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As quiet as the bee’s knees, local gay bar, Club Jam, closed its doors. It has been transferred to a new, more hipster oriented trend bar, HandleBar. Serving up jacket potatoes and wings among other things, extensive renovation of the structure was undertaken to transform the new pub from dance club to pub style life.
Kathy Stephenson, writing for the Salt Lake Tribune on June 8, 2018, describes the new Handlebar in their article “The HandleBar is a new Salt Lake City ‘biker’ bar geared toward cyclists and any other thirsty patrons…HandleBar, 751 N. 300 W., replaces Club Jam, a popular gay bar and dance club that opened in 2008 but in recent years had struggled.
‘When the area wasn’t as residential,’ Morris said, ‘a dance club made more sense.’ The new bar fits more in line with the neighborhood, but the sadness if felt in the community. “‘It’s exciting and sad at the same time,’ said Rob Moolman, executive director of the Utah Pride Center, who added that having ‘queer spaces’ where the LGBTQ community can ‘come out and be themselves’ is important.'”
While the Pride Center does exist and helps many people, the loss of a local staple venue, closing down to just 2 dedicated queer spaces, shifts a significant part of the population to other venues and away from the scene.
“At one point in the 1970s, Salt Lake City could boast 10 gay or lesbian bars. Now, with the closure of Jam, two remain: the Sun Trapp and Club Try-Angles. ‘Times have changed,’ Moolman said. For the most part, ‘young people today are growing up in a different climate of understanding and inclusivity. They can walk into any [bar or restaurant] space and be themselves.’ He pointed to Salt Lake City’s recent Pride Festival and Parade, which enjoyed some of their largest turnouts, according to preliminary numbers.”
SLPS is sad to see it go, President Muad’Dib had been there since the opening. “I remember the owners used to have lots of community events such as art shows and BBQs. It was great to get a free meal as a college student and not have to scrap for funds. Bear Foot wine did a tasting there once. When they got their liquor license things moved towards traditional club scene, but it was always a good spot.”

Club Jam
Source: GLAAD

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