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Watch Your Coat and Hat Saloon

Category: Places

Dates: 1970s

Address: 239 Second Avenue North

The Watch Your Coat and Hat Saloon, owned by Jerry Peek, was Nashville’s biggest drag bar in the early 1970s. It was the site of the first Miss Gay America Pageant, an event attended not only by hopeful contestants but also Mayor Beverly Briley and friends. The saloon burned down in 1973.

Source: A Night at the Sweet Gum Head 72, 169

2 thoughts on “Watch Your Coat and Hat Saloon”

  1. I went to the Hat and Coat Saloon dressed as a boy because none of Nashville’s gay bars allowed in those who were crossdressed. I passed easily, but my ID said mail, and it would be the ID that was examined, and not me. I was intrigued by the performers, but unconfortable, and left just after the show. Some years later, a fellow student who was a Nashville firefighter told me of the fire there. He said people were jumping to their deaths out of windows to avoid the flames.

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