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City's only gay bar rebrands as straight venue to attract students

Chambers Bar in Cork was the city's last gay bar, but wanted to appeal to students for freshers week, hence took down/covered up all Pride flags outside the venue and rebranded. They also asked the drag queens who normally performed there to stop for a fortnight.

Understandably there was protests about this.

What I can't understand is why so many people have kicked back against the protest and anger within Cork's gay community. "They can go to any bar" or "Can't a business do what it wants now?" being the main pushbacks.

I know some people say there's no need for gay bars in this day and age, but if you'd rather avoid apps (and I can understand why many would want to) they're one of the few places you can meet your preferred gender.

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by Anonymousreply 15September 19, 2023 8:38 AM

Conflicted. Business can do what it wants, it's not a charity, a non-profit community space. But I can understand local LBGT being bitter. Maybe the hurlers will show up and everyone can have a good time together?

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by Anonymousreply 1September 18, 2023 9:02 PM


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by Anonymousreply 2September 18, 2023 9:03 PM

R1 Yeah I think a lot of the anger comes from the sudden way it was done with no warning. If there'd been some notice (especially to the drag queens who performed there regularly) maybe some of the backlash could have been avoided.

I suppose if there was another gay venue, people would have just gone there instead as a protest, but as there aren't any left that's not possible.

Time will tell if it was a wise decision.

by Anonymousreply 3September 18, 2023 9:09 PM

I've seen the facade. Tacky and dated. Why don't they just remove the gay flaggotry and become a bar that looks like anyone can hand out. And do nights. Gay nights and hot smelly UC Cork jock and horny Kathleens nights.

by Anonymousreply 4September 18, 2023 9:13 PM

R4 So basically become like every other bar, thus making it even harder to compete? Not sure that's a wise move.

by Anonymousreply 5September 18, 2023 9:19 PM

The owners didn’t do this right at ALL. They should’ve closed up for a month and rebranded, but likely didn’t want to pay unemployment for staff. An excellent example of a “mixed crowd” gay bar is Club Cafe in Boston- they did away with fine dining years ago, and serve excellent, value priced bistro food and a bar up front to appeal to a more diverse, younger gay friendly crowd- than just touting itself as a gay bar.

On the other side of Columbus Ave.,, Fritz changed into a straight bar, and did a terrible job trying to retain the tawdry, hawt weekend gay crowd.

Sometimes all it takes is to hire a few straight, gay friendly guys to completely change the vibe.

by Anonymousreply 6September 18, 2023 9:23 PM

If it's a permanent rebranding sure do whatever you want it's your business but if this was just something temporary and they spend the rest of your trading on the gay community then they can f*** the right off.

by Anonymousreply 7September 18, 2023 9:31 PM

"Deputy Barry said that Chambers cannot take money from the gay community for 51 weeks a year and then "turf" members out for a week in order to cash in on Freshers' Week at Cork colleges."

I think it's absolutely correct for people to be taking issue with this.

by Anonymousreply 8September 18, 2023 9:36 PM

So they have done this same Sinners week before, aimed at the same student population, during something called Freshers week.

People seem to be outraged now because Pride flags were removed

by Anonymousreply 9September 18, 2023 9:38 PM

R9 Which makes sense. It's feels very much like the classic comedy sketch where a gay character goes around their apartment hiding all the "gay" things in a panic before their parents visit.

They clearly don't think the freshers will want to go to a gay bar, hence hiding all the evidence.

by Anonymousreply 10September 18, 2023 10:30 PM

Chambers doesn't even support Cork Pride..I was shocked when I learned that and YET they upped their entrance fee the night of Pride and had a huge queue. And it wasn't widely known they didn't donate to pride; maybe if it was that queue would have been shorter; it was just that i happened to ask the organisers of pride why the official after pride parade party wasnt in Chambers..and was told 'chambers doesnt support pride'. Some odd management behaviour there alright.

by Anonymousreply 11September 18, 2023 10:53 PM

Nearly every gay bar I've been into the last decade is packed with groups of straight people and fag hags on a night out and probably outnumber the actual LGBT customers. I seriously doubt any fresher in 2023 is going to walk through the door and go "Jaysus Mary and Joseph! Seamus turn the feck around its a poof bar".

by Anonymousreply 12September 18, 2023 11:00 PM

I used to live in Cork too, R11. I imagine most Dataloungers haven't even heard of it.

by Anonymousreply 13September 18, 2023 11:04 PM

Big Black Irish Cock in Cork Night.

by Anonymousreply 14September 18, 2023 11:32 PM

R13 That's true. It's Ireland's second biggest city, but most DLers probably only know Dublin at a push.

by Anonymousreply 15September 19, 2023 8:38 AM
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