|Day Glo Band at Shi Bar (June 2005)|
Location: 121 Woodfield Road, West Hempstead, New York, USA
Here's how Shi Bar described herself on Myspace back in the day:
Presenting "Shi Bar"-- a great place for the ladies of Long Island and NYC to come out and have a good time! