When you name your bar Inch, there’s a good chance you’re going to attract gay clientele for the same reason any bar named The Cock is going to. But when the local tourist office also says you’re running a gay bar, well, no wonder the ‘mos are flocking to your establishment. Jon Simcock, who owns the bar in Dunedin, New Zealand, says the i-Site Information Centre has slotted Inch as a gay bar, even though he’s been asking them not to for the past two years. “I’m just waiting for the day someone burns the place down or I get beaten up,” he says. That’s because patrons of the Inch, Simcock says, are regularly harassed (with words like “homo faggot” thrown their way). Is this an issue of a local bar owner being homophobic? Hardly. If a venue doesn’t cater to gays, then it shouldn’t be lumped in with other gay bars. (There could be a category for notably gay-friendly bars, of course.) “It’s really embarrassing when gay couples do come down, because they’re looking for an experience we can’t provide,” Simcock adds. Then what’s the problem?
Simcock said he has spoken to the council about the issue and has been assured the reference would be removed. But his wife, Sandra Kellian, said she knows for a fact the i-Site was still promoting the premises as a gay bar.
“I popped into the information centre on Friday and asked if there were any specific gay bars in Dunedin and the woman circled the Inch Bar. “I said: `Well, I’m the owner of the Inch Bar and I can tell you categorically it is not and never has been a gay bar’.
“She just looked at me blankly,” Kellian said.
Probably like gay patrons do when they show up at Inch.