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Oxwood Inn Closes, Leaving Los Angeles Without a Single Lesbian Bar

The Oxwood Inn

The closing of this 45-year-old San Fernando Valley watering hole is another blow to women's spaces. 

Women's spaces have been slowly disappearing over the last decade, a phenomenon that was documented by JD Samson for Broadly two summers ago. Earlier this month, the Oxwood Inn, the last lesbian bar in Los Angeles County, shut its doors after 45 years in business, reportsLos Angeles Magazine.

An old-timey neighborhood watering hole that boasted a pair of dart games and a portrait of Marlene Dietrich on the wall, according to L.A. Mag, was owned and run by Betty "Tuck" Sutherland until her death in 2012 when the bar's manager and Sutherland's former partner Lynn Stadler took over the lease and ran the bar for the past five years despite it's beginning to continually lose money, the reason behind the bar's closing.

Over the decades, the Oxwood Inn, situated in the San Fernando Valley, offered a more down-to-earth vibe than the clubs over the Hollywood Hills in West Hollywood. More recently, the "Ox," as it was affectionately called, offered Club Shine, which was geared toward transgender clientele, on Saturdays.

On losing the Ox as a gathering place, Transparent consulting producer Zackary Drucker, who is trans, told L.A. Mag that the bar "created a space for queer trans women without the pressures of men entering the space as potential partners." She went on to mourn its loss as a "truly inclusive trans nightclub space."

Prior to the Ox's closing, West Hollywood's last remaining lesbian bar, the Palms, shut down following Pride weekend in 2013. And before that, the city lost the Normandie Room in 2009.

While Los Angeles is now completely dry when it comes to bars for queer women, there are some notable destination bars for women throughout the country, including Henrietta Hudson's in New York City, Gossip Grill in San Diego, and My Sister's Room in Atlanta. Since The Advocate last featured some of the country's great remaining lesbian bars this January, L4 Lounge in Charlotte, N.C., closed.

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