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Where The Girls Were

TsBarAfter a fairly warmish Spring weekend, my thoughts turning to patio brunches and the angst of the closing of a beloved community hub, T’s Bar and Grill — I wondered to myself where the girls would be this summer. No longer would I be joining the throngs of ladies in the back room or the patio after a summer soft ball game or a hot summer afternoon to listen to a favorite band play. With the sad realization that this long-time lesbian haven was gone, I wondered to myself if a new lesbian-centered space would emerge like a Phoenix from the ashes or one was even desired anymore?

There are literally dozens upon dozens of gay male bars and clubs in this city…but very few places designated for lesbians. To be fair — T’s was not a lesbian-only bar…but had certainly become a sort of haven for women with few options for a place to call their own. After summer softball games, you’d be guaranteed to find several teams celebrating their win, or commiserating their loss with drinks on the patio. With that gone, is there a need for a new lesbian haven? Or, as some in the community have suggested, is the idea of lesbian-only space outdated, — a model for a bygone era that no longer seems necessary or wanted?

In my opinion, what made T’s a fun and comfortable place was the all-inclusive nature of it: it was a place where everyone could feel comfortable, regardless of their orientation (and possibly find a friend). The entire alphabet soup was present and accounted for on any given day, with the ladies overtaking the back room frequently.

Personally, I’m on a hunt for my summer “replacement.”

I checked out the Edgewater Lounge this weekend to see what sort of vibe it had going on. I already knew going in: it’s cozy, they have a nice bar menu, a nice little patio, and an excellent beer list. The crowd on Friday night was diverse, but it’s a small place and not the kind of bar where one could really “mingle.”

Of course, Parlour on Clark is one of my favorite hangouts on the north side, with frequent ladies nights and opportunities to hear live music or dance to whatever the DJ has spinning. Drink specials, the knockout friendly staff, and enough room to dance and mingle guarantee fun will be had.

What’s the buzz ladies? Where will you be hanging out this summer? And do you think there is a need, in general, for lesbian-only space?

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About Val

Valency was born in San Francisco to hippie parents, but is a Chicago girl through and through. Ten years of Catholic school helped her develop a finely-tuned bullshit detector, as well as a love of all sorts of Catholic kitsch. Valency isn’t fond of labels. She is, however, fond of embracing her many paradoxes, and walking the fine lines between religion and politics, with an eye turned toward postmodern religion, feminist theology, and challenging patriarchy from inside religious institutions. She lives on the northside with her two daughters and two female cats, and is always looking for more ways increase the estrogen in her household.

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