Photo courtesy Stonewall/Facebook
Downtown/Parramore LGBTQ+ destination Stonewall marked the last hours of 2021 not with a lively party, loud music and strong drinks, but with the doors of the club closed for the immediate future and a search for new owners underway.
After an unassuming (and now-deleted) post on New Year's Eve to the club's Facebook announced that the club was closing due to "unforeseen circumstances," the usually lively nightspot has gone dark. Watermark
dropped the bombshell Wednesday that Stonewall will remain closed until new ownership is secured for the Church Street nightclub.
Stonewall property owner Steven Watkins gave an interview to Watermark
in which he explained his decision to shut the doors of the two-story bar and venue, and whey Stonewall would remain closed until new owners take over the space.
“It’s no secret that I have been trying to sell for some time now,” Watkins told Watermark
. “The current operators were in the process of buying the business but missed the deadline and then I found out they haven’t been paying their people. That was the biggest reason that I had to go in and shut it down. It was bleeding money and I had to stop the bleeding; it was just ridiculous.”
Later in the interview, Watkins ruled out taking back over operation of Stonewall himself as he resides in Fort Lauderdale now. So as of this writing he's continuing to search for new owners for the property.
Stonewall's indefinite closure is a loss for Orlando's LGBTQ+ downtown nightlife scene, especially with the new-model Parliament House still not having reopened in their hoped-for downtown digs
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