Can it survive?
So will the gay bar survive, despite the forces circled against it? I've marshaled the best evidence I could unearth in search of an answer.
It's hard to find data on the number of gay bars in America. There's no national organization tracking openings and closings, and word of a new bar or a shuttering rarely carries outside the neighborhood. The best way to find out about gay bars—and gay B&Bs and gay bookstores—is to consult the excellent travel guides put out by Damron (since 1964) and Gayellow Pages (since 1973). Damron currently has 1,405 bars and clubs catering to the LGBT population in its database, while Gayellow Pages lists 1,332.
How do those figures compare with numbers from the past? Unfortunately, neither company keeps totals from previous years. (They're publishers, not statisticians.) Damron President Gina Gatta was able to find a database backup from 2005, which showed that the total number of gay bars in the country dropped from 1,605 to 1,405—a 12.5 percent decrease—in the last six years. But without more evidence, it's hard to know whether to attribute that drop to the specific pressures on gay bars or the larger economic pressures of the recession on businesses of all sorts. So I spent some time in the splendor of the New York Public Library Reading Room, paging through old printed copies of the Gayellow Pages. (I chose that source because the NYPL's holdings went back to 1973, and they had enough back issues to allow me to check in every five years or so.)
Complete article at Slate : http://slate.me/kVZ2u6