Covid-19 Could Close Stonewall Inn, Iconic LGBT Milestone, Forever

It won’t close tomorrow or the next day, co-owner Stacy Lentz told CNN, but the Stonewall Inn’s future is in jeopardy. Insurance payments and bar rental, in addition to normal operating costs, continue to rise despite the fact that the coronavirus has closed its doors.

Lentz says his monthly rent, alone, exceeds $ 40,000.

The bar received some funds from the Paycheck Protection Program, but it was significantly less than the owners expected, says Lentz. The bar is located next to the Stonewall National Monument, a national park, but does not receive any federal funding.

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Drinks served by the bar through a window to customers outside don’t cut it either.

The Stonewall Inn can serve outdoors because New York has entered the second phase of reopening. But Lentz says those sales aren’t taking a toll on the bills.

The money raised through GoFundMe, according to Lentz, will go directly to rent and insurance payments. The goal is to raise $ 100,000, which is enough to get them off the grid, she says.

Lentz and the other owners are concerned that when they fully reopen tourists and their clients they will not return.

The modern gay rights movement started at the Stonewall Inn. On June 28, 1969, a police raid on the gay bar sparked a multi-day revolt in New York’s Greenwich Village by his clients, which included black and Latino trans icons Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera.

To donate to the Stonewall Inn fundraising campaign, click here.