For the end of 2019, we’re looking back at gone-but-not-forgotten icons of the last 20 years as we head into the next.
This time, 10 of the many once-influential businesses and organizations that queer Atlanta saw that turn into memories along the way.
Do you remember when? Which places would you add? Send me a note.
After a fundraising campaign and weeks of hinting that, despite its financial troubles, Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse would move to a new location, owner Philip Rafshoon closed the LGBTQ bookstore at 10th and Piedmont in January 2012.
The end was drawn out and ugly with controversy in 2015, but the dream for a safe space for LGBTQ teens to meet was a local jewel in its heyday.
Before Ten was scoring 10s, sushi was the name of the game, and Dragamaki was a Monday-night must for Midtown gays at the corner of 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue.
Big Red Tomato
It wasn’t about the food, though it was fine if you ask most. It was about the gathered gays. After its demise, several iterations tried and failed to make it work in the same location before Campagnolo’s made it home with staying power.
Agnes & Muriel's
Two queer women, lots of ’50s kitsch and one great restaurant. The old house isn’t even next to Hobnob anymore, but the memories of amazing Southern comfort-food remain. Pssst: Their cookbook is available online.
Whether you were a fan of the food and service or not, the gay gathering place finally shuttered in 2019, and the building came down mere months before the 20s dawned.
The Living Room
Clapbacks with the city over its practices and withheld funding spiraled into shuttered doors for some 80 HIV+ clients. Before its 2019 closure, the agency offered 20 years of housing assistance for people living with the disease.
The gay male-centered sex shop along LGBTQ Atlanta's “red light district” on Piedmont Circle closed in 2016 after nearly two decades. Its razing was one of many changes in what some de-cry as a “de-queering” of the Cheshire Bridge Road corridor.
After more than 40 years selling gay novelties, cards and porn, the shelves of this tiny shop on Cheshire Bridge Road were cleared in 2011.
King & I
Visitors to the bars of Ansley Square could drop in for cheap, good sustenance before, during or after a night of drinking and shopping. The eatery eventually folded in 2012, as diners favored the street-fronting Bangkok restaurant.
This feature originally appeared in Q magazine. Read the full issue online here:
Pick up each new edition of Q magazine at LGBTQ and queer-friendly venues around Atlanta.