The editorial pages of WMG, the Wilton Manors Gazette, pays tribute to the life and passing of Jeanette Mojica, arguably the First Lady of the hospitality industry in our fair city.
Known as the face and life of Sidelines for so many years, Jen did so much more than pour drinks for many of us. She poured her heart and soul into the lifeblood of the LGBTQ community.
Of course, this is a loss felt most deeply by Laurie Whitaker, her partner of many years. But this is a life we should all celebrate, because Jen’s energy and effusiveness rubbed off upon everyone she met.
From hosting barbecues at Sidelines, to running charity tournaments for softball teams, here was a bar that embedded itself in our LGBTQ lives, socially and politically.
Guided by passion and principle, Jean understood that a popular bar had the capacity to become a ‘home away from home’ for customers and consumers.
Jen understood the meaning of running a ‘hospitality establishment.’ Sidelines welcomed everyone.
It was a sports bar, and a place to watch championship basketball games, share birthday parties, and nights out.
For a decade, it was a place that generated good times, and had a life of its own, once even rated in the Advocate Magazine as one of the top ten gay sports bars in the country.
Sidelines earned the distinction and recognition it won. Under Jen’s stewardship, it gave back to all of us as well, sponsoring athletic teams, donating time and money for pride festivals, and supporting so many political candidates, organizations and groups in worthy charitable ventures.
We therefore say goodbye while saluting the good deeds achieved as much as the memories shared.
Bars have been the venue and forum for the LGBTQ community to stand up and be counted. Like our lives and the liquor they pour, they have a shelf life.
Jen was top shelf, facing adversity as an adventure to be challenged. Her life was one of dignity and demeanor, humor and healing.
SFGN salutes a life well lived, generously supporting the LGBTQ community and the people who make our lives worth living. We will cherish her memory.