Pittsburgh’s Oldest Gay Bar Gave Food On Christmas

Photo by LexScope on Unsplash

A classic space in Pittsburgh’s gay scene gave back to the community this holiday season.

Brewer’s Hotel and Bar is the oldest gay bar in Pittsburgh. And, according to CBS’s Pittsburgh affiliate KDKA2, the bar is being celebrated for giving out gifts to LGBTQ patrons and performers.


Owner Carol Held hosted a holiday giveaway, an annual event for the bar, in which warm meals and presents were given to LGBTQ people shunned by their families. The holidays are heavily pitched as a time for family, but many LGBTQ people in the world are left forgotten. Thankfully, Held and the bar made sure to stand by them.

“A lot of these people are good people. And I would never turn my back on any of them,” said Held.

But distributing meals and presents during the coronavirus pandemic is a tricky task. Held says it was difficult, the yearly tradition was almost canceled, but she stuck to her guns. And she has her father to thank. You see, the tradition of providing food and space for LGBTQ people began with her father, the bar’s original owner. Held says the former residents above the bar were suffering from AIDS back in the 1980s. Her father would feed them and sometimes pay for their medicine. That then inspired Carol Held’s yearly tradition of giving free food.

We love stories of establishments that go the extra mile to support us. At the end of such a hard year for LGBTQ people, it’s good to know we have one stable and strong ally in Pittsburgh. Thank you to Carol Held and the Brewer’s Bar.

Source: CBS Pittsburgh,

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