Loving fans save L.A.’s iconic LGBTQI+ bar.
Like most businesses, the historic LA Queer bar Akbar has been hit hard by COVID-19 restrictions. The 24-year-old business started in response to the aids epidemic and found itself on the verge of shutting down for good due to the pandemic. As a last resort, the co-owners Scott Craig and Peter Alexander decided to set up a GoFundMe page asking loyal patrons to keep the legacy alive.
With the vision of creating a welcoming space for the LGBTQ+ community, the pair opened the Akbar on New Year’s Eve in 1996. What swiftly become a local watering hole soon transformed into an L.A. landmark and performing arts hub where Angelenos can meet, mingle, grieve or celebrate.
“Hundreds of Queer businesses are closing. How many of those Queer business will be reborn as Queer when the pandemic is over? Community matters, safe space matters. With your help, we can save this one,” the page pleaded in the hopes of raising $150,000 to pay off business loans. And, boy, did the community respond.
In less than 24 hours of launching, the page reached its goal as word spread like fire across social media.
“We cannot believe the tremendous outpouring of community support, raising $150K in under 24 hours. We appreciate every dollar, every share, and especially all of your heartwarming messages about what Akbar means to you,” the updated page says.
The target has been raised to $250,000 to pay their employees, vendors, taxes, permits, utilities and make a donation to a non-profit that aligns with the bar’s core values.
While the pandemic continues to obliterate bars and restaurants, it seems to be bringing communities closer together.
To donate to the GoFundMe page here.
Featured Image: Akbar via Facebook