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PHOTOS: Revolver Comes Full Circle in Los Angeles

In the early ’80s, Revolver was the gay MTV generation’s go-to spot to suck down cheap drinks and watch the latest (now fantastically dated) music videos projected on a huge screen above the bar. Then the ’90s came along and like so many gay bars before it, Revolver’s door stopped, well, revolving. The swanky East/West Lounge took over its piece of prime real estate on Santa Monica Blvd., just across the street from what is now Eleven and just a stones throw from The Abbey.

And since the bar scene is about as unsteady and unpredictable as you are after you’ve visited your fourth one in a single night, Revolver has come full circle. The updated version is still video-centric, but the decor (and prices) have been brought up to speed. Here’s some shots from the opening night party.

This begs the question: What gay bar would you love to see make a comeback and reopen?

Images via David Khinda


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  • Chris

    Backstreet in Atlanta! But I guess that won’t happen since it’s been paved over.

  • joey

    have been there a couple times since it opened. a fine bar, but nothing worth writing an article about. also, it’s WeHo, not “LA”…

  • Drake

    In Washington, DC: Rascals, Fraternity House, Lost & Found. In Boston: Sporter’s. In Newark, Delaware : This place was too small for a gay bar, but there was a “cruisy” Coke machine in the library basement at U of D.

  • iDavid

    I luuuuved Revolver back in “the day”. Can’t wait to see the update, tho nothing can “top” the Original.

  • David Ehrenstein

    The Stud on Santa Monica blvd. in Los Angeles.

  • Rich

    @ Chris, I miss Backstreet in ATL. Would love to see TRAX in Tampa.

  • joe

    Man I doubt any of those bartenders are actually gay. They’re just there to suck the customers dry- cash wise.

  • Spike

    @David Ehrenstein: Absolutely, The Stud and all the tweaked out boys on hanging outside on Sunday morning! Now those were the days!

  • Norris

    Could they invent a slide show that doesn’t jump around the page? Very irritating.

  • QJ201

    Studio One, LA
    Uncle Charlies, West Village, NYC

  • Michael

    Wow, I remember back in the day when I worked in WeHo, and we would all go over to Revolver to watch QUEER AS FOLK!!! Yes… THAT’S WHAT WE WATCHED, shown on EVERY TV & Screen, on the big projector…

    I miss those days…

  • iDavid

    I’d def like to see The Rose Ratio come back. It was under Studio One. Anyone remember Big Ed? It had some of the best night club acts in Hollywood.

    Isaac, I don’t think Weho is racist, maybe race specific sexually, but not racist. If you experience “attitude ” that goes to just about everyone in skin to some degree or another.

  • erasure25

    I would like to the see The Abbey re-open as a GAY bar. Seriously.

  • iDavid

    Abbey is also a restaurant, and a bar. What in your def is it, if not gay? I have always observed it as a very gay place.

  • BobC562

    Circa 1989 or so, watch the Simpson’s and then, half an hour later, Cheers. And erasure25, I agree that it would be nice if the Abbey reopened as a gay bar. Nothing like having a straight man freak out on you because he thinks you cruising him. Moreover, the bartender attitude combined with ridiculously high prices have pretty much made the Abbey a pass. And iDavid, do you mean the Rose Tatoo? Decent food, great acts.

  • iDavid


    I tell ya, spell change on this DROID is going to kill my run at the presidency. Yes I meant The Rose Tatoo. Did u ever see Big Ed there? Huge bald gay guy played the piano on stage and had people falling out of their chairs laughing at his shtick.

    I haven’t been to the Abbey for about 9 months, has it changed or am I just oblivious to the str8 sect that hangs there? I did see girls there that looked pretty Orange Co straight.

  • Ian

    #2 is HOT

  • BobC562

    @iDavid: I’ve had some interesting spelling “corrections” on my iPhone as well. And I do, indeed, remember Big Ed. It seems to me the Abbey became the place for women to hang out if they didn’t want to deal with pick up lines from straight men. Then, and I think this has been going on for a couple of years at least, the straight men discovered their secret watering hole and at least to me, it’s just one freakin’ clusterfuck, and I don’t mean that in a good (a.k.a. fun) way.

  • iDavid


    Hmmm…..Im in Palm Springs and driving over tomorrow. I’ll have to drop by and see what’s shaking there. But a reopening of Revolver, that will be my focus. Very cool you remember Big Ed. And then there was the French chick Jaquline that was the [email protected] Rose Tatoo. Man those french owners could be ruthless to those they didn’t like. It was a bit like Studio 54 tho they didn’t keep people out. Picky PICKY!!

  • FunMe

    ICON in Los Angeles’ Highland Avenue. ;-)

  • iDavid

    Do tell….Highland and ….. cross street? Icon not on google…new?

  • Storm

    The Gold Coast in Chicago. I went in once as an underage kid, and it scared me straight for five more years. In LA, I’d like to see the Stud reopen, and the Lure in New York. I miss good, hot leather bars.

