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Juanita’s

Category: Places

Dates: 1955-1983

Address: 713 Commerce Street, Nashville, TN

Juanita Brazier renamed The Leopard after herself once she earned her liquor license in 1955. Established next door to The Jungle, the two bars quickly became hot spots for gay men in the 1960s until their closing in 1983.

Because of their clientele, both bars were also subjected to frequent raids by Nashville police. In 1963, police arrested 27 people, including Juanita, for “disorderly conduct,” which was another term law enforcement used for homosexual activity.

In 1983, The Jungle and Juanita’s were leveled to build the Renaissance Hotel. A second version of Juanita’s opened up at 1700 4th Avenue South. The Nashville Scene suggests that Juanita’s finally closed for good in 1994 after a fire.

See also: The Jungle

Sources: “27 Arrested in raid on bar,” Tennessean, Aug. 19, 1963; “3 of 27 Freed in tavern raid,” Tennessean, Aug. 22, 1963; Jim Ridley, “Last Call at Juanita’s,Nashville Scene, Oct. 19, 1995; Jessica Bliss, “A place ‘where you felt safe’: Nashville’s first gay bars remembered with historical marker,” Tennessean, Dec. 6, 2018.

Advertisement for the second iteration of Juanita’s in Dare, Oct. 7, 1988.

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