Henrietta Hudson, the country's longest operating bar for queer women, is pleading for financial help from the LGBTQ community after requests for government aid went unanswered.
“Over the years we have seen it all… 911, the 2008 recession and Super Storm Sandy in 2012. We rose above all of these obstacles, but never could have anticipated or prepared for the onerous burden of a pandemic that threatens our very survival,” Henrietta Hudson co-owner Lisa Cannistraci said in a statement. “Although we have applied for federal and local disaster and payment protection loans, we have been ignored. And it has been extremely disheartening to see news reports showing bigger businesses prioritized for assistance.”
The 29-year-old bar is not just a watering hole, but a community fixture in Manhattan's West Village, offering performances, fundraisers, and a safe space for the city's queer women and all LGBTQ denizens. Even with LGBTQ establishments facing recent difficulties, Cannistraci managed to sign a 15-year lease in 2016. But she never could have anticipated the devastation COVID-19 would bring to New York.
“We must now turn to all of you and ask for your contributions,” Cannistraci said. “Please help us stay afloat by giving whatever amount you can afford. We want to be there for our community when the pandemic is behind us and will only reopen when it is safe to do so. We can’t wait to be in full swing serving the people we love and admire so much.”
Cannistraci is seeking donations through GoFundMe, PayPal, and Venmo (@Henrietta-Hudson). While Henrietta Hudson remains closed as New York continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, the bar is offering virtual performances via Zoom from Wednesday to Sunday.