Feb 01, 2016 1:42 AM GMT
Wow , lets hope it stays gay for LB
Is Club Ripples going to have it’s last call?
Long Beach’s first and longest running gay dance bar, which opened in Belmont Shore in 1972, is for sale. Owners Larry Hebert and John Garcia, who have owned it since 1980, said it’s time to retire.
“We’re old,” Hebert said during a recent interview in their back office at the bar. “I’m 63, and John is 70. I don’t want to be as old as Methuselah. It’s time to pack it in.”
Garcia adds: “We don’t want to die here.”
Hebert said it wasn’t a difficult decision.
“We’re too old to deal with baby-sitting these kids,” he said.
$4.2 million asking price
The sale includes the 5,000-square-foot bar and 1,500-square-foot adjoining liquor store at Ocean Boulevard and Granada Avenue, the property and all permits and licenses. The price is $4.2 million.
Hebert and Garcia, who celebrated their 40th anniversary as a couple in 2014, would like to see another gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender couple make the purchase and continue the bar’s legacy, instead of someone who wants to demolish it and build apartments or condos or any other structure.
“I want to see the bar still going, but I don’t know if it will,” Hebert said.
The history of the bar dates to the 1950s when it was a gay bar called Oceania that closed in 1968, Garcia said.
Later, actor John Agar, who also was Shirley Temple’s first husband, bought the place and turned it into a heterosexual bar-restaurant called John Agar’s Celebrity House, which was sold to Mary Azar, who renamed it Mary’s Celebrity House.
The location went through several other owners before it was transformed into a gay bar named Ripples in early 1973. The bar was open seven days a week. Eventually the word “club” was added to the title.