What happens after you rip off the logo of a gay bar in Richmond, Va., folks assume you’re a gay bar, you post a status update to your Facebook page clarifying that you’re a “straight bar” and social media slams you for it? Answer: You go out of business before ever going into business.
That seems to be the case with Barcode on the 500 block of Jefferson Street Downtown (or Bar Code, depending where you see the name — Facebook or the sign affixed to the building). The would-be “straight bar” that as recently as a couple of weeks ago was promising on Facebook to be “opening soon” is now courting a new lease holder.
Since we reported in late November about Barcode’s Nov. 22 status update — “Barcode downtown is not a gay bar, nor is it associated with the gay community. It [sic] a straight bar that [sic] mostly hip hop.” — and the resulting fire storm of anger and snark directed at the bar by many on Facebook, it seems the leaseholder for the business has had a change of heart. The location is now listed as “For Rent” and the front windows are draped in black plastic.
At about the time we reported on the fallout from Barcode declaring its heterosexuality, we also got an email from a gay reader wondering if a new gay bar was opening Downtown. Inquiries such as this are probably what prompted the bar to issue the silly clarification in the first place. But it’s not hard to imagine why Lafayette’s LGBT community might assume a gay-friendly bar was set to open on Jefferson Street: the owners copied the name and logo of a popular, out-and-proud bar in Richmond, Va. that features prominently a barcode in rainbow colors. The rainbow logo on the Jefferson Street sign was also crudely blacked out since our November reporting..
Since the kerfuffle on Facebook, Barcode’s Facebook page has been scrubbed of all status updates and comments posted after late September including especially that avalanche of condemnation and sarcasm. We called the telephone number on the For Rent sign, got an automated voice mail, left a message but have not heard back.
Read the original Barcode story here.