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Saying goodbye to Philly’s beloved lesbian nightclub

PHILADELPHIA -- In its heyday, Sisters was the spot for lesbians to share drinks, dance or shoot a game of pool. Over the 17 years it was open, it was host to Sapphic celebrities and special events that carried two generations of women from drinking age into adulthood. On a busy night, you might have seen a gaggle of giggly young women celebrating 21st birthdays down the bar from a klatch of elders reminiscing about the good old days and Hepburns, the former lesbian haunt that was once located in the space now occupied by iCandy.

There were also the ever-popular karaoke nights with Suzi Nash where, despite the odds and that awful rendition of “Friends in Low Places,” drink tickets seemed to persevere until last call. And there were the weekends when the dance floor was packed with the thumping and bright lights defining raw escapism and just enough debauchery to be gossiped about over brunch the next day.

But things started to noticeably change at this fabled lesbian bar during the past few years. The Sunday brunch – a staple among men and women alike – was off the menu, and the once lively happy hours (when you had to arrive early just to get a seat to watch T.J. Nistico shake a bit more than half-priced martinis) gave way to a solemn after work scene with Law & Order reruns on the flat-screens or the sound of satellite radio stations well past their expiration dates.

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