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January 9th, 2008 Byron Beck | Queer Window
 

Closing Time

A Stark Street gay bar shuts its doors—with a splat.

     
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IMAGE: chrisryanphoto.com

I witnessed my own version of the ball drop, or rather the “drag queen drop,” on New Year’s Eve.

It was long after the official pronouncement of the new year, around the 2 am closing time—the last closing time—for the old homo home of Silverado. The infamous gay strip joint was forced to close its queer street locale (no worries, it resurfaced Jan. 1 in a new location on 318 SW 3rd Ave.). The building it shared with a skanky bathhouse was sold late last spring in order to make way for an upcoming project—which could be anything from rental apartments to a new 20-story tower, according to developer Mark Edlen.

After midnight, our boys-only party made our way to the “Silverdildo” to quaff one last cocktail. Usually packed on big nights like NYE, by 1 am the crowd there had thinned out. Perhaps it had to do with the incessant yapping of Stan and Iran, the evening emcees, reminding the crowd to “leave if you need to throw up” and that “ANY photos of ANY kind are strictly forbidden.” Which raised the question: If you did break a rule, what would they do? Throw you out? The place was going tits up in less than 10 minutes.

Following a last-minute stuffing of strippers’ thongs (and an amazing “Dick in a Box” take-off by one of the dancers), Iran (a.k.a. Jocelyn Onyx)—sporting a Kelly green Forgotten Woman dress and an orange beard—took to the stage to lip-sync one last song.

As the first notes of Donna Summers’ “Last Dance” (naturally) blew across the room, the draggish diva strode to the front of the stage, where two strippers waited to lift him off to be paraded high above the bar for one last, glorious Silverado spin.

Well, that’s what was supposed to happen.

As Iran stepped over the lip of the stage, he slipped and, in a scene reminiscent of Marie Osmond on Dancing with the Stars, took a three-foot stage dive onto the concrete deck. Rather than stand up, our queen continued “singing,” splayed out and squirming on the sticky bar floor. It was as if the Grinch had begun to channel Patti LaBelle. Realizing they had dropped the “star,” one of the quicker-thinking strippers jumped on top of the drag queen from behind and began to feverishly dry hump him. Before it ended up in an all-out “man-pile,” our drag queen popped up off the floor and, of course, grabbed my hand and began to jump up and down in an attempt to get the audience to dance with him (and now me). The jaded group wasn’t having any of it. Sucking down their last sips of Stoli, members of the crowd cooled their jets as a bunch of us headed to the dance floor to dance—and then the song ended.

And then, that was it.

No more Silverado on Stark Street.

No matter how much I rag on this joint, though, I’m really going to miss it. I doubt the new place will ever live up to the memories we shared at the old spot. Damn, I wish that night could’ve lasted forever.

 
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