These days, folks gather at Backstreet, Senses, Dru's Place, or Crossroads. But none of today's local gay bars would be possible without George's, Memphis' first gay bar.
What later became George's originally opened at 1786 Madison as the Twilight Lounge. It went through several incarnations, locations, and a few police raids along the way. But antiques dealer George Wilson's bar eventually became THE place for gay nightlife in Memphis. Vincent Astor has written an excellent history of George's, available on the Friends of George's website.
George's moved to Marshall in 1979, where it remained a gay hot spot until it closed in 1987. The bar's next incarnation — GDI's On the River — served as a replacement for several years, but it shuttered its doors in 1990. The crumbling paint of the GDI logo on its former home at Front and Huling is all that remains.
On Saturday, Oct. 23rd at 8 p.m., former George's patrons (and probably a few Memphis transplants and young folks who wish they could have been patrons) will gather at Minglewood Hall for the first George's Reunion party. The party features an all-star cast of George's Showgirls and plenty more. For ticket information, go here.