Brooklyn's oldest gay bar may be forced to close following the sale of its Crown Heights building. The Starlight Lounge — which also claims to be the city's first black-owned gay bar — might be evicted because the new owner of the property apparently wants the building "empty."
Starlite Lounge manager Tim Leviticus told Gothamist that the future of the watering hole at the corner of Bergen Street and Nostrand Avenue is uncertain at best. "Without us knowing, the old landlord sold the building — not even giving us the right to purchase it," he said. "We haven't met the new owner yet, but we've heard he wants the building to be empty."
The Starlite Lounge has been a Crown Heights fixture since the 1960s, serving gays and non-gays. In recent years, the venue has become a destination for neighborhood folks looking for a casual daytime hangout, as well as revelers who frequent the dance parties and karaoke nights, according to Leviticus. "No one in the neighborhood is happy about it because this is the only place where they can come to relax," he added.
Rumors of the possible closure have already hit the Brooklynian messageboards, where commenters have called it "terrible news" and "a real loss for Crown Heights." "i would be soo so so so sad to see them leave," another poster wrote. We haven't succeeded in getting through to the new owner of the building or the previous landlord, but when we do we'll follow-up.