STARLITE LOUNGE 1084 BERGEN STREET, BROOKLYN, NY OPEN 1970s-2010 (CURRENT USAGE UNKNOWN, PICTURED) “The Starlite Lounge, a hot spot that has been a quiet part of Brooklyn’s gay history since the early 1970s, seems destined to close its doors now that the new management of its building is demanding that the bar vacate to make way for urgent repairs. The forthcoming eviction might be technically fair, but it somehow does not seem right. Surely the annals of real estate law should provide some special dispensation for what the Starlite’s management identifies as the ‘longest black-owned nondiscriminating bar’ in Brooklyn history?... Back then, it was one of the few gay-friendly bars in the neighborhood. ‘The Seville was for the upper-, upper-class experience, and the Starlite was sort of for the “Brokeback Mountain” types,’ recalled Bob Mack, who frequented both and worked at the Starlite as a manager. ‘We’d go over to the Seville in our furs, and then put them in our cars and head over to the Starlite.’ Nowadays, the Starlite is not exclusively a gay bar; its personality changes with the time of day and week. At 3 p.m. on a weekday, the typical patron is a straight, black older resident from the surrounding blocks... Karaoke night on Thursdays draws a mixed-race crowd of straight and gay patrons. And Fridays offer a drag show. Saturdays starting around 11 p.m., the bar fills with a mostly gay clientele, and by 2 a.m. one recent Sunday, it was packed with young women, two of them nuzzling each other’s necks, and men of all ages circling their hips with abandon to old-school, creatively spun house music... Every neighborhood bar feels like a safe haven to its regulars; in Crown Heights, that cliché has a more literal meaning. ‘It’s a place I can come and not be bothered by homophobic people,’ said Timothy Yates, a young publicist sitting at the bar, who added that he had been taunted with gay slurs in the neighborhood. And it’s not just a safe place for gay people; it’s a safe place period. Said Mr. Mack, ‘People like that there was no fear there.’ He could remember only one episode, back in the early days, when the bar really got violent: A woman hunting down her husband at the bar threw a rock through its window. ‘We kept her out with mops until the police came,’ Mr. Mack said.  (Susan Dominus, The New York Times, 2010) 

STARLITE LOUNGE 1084 BERGEN STREET, BROOKLYN, NY OPEN 1970s-2010 (CURRENT USAGE UNKNOWN, PICTURED) “The Starlite Lounge, a hot spot that has been a quiet part of Brooklyn’s gay history since the early 1970s, seems destined to close its doors now that the new management of its building is demanding that the bar vacate to make way for urgent repairs. The forthcoming eviction might be technically fair, but it somehow does not seem right. Surely the annals of real estate law should provide some special dispensation for what the Starlite’s management identifies as the ‘longest black-owned nondiscriminating bar’ in Brooklyn history?... Back then, it was one of the few gay-friendly bars in the neighborhood. ‘The Seville was for the upper-, upper-class experience, and the Starlite was sort of for the “Brokeback Mountain” types,’ recalled Bob Mack, who frequented both and worked at the Starlite as a manager. ‘We’d go over to the Seville in our furs, and then put them in our cars and head over to the Starlite.’ Nowadays, the Starlite is not exclusively a gay bar; its personality changes with the time of day and week. At 3 p.m. on a weekday, the typical patron is a straight, black older resident from the surrounding blocks... Karaoke night on Thursdays draws a mixed-race crowd of straight and gay patrons. And Fridays offer a drag show. Saturdays starting around 11 p.m., the bar fills with a mostly gay clientele, and by 2 a.m. one recent Sunday, it was packed with young women, two of them nuzzling each other’s necks, and men of all ages circling their hips with abandon to old-school, creatively spun house music... Every neighborhood bar feels like a safe haven to its regulars; in Crown Heights, that cliché has a more literal meaning. ‘It’s a place I can come and not be bothered by homophobic people,’ said Timothy Yates, a young publicist sitting at the bar, who added that he had been taunted with gay slurs in the neighborhood. And it’s not just a safe place for gay people; it’s a safe place period. Said Mr. Mack, ‘People like that there was no fear there.’ He could remember only one episode, back in the early days, when the bar really got violent: A woman hunting down her husband at the bar threw a rock through its window. ‘We kept her out with mops until the police came,’ Mr. Mack said.  (Susan Dominus, The New York Times, 2010)