A New Gay Nightlife: L.A. Welcomes 3 Bars to the Mix

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As soon as word got out that Eleven—the gay nightclub that had occupied the northeast corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Larrabee Street since 2007—would be converting into a gay country-western bar owned by a New York straight couple, the naysaying spread like wildfire. Line dancing was perfectly acceptable in the Valley, where gay saloon Oil Can Harry’s had enjoyed success since 1968, but country music-themed parties had never stuck around for long in the center of Boystown.

“We’d never heard pessimism until we came to the lovely city of West Hollywood,” says Chris Barnes, one-half of the aforementioned hetero owners of Flaming Saddles, a West Coast analogue to the wildly successful Hell’s Kitchen bar of the same name, opened in 2011. While the bar opened its doors to locals last month, the official grand opening of Flaming Saddles will be celebrated with a blowout event on Jan. 28, complete with a city proclamation by West Hollywood Mayor John D’Amico.

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