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West Village NIMBYs Oppose Popular Local Gay Bar

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With a monthly rent skyrocketing to around $20,000/month, famed West Village gay bar Boots & Saddle is being forced to move after 40 years at its Christopher Street location. But neighbors are nixing all proposed new locations, with a small NIMBY movement organizing to keep the popular Western-themed bar from reopening. This all sounds awfully familiar . . .

On Tuesday, the owners of Boots & Saddle will go before Community Board 2 to petition for a liquor-license application at 47 Seventh Avenue South, on the corner of Morton Street. However, fliers seen last week urge neighbors to come out in force against the bar, arguing that it will bring "potential noise, crime and pedestrian and vehicular traffic," the same case that was made last May by similarly-minded NIMBYs on Barrow Street. Apparently they aren't into the drag shows?

"There is absolutely no room for anything that Boots & Saddle represents in that enclave," said Morton Street Block Association member Albert S. Bennett of the proposal. "It couldn't be more wrong for this particular location."

Of course, the idea that gay businesses don't belong in the Village is questionable at best, a point not lost on some of the bar's supporters.

"They just don't want us. They don't want their bucolic neighborhood interfered with. For some reason, they think they moved into the Amish country," said one. "I don't know if it's hypocrisy or bigotry."
· "Famed gay bar struggles to find a new home" [NYP via TRD]