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Boston Gay Bars That Have Closed

It is sad even in the short...umm...few years I have been going to gay bars to see how many have closed. I use to LOVE the old and the new Chaps which are both closed. Buddies on Boylston was my first gay bar ever and I even went to Playland once but now walk buy with it's big DEMO label on the building!!!

Do you remember.... ?

119 Merrimac

This dive bar is no longer there... for the building is currently being regutted and converted into offices or condos. The owners of 119 moved its business toward Downtown Crossing at Pi Alley. It’s called, "The Alley." Go figure.

The 1270

(it was also known as Quest in the mid- to late-90s) was a great 3 story club with a roof deck at 1270 Boylston,at the other end of the same building where Ramrod is.There is some type of latin flavor breeder’s club there now last check...

Avalon / Axis / Embassy

Well, I guess we can add these clubs to the list. The whole Lansdowne block will soon be converted into a huge entertainment complex. Avalon Sundays moved to 1 Boylston Street (The Estate).


Located near the Fleet Center (Boston Garden) on Canal Street, near Haymarket and North End. The dance floor was small, and during the weekend mornings it was a place to have brunch (with omelettes made to order). Now it’s some Tapas bar filled with... ugh... breeders.


I only remember Buddies when it was located on Stuart Street in the Theatre District. I remember sneaking in (I was underaged) with friends and had a blast. It was before my time when Buddies was located in the Back Bay... on Boylston Street. Shortly after Buddies closed, the bar was then transformed into F/X... which was very short-lived. The Stuart Street location is now Boston’s best killer dance club: BUZZ.

Chaps (Copley Square)

What stands in its place is Trinity Place... more luxury condos. It was the best dance club before BUZZ, located in Copley Square, across from the Copley Westin Hotel. The alley behind Chaps was the playground during Boston Pride, and the place was packed year after year. Chaps then moved to the Theatre District, and then it changed its name to VAPOR. Now, according to many friends, Vapor has slowly emerged into a bi/straight club. It was really never the same when Chaps moved from its Copley location.


A short-lived dance club on Lincoln Street in the Leather District near South Station. With the 24-hour diners and Chinatown nearby, one would have thought that gay nightlife would thrive... nope.


"Back in the late 1970’s there was a really awesome bar/dancing club named "DARTS". It was located right on Dartmouth Street where "Paparazzi Restaurant" is now. They had all the disco music of the late 70’s, Donna Summer, Sunset People,

Copacabana, etc. it was a great time.. it was the first time I ever saw two guys dancing together. (I was underage and shocked as I had never seen two males dancing together..,) how naive of me... The drinks were delicious and aside from the elegant shining wood dancing floor, there were cozy round little table to be more private away from the dance floor if one wanted to be." - submitted by Anonymous


Located near Haymarket in downtown Boston. Don’t remember much about this place... I think it thrived back in the early to mid-1980s.

Dirrocco’s Cabaret (Tyngsboro, MA)

"Does anyone remember Dirrocco’s Cabaret? The best little bar. Me and my firend David use to go there every weekend before heading into Boston. It was a fun bar, and packed on weekends." - submitted by Michael

DykeNights at Midway Cafe

There was a place for women in Jamaica Plain. On April 26, 2004, DykeNights held its last night. Click here for more information about the closing...

GladDay Bookstore

Okay, it’s not a bar or club, but it was perhaps the most popular, longest-surviving gay bookstore in Boston. It was located across from the Boston Public Library, on Boylston Street. I believe the management moved to a new location in the Leather District, on 92A South Street, and renamed the bookstore, Calamus Bookstore. Above the bookstore is the new location of Marquis de Sade, that used to be on Berkeley Street in the South End.


A short lived, weak attempt at rivaling Avalon in the Combat Zone" - Been there, done that - DIRTY!


Another short-lived bar on Washington Street in Downtown Crossing that featured gay night (Wednesdays). Now it’s FELT. I believe FELT does host a women’s night now...

Lava Bar

Above the Howard Johnson’s hotel in Kenmore Square stood the Lava Bar. It was a bar for women, and it opened Thursdays through Sundays. It closed some time around 2000.

The Loft

This after-hours club was located in the Back Bay (behind Club Cafe). It was Saturdays and Sundays, from 12:30 a.m. to dawn. Saturday mornings had a mixed crowd, and Sunday mornings were all-gay. The Loft had three bass-thumping dance floors and a roofdeck. Summer nights were awesome. The Loft has been closed for almost ten years now, but now RISE has returned (after a fire that closed the club for over a year) as the after-hours hot spot for gay club-goers.


It’s now "Upstairs at Dedo" which now I believe has also closed. Located in Bay Village, across from the Boston Park Plaza.

Napoleon Bar

Once touted as Boston’s oldest gentlemen bar, Napoleon Bar was situated in Bay Village on Pinckney Street. Napoleon’s consisted of two piano bars, and a dance floor upstairs, called Josephine’s. It was closed a number of years ago and it has since turned into condominiums.


Essex Street, near Chinatown. This place was SCARY!!! The building is being torn down and more luxury condos are going to be in its place.


"Man, I can’t believe no one has listed this bar. Jam-packed on Fri and Sat nites in the late 50’s and early 60’s, this was the gay hot spot. People stood in line as bouncers checked ID’s and on Halloween, ushered in the drags. The people that owned Boston’s old PunchBowl barThe PunchBowl was owned by the same family that now owns and operates a gay bar in Atlanta." - submitted by Chip

Rainbow Room

"The Rainbow Room........where I saw Ecstacy, Passion & Pain perform." - submitted by MTF

Safari Club

Boston once had a sex club. The city closed it down, after someone reported illegal activities to the authorities. It was located on Wareham Street in the South End. If you want to go to a sex club now, you’ll have to drive down to Providence, Rhode Island.


Was a cute little hustler bar located where the Four Seasons now stands.

Somewhere Else

Being sixteen, going into a club listed as a place where women meet women. This was the 80s! Getting a job using my sister’s ID... Aaah, those were the days! (submitted by Lesbian pal.)


This was a leather/levi neighborhood bar on Cambridge Street. Correct me if I’m wrong, but was there a sling that used to hang inside that place?

Venus DeMilo

Located on Lansdowne Street near Fenway Park. Wednesday nights. No more.

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