  • iDavid

    Isaac C

    Yes I am white. If I don’t want to have sex with a white guy hitting on me, does that make me a hateful racist against that “type”? No. Does he call me a “type” racist because I won’t engage? No. I would have to hate him and your race to be racist, which I don’t. I just know what I like, and so do you. You just have to find a white guy who sexually likes you back.

    Focusing your positive energy to provide good results will be far more beneficial than the negative energy you are expending calling gay white guys racist. That behavior is not going to change people’s sexual attractions towards you or get you what you really want. It’s a bit of a lose lose.

  • Derek

    Isaac C. you are a total fucking idiot…that say’s it all right there.

    Christ, angry much?

  • iDavid

    Well it’s obvious you’d rather fight than get what you want, which actually seems to be fighting. Not interested. Tah.

  • Mike in Asheville

    The Alta Plaza in San Francisco where my hubby and I met 26 years ago (alas, the AP closed in 1994).

  • Mike in Asheville

    @Isaac C: I haven’t lived in LA in 10 years, so perhaps things have changed. But this white boy never had a problem hitting on/being hit on by black, Hispanic, Semitic, Asian and white guys in WeHo, LA and SM — regularly did and had tons and tons of fun.

    I will say that I did not realize just how alive and well racism ran in our country until after President Obama was elected. It does make me angry that racism seems to run equally deep in the gay community as every other socio and geographic communities — one would have thought that a group (LGBT) desiring to end oppression based on bigotry would not be bigots based on race.

    I have lived in Berkeley and Oakland, San Francisco, LA, Brooklyn, and now Asheville. My perception is that racism in WeHo/SM is no more or less than in other cities.

  • iDavid

    @Mike in Ashville,

    Alta Plaza was awesome! I’d vote that back in any day.

    Congrats on 26 years, very very cool.

  • CBRad

    Those bartenders all look so vacant and vacuous.

  • Aiden

    @Isaac C: I agree with some of the things you’re saying, but attacking people will get you nowhere.

  • Tavdy79

    My local gay club, the Clarence, closed down about five years ago. Fortunately we have a gay pub as well, the Barley Mow, but I’m fairly sure there are millions of gays living in small/medium sized towns that don’t have any kind of gay meeting place, so I’d go for resurrecting a gay bar in a place like that over an over-priced ten-a-penny big-city bar any day.

  • Mike in Asheville

    @Isaac C: Well Isaac, you are mistaken about me being on the receiving end of racism. I do fully understand that my experiences are isolated and infrequent; but they do give me horrifying realizations that racial minorities are under a constant oppression of racism.

    The very first man I had sex with was black — we had just started making out at the Steamworks, my first visit 1978 at 18 (he was probably 35), excited and thrilled. Just as he started kissing me, a white guy grabbed me by the arm, twisting it up behind me, and almost in a shout, stated “you don’t want any of that … that nigger shit.” I broke free, told the guy to fuck off and to never touch me again. He, also 35ish much bigger than me but about the same size as the black guy I was kissing, was taken aback, watched somewhat in shock as I bent down and took my first dick in my mouth. The asshole kicked me, pretty hard, as he left. An even larger white guy grabbed the asshole, shouting, told him to get the fuck out (I learned later the guy was kicked out). My first night, I had fun with both the black guy and the white hero, separately.

    I have been bad-mouthed 3 times by black guys because I was with a black guy (at an LA sex club, at SF Pride Parade, at a black-tie SF AIDS fundraiser — in all cases it was pretty obvious we had been engaged in sex). Had similar experiences twice while with Hispanic guys. I have been treated similarly by white guys for hooking up with black and Hispanic guys at least 6 other times.

    The most surprising time was in LA waiting for my friend Jason to finish up a jog along Wilshire at MacArthur Park. A white woman walked up to me, very loudly, “A white man; oh, thank God, all these fucking niggers and Spics. Finally a white man.” I did not respond, except to place my dog between us. She went on, “Jesus, there are no white men around here just all those fucking niggers and fucking wetbacks. I would never let a fucking nigger or Spic touch me.” Jason arrived then, I turned and gave him a quick kiss, turned to the woman and said, while copping a grope of Jason’s crotch, “Too bad for you, because my experience is that black guys are great kissers and do have big cocks!” Of course she responded with a “Fucking faggot” and spit on me. I let my 60 lb Shepherd lunge at her for a good scare.


    Isaac, it is also racist and bigoted to lump all white guys into a classification of white gay devils. There are many white guys who judge others by the content of their character. Peace.

  • alan brickman

    Just already hit a gym..if you want to fit in…yeas I’m back!!

  • Codawg

    I would love to see Boom reopen in Minneapolis

  • GregR

    Is there a revolving door again at Revolver? I thought that was why it was called Revolver?

  • StudioTodd

    @iDavid: Holy shit–I can’t believe someone else remembers Big Ed! We used to go see him on Xmas Eve…miss him lots…

  • iDavid


    I just went there to see the new place. It rocks and yes, that revolving door is there.


    Hey he was rock’n funny, such a talent! Cool some remember him here. Ohhhhhhhhh the memories.

  • Jim47

    what was big Ed’s name is there any video of him?

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