This was a tough year for New York’s nightlife, with Duvet and Merkato 55 taking a dirt nap, and the Beatrice Inn struggling to reopen. But deep in Crown Heights, there’s another after-dark venue in danger. Gothamist reports that the Starlite Lounge, the self-professed “oldest black-owned, nondiscriminating bar/club in the heart of Brooklyn,” could get 86’d. “Without us knowing, the old landlord sold the building, not even giving us the right to purchase it,” said manager Tim Leviticus. “No one in the neighborhood is happy about it, because this is the only place where they can come to relax.”
This is hardly hyperbole. Since Grub Street hunkered down in Crown Heights seven years ago, this JFK-era dive has become our second home. The neon-lit lounge—adorned with disco balls and seasonal décor — is as comforting as a mother’s embrace, treating patrons equally, no matter if it’s your 1st visit or 50th. Weekends, we shake our tails on the R&B-fueled dance floor, before warbling along to Marvin Gaye on karaoke Thursdays. Gay, straight, young, old — everyone’s welcome, unlike at that other endangered spot. Instead of saying sayonara, Starlite is angling for landmark designation. To pledge support, sign this petition, or better yet, pen your John Hancock at tomorrow night’s shindig. As always, drag queens Lady Jasmin and Karen Covergirl will be dressed to impress.
Brooklyn’s Oldest Gay Bar May Close [Gothamist]