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Gossip Grill featured on bon appétit

Gossip Grill featured on bon appétit

Moe Girton’s white-blonde faux-hawk floods cotton-candy pink under Gossip Grill’s disco balls and neon lights. She’s sporting loud paisley prints in all shades of blue—a party of one at 3 p.m. We sit at a high-top table on the perimeter of the dance floor, chatting about how she opened this bar 12 years ago; the doors are open to the patio and I can feel the velvet sun, ubiquitous over Hillcrest, warming my legs.

We’re in San Diego’s historic gayborhood, as the locals call it, on a stretch of University Avenue that is home to at least six gay bars (boys bars, as Girton calls them). Gossip, the block’s sole dive intended for women, stands out among them. Girton settled in San Diego in 1999—a time when, she remembers, women weren’t welcome at boys bars. She says San Diego lesbians in those days were “spoiled” with three venues to choose from: Club Bombay (later renamed Six Degrees), The Flame, and another called Patti’s Bar. One by one, however, they closed down. Since Gossip opened in 2009, it’s been the only brick-and-mortar lesbian bar in all of Southern California, including Los Angeles.

The phenomenon of the vanishing lesbian bar isn’t unique to California. Over the past several decades, the U.S. has been hemorrhaging queer female spaces. In the 1980s, over 200 lesbian-identified bars were scattered around the country. Today, only 21 are, according to the fundraising and advocacy initiative Lesbian Bar Project.

Read the full story on bon appétit HERE.