Historic downtown Los Angeles bar The New Jalisco on the brink of closure due to COVID-19

The New Jalisco. Via Rosa Hernandez

COVID-19 continues to rear its ugly head on safe spaces for the queer community. The historic downtown Los Angeles venue The New Jalisco has become the latest business to plead with the general public for help.

The New Jalisco opened in the 1990s to cater to LA’s growing LGBTQ Latino crowd. Now, more than 20 years later, the bar faces permanent closure due to mounting debts amid the ongoing pandemic. To counter the financial strain, owner Rosa Hernandez launched a GoFundMe page on December 20 in hopes to keeping the business open.

“Like countless small businesses, The New Jalisco Bar is struggling to stay alive during this ongoing pandemic,” Hernandez wrote on the GoFundMe page. “Our doors have been closed since March 2020 and we have not been able to obtain financial relief to support our business expenses or rent commitments. Unfortunately, we now owe our landlord 10 months of rent with interest. This debt puts us at risk of closing down permanently.”

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“We are reaching out to our clients, supporters, and friends to please consider donating to our cause,” she concludes. “Your contributions will help save a community space that has served as a safe haven for generations of Angelenos in our city.”

The New Jalisco has set a goal of raising $80,000 in hopes of staying afloat. At the time of this writing, the fundraiser has generated just over $18,000. Patrons can learn more or donate by visiting the bar’s GoFundMe site.

Queer businesses in Los Angeles have endured massive hardship due to COVID-19. In West Hollywood, the popular and historic venues Rage, Flaming Saddles, Gym Bar, Cuties and Gold Coast have all shut down permanently due to mounting bills and ongoing disputes with landlords. In Silverlake, the popular queer hipster bar Akbar also teetered on the brink of closure before a similar crowdfunding campaign raised $200,000 to address the bar’s debts.