The building that houses The Brit Bar is for sale at an asking price of $1.1 million. News of the potential sale has many within the queer community concerned that Broadway could be losing another of its staples following the 2018 sale of the building that once housed Paradise, now home to Black Bar.
The Brit is one of Long Beach’s oldest running gay bars, having operated at 1744 E. Broadway for 38 years. At a time when bars are already facing a dire situation with COVID-19, queer spaces have become doubly important for the city’s LGBTQ community, causing anxiety that another well-known queer establishment could lose its home. Add onto this the growing conversation surrounding the gentrification of Long Beach’s Gayborhood and the potential for contention increases significantly.
“We are a very cohesive community on the Broadway Corridor,” said Broadway Bar bartender Miguel Betancourt. “When I told our owner Greg Tedesco about the property going up for sale, he was quite shocked as well. The last thing we want is to start seeing our corridor change or shut down.”
The concerns are not unfounded.
With The Brit on a month-to-month lease, the current owner could force the bar to vacate if its buyer wishes the space to be empty at the close of escrow for another use. An online post advertising the property says “The seller can deliver the property vacant at [close of escrow]. For the Investor, the current tenant who has been operating at this location for 38 years will consider signing a long term lease.”
The post makes clear that the Brit is not for sale. Bar owner Jeff Darling confirmed that he is willing to sign a long-term lease with the new owner but added he is unwilling to offer up his coveted Type 48 alcohol license.
“The Brit Bar and liquor license is not for sale,” Darling said. “That’s all I would like to say.”
The Brit is located at 1744 E. Broadway.
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