“We Never Thought We’d Make It A Year”: Minneapolis Gay Bar Celebrates 45 Years In Business

Minneapolis. Four years ago, John Moore owned a salon and wasn’t sure it would last. This month the bar celebrates 45 years of overcoming adversity and creating a safe space for many.

“I’m very grateful that the community has supported us all these years and will continue to support us,” Moore said. “I am very grateful to be the guardian of this [sacred place].”

Salon / Photography Kuwait

In the 1960s and 1970s, police raids were a common sight in gay bars across the country, including The Saloon.

“It was just crazy. I mean, the cops would always come and beat us up, and it was horrible,” Moore said. “On Saturday nights when we got together, they’d come in the middle of the night and turn on the lights and beat us up. .”

Despite the many challenges Tapestry faced in its early years, Moore and his partner Jim Anderson were determined to keep it open.

“We’re just stopping because there’s nowhere else to go,” Moore said. “You know, it’s become a sanctuary where people can come and tell their stories and show who they are.

Moore was more than happy to be discriminated against as a homosexual. In 1967, he witnessed the killing of a 17-year-old boy in Loring Park and said the police did not respond because they believed the victim was gay.

“I was angry about it,” Moore said. “There was no going back. And that really gave us confidence that we have a safe place where people can come and be themselves and tell their stories,” she said.

LGBTQ+ rights have come a long way since the salon opened, and Moore says it’s great to see the changes.

“When gay marriage happened, for the first time in my life I felt like a part of the American factory,” Moore said. “I felt like a part of a country, it’s my country and I’ve never seen it before in my life.”

Salon / Photography Kuwait

Although it’s evolved from a gay bar to a more queer space, Moore says the lounge still functions as a safe space.

“When people come to meet with a server they’ve met or talked to, it’s almost a mystery: the chat. The server knows them, and they know the server,” Moore said. “They understand. That’s why I think it’s still used today. Of course. Otherwise, it will evaporate and become something else.”

The salon celebrated its birthday on Saturday with a drag show, a performance by DJ Hector Fonseca and a champagne toast.