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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Boots & Saddle Says It's the End of the Trail

Boots & Saddle
Boots & Saddle, on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village, right off Sheridan Square, will be the latest gay landmark bar to close. The classic leather-and-levis dive bar still packs 'em in on the weekends but, as with the recent demise of Rawhide in Chelsea, will be forced into closing because of stratospheric Manhattan rent increases.

According to Boots' long-time manager, Robert Ziegler, talking to DNA Info, the building's new landlord plans to raise rent by thousands of dollars monthly, into the "high twenties." The exact date of the increase and the bar's closing have yet to be announced.

Known for its raucous atmosphere, stiff drinks, occasional live djs, go-go gods and drag queens, the bar once boasted a hitching post before one of its interior make-overs. Boots & Saddle (sometimes sardonically called Bras & Girdles by friends) is on the route of the annual Gay Pride March, in June, where it gets seriously overpacked, and getting in and out, and to and from, can be more than a bit of a struggle due to police barricades and herds of non-stop pedestrian traffic passing by.

Boots is in close proximity with the Stonewall Bar, The Monster, The Duplex and the homo-monuments in Sheridan Square Park.

Most importantly, of course, my promo cds frequently played at the bar from 2005 through 2010 during my dj phase. It was a neighborhood hang-out for me, as well, when I lived in the Village for many years, because it was within walking distance and I had befriended several other regulars who made the place comfortable and friendly.

Boots and Saddle won a bevy of Get Out! Awards last December at a ceremony at XL in midtown, at which I was present with promoter Barbara Sobel.  There are rumors that Boots and Saddle may reopen at a new address but, so far, nothing in that regard has been confirmed.

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