Guerrilla Gay Bar: In And Out At The Union
As we told you last week, the "guerrilla gay bar" concept was coming to Houston. It did this weekend, and caused a ruckus.
The GGB phenomenon simply consists of a big group of gay people going to a straight bar for the night. Friday night, the lucky bar was the Union Bar in Midtown.
Result: Gay people turned away, a Facebook page titled "Union bar Houston -- We Will Not Go There" and a bar owner who says he's been deeply misunderstood.
Teh gheys' account:
Patrons started lining up at about 9:40 p.m. and were told to wait in line and not allowed inside, even as straight-appearing people were waved through. As the line grew and patrons waited in the rain, employees at the door told those who were in line that they were maintaining a "ratio." Later, the bar employees simply indicated they had the right to refuse anyone.
"I was shocked to be a victim of that kind of discrimination in a city like Houston in 2009," said Neal Falgoust, a Houston law student. "I have never experienced anything like that before in my life."
A patron who arrived at the bar early reported that the bar was nearly empty at about 9:40 p.m., when gay people started arriving and were stopped at the door.
The bar owner says: no, no, no, no, no. All a misunderstanding.
He told KHOU what he told Hair Balls in the comments section of the original item:
The staff and management at Union Bar are very apologetic for the misunderstanding that happened at their place of business. Union Bar in no way refuses entry to any persons due to sexual orientation, race, gender or religion. We do have a capacity of 117 persons as set forth by the City Of Houston and The Fire Marshal. We follow this guild line to the letter for guest and employee safety. This was the main factor or refusing entry Friday night. Persons have booked parties 6 to 7 weeks in advance and have limited of RSVP so their guests have the right to entry first. The Guest in question was allowed to bring his 50 RSVP guest.
His party showed up at 10 with approximately 200 guests and could in no way accommodate that. We offered to take all 50 guests and he demanded that we let in all. Accordance to city code we could not allow this. At no time was the staff of Union Bar rude or uninventive to their needs while inside. At 10pm we were almost at capacity and the enclosed pictures will show that (1) We were almost full (2) We had a very high numbers of male guests that were not turned away.
Then he broke out the exclamation points: "We would be open to speak with the GL community on this and help prove to the G&L committee that we are a gay friendly bar!"
If the first rule of GGB is "Don't talk about GGB," the it failed. If, on the more likely other hand, the first rule is "stir up some shit," then Mission Accomplished.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.