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San Diego’s Oldest Gay Bar Deluged by Outpouring of Raw Sewage

San Diego’s Oldest Gay Bar Deluged by Outpouring of Raw Sewage

San Diego’s Oldest Gay Bar Deluged by Outpouring of Raw Sewage
VIA KFMB-TV

The historic Hole in the Wall bar says plumbing installed by the city is to blame.

A gay bar in San Diego has been suffering from a deluge of sewage after the city relocated a new main line in the area seven years ago.

Karen Sherman and her son are the co-owners of the Hole in the Wall bar on Lytton Street in Point Loma. She told local CBS affiliate KFMB-TV the new main has failed two times already, and those breaks resulted in “raw sewage backing up into [the] bar so that people are stepping in raw sewage.”

She said the problem began in 2015 when the City of San Diego installed the new main. The job included hiring an independent contracting to install new drains connecting The Hole, as it’s known to its patrons, to the new main.

“In the process of doing that, it’s failed twice,” Sherman said of the new drain. “Initially, the minute they put it in in 2015 and it had to be redone. And it failed again seven years later in March of 2022.”

Sherman said the city initially repaired the faulty plumbing, including inside the bar itself, but rejected her claim for compensation. The problem bubbled up again last year with emergency repairs and damages now reaching $60,000. She’s asking the city to compensate her for the expenses and fix the problem with the drain line they installed.

She showed KFMB-TV a copy of one of the complaints, although a spokesperson for the City of San Diego Risk Management Department, said they had no reports of "... warranty, latent, and patents defects” in the area.

So far, the city has rejected all of her claims. Sherman said she is considering hiring a lawyer to force the city to clean up the mess. In the meantime, she’s forced to pay for porta potties for her patrons, and the costs are adding up.

“This is a mom-and-pop shop, it's not a chain,” Sherman lamented. “It’s here because of our love for the bar and the place.”

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Donald Padgett

Managing Editor at OutTraveler. Also write for Out, The Advocate, and Plus magazines.

Managing Editor at OutTraveler. Also write for Out, The Advocate, and Plus magazines.