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'This is my home' | First LGBTQ bar in New Albany closes for good

A Pride Bar + Lounge owner said they were behind on bills and the landlord said they had to leave.

NEW ALBANY, Ind. — On Monday morning, the owners of Pride Bar + Lounge in New Albany found out they'd never open their doors again. 

Co-owner Don Hanlon said Pride, the first and only LBGTQ bar in the area, was behind on payments and their landlord finally said they had to leave. 

The bar would have celebrated its seventh anniversary in December. Instead, owners and performers packed up their things for the last time Monday night. 

Hanlon said Pride was more than a bar - it felt like he was leaving his home and saying goodbye to friends and family, the people who supported them "even in the darkest times."

The pandemic had a lasting effect on the business, according to Hanlon. They were closed for several weeks and were unable to get help from their insurance provider. They never fully recovered.

News of the closing drew dozens of comments on Facebook from people who frequented and performed at Pride.

It is with great sadness and regret, Pride Bar will be closing its door permanently. Due to Covid closures and...

Posted by Don Hanlon on Monday, November 8, 2021

Debra Adams put it simply, "This is my home."

Adams was a frequent performer at the bar and said it was a welcoming space for everyone, whether you wanted to socialize with friends or spend some time alone.

"I feel like someone important to me has passed away," she said.

Hanlon said he has no current plans to open a new location, but is planning to host a farewell party at a different site to give Pride a proper goodbye.

Contact reporter Tom Lally at TLally@whas11.com or on Facebook or Twitter.

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