Originally published: March 18, 2014, 8:39 p.m.
Updated: March 18, 2014, 9:56 p.m.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — One of only two local nightlife establishments catering to lesbian and bisexual women, and Charlotte’s only LGBT restaurant and bar, has announced it will close its doors after this weekend.
The owners of Hartigan’s Irish Pub, located at 601 S. Cedar St. in Uptown Charlotte, made the announcement to their customers and fans on Facebook Tuesday evening. The establishment’s last day of regular business will be Sunday, March 23.
“The reality is that the building is getting older; and after 3 different landlords in 6 years, we are unable to sustain the financial and physical burdens of a more than 100 year old building,” the bar’s statement reads. “The plumbing, the heating and air conditioning, the electrical — it’s all seen better days (and boy were those some great days). It’s time to close up shop and let the bar and the memories live on in our hearts.”
Originally opened in 1996, Hartigan’s was part dance club, part sports bar, part Irish pub and part restaurant. It attracted a diverse and unique clientele, with a mix of LGBT and straight ally patrons for lunches and dinners and women party-goers on the weekends. It often hosted special events for non-profit groups, including the annual Queen City Stomp over the past couple years.
In 2011, the bar was the scene of a fatal incident involving two patrons in which one was stabbed and later died. In its aftermath, the community rallied around the victim’s family and the bar itself. That incident seems to have no connection to the bar’s impending closure.
In 2012, Hartigan’s hosted a special delegate event during the Democratic National Convention and ESPN named it among the top 29 best sports bars.
In 2013, Showtime’s series “Homeland” included a scene which had been filmed at Hartigan’s.
Hartigan’s will continue to host several events through the rest of the week, including pre-scheduled karaoke, a trivia night and a Sunday drag brunch. Takeover Friday has announced a “Farewell to Hartigan’s” event for Friday.
This is a developing story. Stay tuned for a more in-depth follow-up later this week.
Hartigan’s Irish Pub’s full statement:
The full, unedited statement as posted by owners of Hartigan’s Irish Pub on Tuesday, March 18:
We are sad to announce that Hartigan’s will be closing our doors for good on Monday, March 24, 2014.
The reality is that the building is getting older; and after 3 different landlords in 6 years, we are unable to sustain the financial and physical burdens of a more than 100 year old building. The plumbing, the heating and air conditioning, the electrical – it’s all seen better days (and boy were those some great days It’s time to close up shop and let the bar and the memories live on in our hearts.
We want to personally thank every single person that has supported and patronized Hartigan’s over the past 6 years that we have owned it, as well as the many years before.
Since 2008, we’ve been blessed with so many unforgettable and incomparable experiences. From hosting the Maryland delegates for the Democratic National Convention – to being on the Front Page of the New York Times…. From being chosen as one of the Top 29 Sports Bars in the Universe by ESPN the Magazine – to watching them film Homeland in the middle of the restaurant.
It’s been a crazy ride, and we thank you all for taking it with us . From Pudding and Sumo wrestling to bands, DJs and comedians, we’ve had a lot of fun and raised money for some important organizations in our community.
We’ll be open all week for our final rounds of trivia, karaoke, dancing, drag brunch, and more. Sunday, March 23, 2014 will be our last day open, as Monday we will close the doors for good.
We hope everyone will take the time to visit the pub this week for one last beer, one last dance, one last song, and most of all – one last goodbye.
Cheers everyone – we hope to see you all this week.