COVID-19 disrupted life in Pasadena, as it did across the nation. Many businesses in the city have either closed permanently or are struggling to stay alive. According to a news article from the Los Angeles Times, the city’s lone gay club is now struggling for survival after being closed for more than a year.
The Aftermath of the Pandemic
The Boulevard had never closed its doors in its nearly 40-year history, but everything changed in March 2020 when the coronavirus brought life to a halt. While restaurants and bars were able to react by providing to-go meals and cocktails in response to the epidemic, the bar remained silent.
According to a report in The New York Times, The Boulevard does not serve food and was not suited to provide to-go beverages. The company’s bills began to pile up.
The bar’s owner, Steve Terradot, told a reporter that a PPP loan he received last year had run out, and he’d forced to pay the bills with his unemployment benefits.
Campaign for Survival
With the bar’s future uncertain, a pair of regular customers approached Terradot with an idea: establish a GoFundMe campaign.
Initially, he was skeptical of the idea
“My ethos is you get out, you work and you do things, “Terradot told the Times. “It was also embarrassing for a guy my age to collect unemployment.”
He ended up giving in, and the Boulevard launched a GoFundMe campaign in April in the hopes of gathering $50,000 to assist pay for bar repairs and renovation.
As of Thursday morning, the campaign has raised a little more than $20,000.
“This is the last true haven for the LGBTQ community within 20 miles of the Pasadena area and home to so many drag performers from all over the country,” Mark Lanza, the campaign’s organizer, said on the GoFundMe page. “This place means so much to so many of us and has served the gay community and its allies for almost 40 years.”