Iconic LGBTQ nightclub shutters

Media Credit: Graeme Sloan | Contributing Photo Editor

Cobalt – an LGBTQ bar located at 1639 R St. NW in Dupont Circle – closed after a combination of “costly infrastructure repairs” and a “slow decline in sales” hindered the business.

An LGBTQ nightclub that was a hub for more than two decades announced this week that it has permanently closed its doors.

Cobalt – an LGBTQ bar located at 1639 R St. NW in Dupont Circle – closed after a combination of “costly infrastructure repairs” and a “slow decline in sales” hindered the business, Eric Little, the bar’s owner, said in a Facebook post shared Tuesday.

“It was the right time to close the business and to focus on our other businesses and some personal family needs,” Little wrote in the post. “For more than 20 years, our amazing customers and incredible staff have contributed greatly to the D.C.-area LGBT community and we have always strived to do our part to strengthen local organizations, business and the entire 17th Street neighborhood, and we couldn’t be prouder of the legacy Cobalt leaves behind.”

The Hatchet named Cobalt the best LGBTQ Club in Northwest D.C. last year as part of its Best of Northwest guide.

Little also said in the post that changes in the gay bar industry caused by the popularity of dating apps, the change of social norms and pop-up parties and events at “non-gay venues” contributed to the decision to close.

“We applaud these evolutions as positive progress,” the post said. “And it is our hope that patrons will encourage these businesses to support the greater LGBT community to continue the good work and social change that Cobalt and all of the many other gay bars, restaurants and business (past and present) have worked so hard to achieve.”

Town Danceboutique, another iconic LGBTQ club in the District, closed its doors in July, and the space will also be turned into an apartment complex.

The building Cobalt was housed in was recently sold and will be redeveloped into a residential building, Little wrote.

“We wish the new building owners and future residents the best of success and hope that the buildings will bring them all as much joy and happiness as it has brought the entire Cobalt family,” the post said.

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