Phase 1 – Barracks Row’s Iconic Lesbian Bar and Nightclub Looks Closed for Good
by Larry Janezich
From Phase 1’s Facebook page, dated February 5: “Phase is closed until further notice. Please check back with us for further updates. Thank you for all your patronage and support.”
On May 11, Phase 1, in response to a question posed on its Facebook page, said, “We are permanently closed.” The LGBT press reported in February that the entire staff had been let go, and now a “For Sale or Lease” banner has appeared on the building.
Phase 1, the iconic lesbian bar and nightclub at 525 8th Street, SE, laid claim to the distinction of being the oldest continually operating lesbian bar in the United States and the oldest operating LGBT bar in Washington, according to Wikipedia. The bar was founded by Allen Carroll and Chris Jansen in 1970.
CHC contacted Carroll and asked him about the status of Phase 1. Allen said, “I’m not open right now – I’m taking a break. I don’t know what I want to do. I’ll be 75 in November – I’ve been open 46 years. I’ve got it up for sale or lease.”
Martin Smith, Executive Director of Barracks Row Main Street said he understood that the bar had closed some time ago and called it “Truly a disappointing loss both to the local lesbian community and to Barracks Row and the Hill overall – Phase 1 was one of the oldest businesses on 8th Street.”
Barrack’s Row formerly hosted several bars serving the gay community – most have fallen away or moved. Bachelor’s Mill remains on lower Barracks Row near the Navy Yard. Remington’s – a gay bar at 637-639 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, closed on April 14, 2014, after more than 30 years in business. The adjacent buildings which were formerly Remington’s now house a Sprint outlet and a 7-11 convenience store. See here: http://bit.ly/294KmhF and here http://bit.ly/29b4Ze1