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