Friday, November 11, 2011

Paper Moon

Paper Moon
Paper Moon

Location: 3737 South State Street, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

Opened: Mid 1990s?

Closed: Apparently still open, but no longer "lesbian-oriented"

The aol review couldn't have been more to the point: Paper Moon was a lesbian space and she couldn't have been prouder:

Paper Moon in Salt Lake City stands as proof that the lesbian community is alive and well in Utah. Most of the female clientèle are involved and impassioned about important social issues, but this seriousness never prevents a good time from being had by all. Dozens of activities such as cheap date nights dot the calendar and party people can enjoy a light meal and an alcoholic beverage while talking with friends, old and new.

Pinkmap was crystal clear about this point as well. This was from 2008:

The staff and clientele are the greatest. Not only are the women hot, but they are extremely down to earth and friendly. Great music, dancing, pool and a nice patio to relax in the outdoors when you want to relax after a romp on the dancefloor with your girl. This club has it all!!! Rachel and Molly ROCK behind the bar!!!

Even by the time she passed her tenth birthday, Paper Moon was still a more or less exclusively lesbian place--partly, it seems, by maintaining private club status. From the Utah Pride Center:

A women's club located in Salt Lake City for over 10 years. The Paper Moon is a private club for members.

As late as December 2009, Paper Moon was still hanging in there as a womyn's space, at least according to cityweekly:

The Paper Moon (3737 S. State) in Salt Lake City is the finest bar in town for women who enjoy the company of other women. Their lineup reflects that, with great female DJs on the weekends, cages and poles on Fridays. Tuesdays are also a big hit with Mr. Scott’s karaoke (starting at 8 p.m.).

When clubfly got around to reviewing Paper Moon, it was apparently still a lesbian bar--though, perhaps, in a less exclusive sense. Now they were hastening to add that "everyone was welcome." When did we decide to start moving away from "private club" status and become a "community bar"?

Type: Lesbian Club

In a nutshell: Salt Lake City's premier women's club, Paper Moon is a community bar where everyone is welcome. Events include Texas Hold Em, trash bingo, karaoke and live DJs on Fridays and Saturdays playin' your favorite Top 40's, hip hop, and alternative hits...

Then after 15 years or so, we start to waver on this lezzie bar thing. At planmygetaway, there is suddenly more emphasis on your "family and friends" (i.e. not dykes, please) coming down. Stranger still, the photo accompanying this blurb includes ONLY DUDES. Okay, we're getting that there's just a touch of ambivalence here:

For over 16 years, Salt Lake’s Premiere Women’s Club. Karaoke, dancing, poker and the Paper Moon’s own “White Trash Bingo.” This popular WOMEN’S club welcomes family and friends of family to come on down, have a drink, and dance to the tracks played by the DJ on weekends. Daily drink specials. The weekends are reserved for dancing to some of the best DJs in Utah.

Then at some point, Paper Moon decided to just come out as queer/straight--or at any rate, she no longer wanted to identify herself as a lesbian space. From City Weekly:

With pink walls, pink neon, pink streamers and more, Paper Moon is the pinkest bar in town. Once a lesbian-oriented bar, it now appeals to a more diverse LGBT and straight-couple crowd. White Trash Bingo on Wednesday is a must—if you wrongly shout “Bingo!” prepare for public shaming.

Just goes to show that there's more than one way of killing off a lesbian bar....

Photo: Paper Moon

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