The demise of the "lesbian bar" has been well chronicled in The Advocate over the past several years, including by keeping an ever-expanding list of the LGBTQ bars that have shuttered doors in recent years. But two new bars in Washington D.C. could signal a need for more spaces for queer women with the success of the newly opened bars for women, A League of Her Own and XX+.
A League of Her Own, which takes up the lower level of the new D.C.-area sports bar Pitchers, has done booming business since it opened on Aug. 9, according to NBC news.
XX+’s owners Lina and Juliana Nicolai, a mother and daughter team, opened their venue in July above their family-owned Italian restaurant Al Crostino. The bar is described as a part pool hall, part lounge that serves “elegant” cocktails and finger foods.
“I think it’s just important for everyone to have their own space,” Lina Nicolai said, adding that the bar seeks to serve various identities under the LGBTQ umbrella. “I want to make sure that I create a space where queer women — female-identified women — feel like they can come to and relax and have a place to go to.”
Billed as a bar for lesbian and queer women, A League of Her Own also seeks to serve the array of people under the LGBTQ banner.
Over the past several years, former meccas for queer women like San Francisco’s The Lexington Club, Philadelphia’s Sisters, and Rubyfruit Jungle in New Orleans have all closed. New York City has been home to the last bastion of a group of thriving women’s bars with The Cubbyhole, Henrietta Hudson’s and Ginger’s still hanging in there.
Since the decline of women’s bar, the one-off night or dance party has become the go-to for promoters to cater to women, but XX+’s owner said that won’t do.
"I don’t think we deserve one day on the calendar here and one day on the calendar there,” Lina Nicolai said.