Gym Bar officials are declining to comment to WEHOville just yet about their specific plans for the future, but it seems with the launch of GoFundMe fundraiser page that the LGBT sports bar will be making a comeback in a new location.
Gym Bar posted a GoFundMe page over the weekend asking for help in raising $75,000.
“After much soul searching we decided that we needed to keep our business going, to try to find a new home in West Hollywood to put down roots and reopen offering the same loving, chill, everyone is welcome vibe but in a space where we could continue to grow and thrive for years to come,” reads part of the statement of the GoFundMe page.
“We are thrilled to announce we have found that space,” the statement continues. “We have been working with our landlord and the City of West Hollywood to obtain our permits and begin construction on Gym Sports Bar and Grill.”
The statement does not give a specific location; however, it is widely rumored that Gym Bar will be moving into the location at 8919 Santa Monica Blvd. which housed the Halal Brothers restaurant until it closed during the pandemic. Before that, the Champagne French Bakery Cafe was in that location.
Gym Bar opened in 2009 at 8737 Santa Monica Blvd., at Hancock Avenue, in the space where the Normandie Room lesbian bar had been located. It quickly became a popular spot due to its laid back atmosphere.
It was a destination for many recreational sports players like the people who played dodgeball in the West Hollywood Auditorium or the people who played tennis, flag football, softball, etc. with the Varsity Gay League.
In July, after being shut down for four months due to the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, Gym Bar announced it was closing for good. Gym Bar officials said that property owner, Elias Shokrian of Calitex LLC in Beverly Hills, was unwilling to be flexible with the terms of the lease.
With the closing, many assumed Gym Bar was gone for good, but by the fall, rumors kept circulating that sports bar would resurface somewhere in West Hollywood.
On its GoFundMe page, Gym Bar said it is reluctant to ask for the public’s help to get the new location open, but can’t do it without that help. Hunter Haliniak is listed as organizing the fundraiser.
Below is the full text of Gym Bar’s statement:
“For 11 years Gym Sportsbar has been a part of the West Hollywood Community. We have loved our time serving as your second living room, a place to gather with your friends to drink, eat, shout at your teams on our TV’s, hang out and just chill and find companionship in the middle of a crazy city. As many of you know the pressure of the prolonged shutdown due to Covid forced us to close our doors at our previous location. It was a very painful decision to have to make, we had invested a lot of time and love in that spot to make it the happy little bar that it was.
After much soul searching we decided that we needed to keep our business going, to try to find a new home in West Hollywood to put down roots and reopen offering the same loving, chill, everyone is welcome vibe but in a space where we could continue to grow and thrive for years to come. We are thrilled to announce we have found that space. We have been working with our landlord and the City of West Hollywood to obtain our permits and begin construction on Gym Sports Bar and Grill.
Reopening in the middle of a pandemic is proving to be even more challenging than we had anticipated, the severity and complications of the ongoing crisis has led to a much longer process than anyone thought possible. We had hoped not to arrive at this point but the reality is, we need your help. We are asking for $75,000.00. Every penny raised will go into the construction and completion of the process. We hope to reopen by sometime in late spring of this year.
We have loved being a part of your community, supporting our sports leagues, hosting our fundraisers, large and small, and being a home away from home for so many awesome people. Here is to beating this damn plague, coming out of the other side as a family, and raising a glass to a kick-ass future.
Love your Gym Bar Family“