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“It’s with tears in our eyes that we have to admit it is highly unlikely that Therapy will ever reopen,” announced Tom Johnson, co-owner of Therapy on W52nd St today. “Every one of you who has ever worked here, performed here, partied here… We love you. And though we cannot be together today, always know you are Therapy’s family.”
It’s just over a year ago that Therapy survived the neighboring building being condemned and then collapsing, which forced the club to close for weeks. However, this time it looks like there is no going back.
Earlier today, Johnson confirmed to Eater that the bar’s landlord did not reach an agreement with the owners after their closure in mid-March, and he handed over his keys on April 1.
Therapy has been top of the Hell’s Kitchen gay bar circuit since 2003. More recently, it has featured contestants from RuPaul’s Drag Race like Jackie Cox, Paige Turner, and Monet X Change.
The LGBTQ community, and the many staff who had worked at Therapy over the years, were quick to share their feelings.
TV personality Scott Nevins said: “This is heartbreaking to hear. As one of the original opening staff at Therapy, there’s a piece of my heart that forever stays on W52nd St. You gave me my start and I will never forget it.”
“It’s hard to find words, but one thing I will say is that I was lucky to have had it in my life,” said Ryan Overberg, who was a server there for 13 years ago and then returned three years ago to manage entertainment. “Tom gave me the freedom to take chances and bring new talent. We created nights like YOU TRIED IT, BOOT CAMP, SOAKED, FEUD, SUNDAY SERVICES, BOOZICAL, and QUEST FOR QUEEN. These nights were successful and showcased the immense talent that’s alive in the city. Talents that just needed a stage.”
Jackie Cox told us: “It’s such a big loss for the queer community as one of the few queer-owned and operated spaces that featured artists from many genres of nightlife entertainment: drag, cabaret, musical performances, and even weekly live-model drawing sessions.”
Jennifer Lameo was one of the original crew and the “solo female on staff.” She said: “I’ve worked with and waited on some of the amazing people. We were a family and I love each and every person who walked through those doors. I love you, Therapy,”
“This is the saddest news that I’ve gotten all quarantine,” Brad shared on Instagram, “This bar was such a safe haven and my favorite in the world.”
Many, like Alan Lum, are suggesting the community should try a rescue: “Is it too late to start a gofundme like Stonewall and Julius?”
However, the owners hold out little chance of a last-minute reprieve, with Broadway closed and tourism non-existent.