The Go-Go dancers are going away at MJ’s Bar as the Silver Lake gay nightspot prepares to shut down at the end of the month. It’s not clear what will replace MJ’s but it will become the third Silver Lake gay bar to close within the last three years.
The upcoming closure was announced on MJ’s Facebook page with news of “MJ’s Final Dance Party Ever!!!” on March 29. An employee earlier this month said workers were informed that the Hyperion Avenue bar was closing at the end of March but had no further details. Some patrons have been told that MJ’s will be replaced by a restaurant and will no longer be a gay bar but that could not be confirmed. Bar owner Anthony Lopez has not responded to email requests for comment.
Silver Lake was once home to numerous bars, clubs, restaurants and shops that catered primarily to gays. But many of those establishments have closed over the years as the neighborhood has gentrified and the gay community has assimilated. In June 2012, The Other Side, a gay piano bar also located on Hyperion, closed in June 2012 and became Hyperion Public, which caters to a mixed crowd. In 2011, Le Barcito, a Sunset Junction bar that had been a magnet for gay Latinos with Spanish-language drag shows, closed and was replaced by the Black Cat.
The new Black Cat is named after a gay bar that occupied the same space in 1967 when the LAPD arrested several men for kissing, triggering one of the nation’s first gay-right protests.