Another landmark queer venue has just shuttered for good thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic: proprietors of the popular West Hollywood venue Rage have announced the club will not reopen when social distancing regulations lift.
Opened in 1983, Rage built a following for its various theme nights including Musical Mondays, which operated around all show tune music, GAMboi, which catered to Asian men, and one of the few 18+ nights in the Los Angeles area. The venue also had a complete stage layout where it often hosted drag shows, and also hosted Latin and urban-themed nights. The club shut down in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and has remained closed since.
Manager Ron Madril, who had operated the club since 1997, announced the closing via Facebook.
“My employment since May 1997,” Madril wrote. “It’s almost a lifetime! The good times will always be cherished, as will the staff…past & present! It’s been a journey meeting sooooo many AMAZING people! So many! Thanks for all the memories, friendships and love!”
WehoVille also reports that the decision to shut down Rage permanently came after a protracted rent dispute between Robert Maghame and Saeed Sattari, the operators of Rage, and the building’s landlord, Monte Overstreet. Maghame & Sattari’s lease was set to expire this November, but the pair could not come to terms with Overstreet regarding rent.
The closure of Rage is the latest blow to the West Hollywood queer scene, following the closure of the bars Flaming Saddles and Gym Bar earlier this year. Both of those venues also closed after ongoing rent disputes during the COVID-19 pandemic; the building which housed Flaming Saddles is also owned by Monte Overstreet.