We all love a good mystery, don’t we? Well, this ain’t Murder On the Orient Express, but we’d like to know: Who killed Boots and Saddle?
Nothing is forever of course, and bars come and go faster than the guys who frequent them. But a funny thing happened after last weekend’s business-as-usual series of drag extravaganzas at Boots and Saddle: They failed to open the next day, and now no one is answering their phone.
The bizarre turns of events continues the farther down the rabbit hole you look. We went to their Facebook page and found that the club’s status is listed as “Permanently Closed.” Weird. Considering how tumultuous the last several years have been for BAS, it’s small wonder that drag queens are flipping their wigs and the audiences who love to cheer them on are left wondering what could possibly have happened. Rumors suggest there’s a rent dispute underway, but the details aren’t just scant — they’re non-existent.
Just four years ago, reports of the demise of Boots and Saddle in its original location proved to be both right and premature. At the time, the bar was being financially squeezed out of its longtime home (some 40 years, to be precise) on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village.
That space, at 76 Christopher St., was renowned for its raucous drag shows and what was termed at the time a “welcoming vibe.” and will shut down soon after 40 years in the Village,
Back then, managing owner Rob Ziegler told the press that the landlord would soon be taking over the building and planned to raise the rent by thousands of dollars a month, to the “high twenties.”
“I’m sad,” Ziegler told a reporter then, because he’s devoted more than a dozen years of his life to the nightspot after beginning there as a bartender in 1999 and only later became an owner. “I’ve been here 15 years. Fifteen years is a long time.”
And now it seems — at least for the moment — that there is once again no Boots and Saddle. Certainly there is a body as the club is dark and shuttered. But who is responsible for this latest death in the gay bar family?
Last modified: June 25, 2018