LA's Silver Lake Neighborhood Loses Third Gay Bar in Three Years
By Neal Broverman
MJ's, a somewhat-raunchy drinking hole and dance spot in L.A.'s Silver Lake neighborhood is closing its doors. As noted by Eastsider LA, it'll be the third gay establishment in the area to shut down in just three years.
A gay piano bar called The Other Side, not far from MJs, shut down in 2012 and reopened as Hyperion Public, a bar catering to a mixed crowd. Le Barcito, a Sunset Boulevard bar popular with Latino gays and known for wild drag shows, closed in 2011. Le Barcito was the site of a gay bar called the Black Cat that was raided by police in 1967 and spawned some of the nation's first gay-rights protests; it also spurred those affected to launch The Advocate (a sister publication of Out Traveler). The hipster restaurant that replaced Le Barcito honors its history by naming the establishment Black Cat and keeping the gay bar's original signage — though the restaurant's current clientele is very mixed.
Rumor has it that MJ's will be closing to make way for a new restaurant. The Silver Lake neighborhood, once home to Latino families and a sizable gay population, has been gentrifying for close to 15 years and is now a magnet for yuppies and hipsters.