A couple of years ago, the headline for an article at AfterEllen, a lesbian pop culture website, was “Are lesbian bars going extinct?”
It gave a few reasons for the possible extinction: An increase of social interactions via technology, the recession, the inclination of women to “partner up and stay home with [their] cats.”
Yet for the past eight years, New Moon Bar in Wilton Manors has been giving LBT women a reason not to stay home.
SFGN sat down with owner Carol Moran at New Moon Bar to talk about the history of the bar, highlights from the past eight years, and the upcoming 8th anniversary party.
Moran opened New Moon in March 2005. She had been the owner of Kicks, another lesbian bar in Wilton Manors, which had closed down. Before that, she had worked as the General Manager for Red Lobster.
“I was getting ready to get promoted to Director, and I decided I don’t want to work that hard and that long for someone else,” said Moran. “I said I’m going to open this little bar. If it works, great. If not, I’ll sell it and go back into corporate America. I kind of figured, what’s the worst that can happen?”
When asked how New Moon has changed over the years, Moran reflected that they had added the patio bar and continued to offer live music. Upcoming bands include Sirsy from New York, which will perform during Pride, and South Florida’s Not for Nothing.
“You know what you’re going to get when you come in here,” said Moran. “You’re going to get friendly staff. You’re going to get good drinks. And we never charge a cover.”
Why no cover? “I think we pay enough to be gay. We don’t have to pay any more.”
New Moon also contributes to the community with fundraisers held throughout the year. The bar works with the Iron Ladies Golf Tournament to benefit Broward House and Broward Health. They raise awareness and funds for AIDS organizations through Smart Ride. During December, they sponsor a toy drive for the Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center.
Moran’s favorite part about owning a bar is when she can introduce people to each other. She also enjoys being a resource for the community.
“A woman came to me and her son was extremely ill, HIV-positive. I was able to call Broward House and get him the help he needed,” she said.
She also spoke about a woman who was able to detect her breast cancer as a result of the Iron Ladies benefit.
“That kind of stuff is pretty powerful,” she concluded.
Although there haven’t been many changes to New Moon over the years, they are planning a remodel that should be finished by the end of March 2013.
“We’re bringing in local artists,” said Moran. “They’re all doing 4 x 8 inch canvases. All local artists because I want it to be their place.”
Featured artists will be Gay Demario, Sheen Douglas and others. They will join pop artist Allison Lefcort’s painting of Madonna, which has become an iconic fixture on New Moon’s wall.
Moran also spoke about her dream to start another fundraiser at New Moon, a women’s music festival.
However, her immediate plans involve the recent purchase of Bailey’s Bistro in Wilton Manors. Scheduled to open in April, Thirteen Even will serve beer, wine and small plates.
But this new business endeavor does not mean that Moran will be any less involved at New Moon.
“I’m not going anywhere,” she said.
This year’s 8th Anniversary party will turn New Moon Bar into an arcade with twenty video games from the 1980s including Ms. Pac-Man, Pac-Man, and Galaga. DJ Karen Ward will play 80s music, and there will also be a costume contest.
In a few words, Moran described New Moon Bar: “A gay Cheers. You may come here not knowing somebody, but you’ll leave here knowing somebody.”
If you go to New Moon Bar’s 8th Anniversary Party
Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. to close
New Moon Bar
2440 Wilton Dr
Fort Lauderdale, FL
For more information:
Contact New Moon Bar at 954-563-7660 or www.newmoonbar.com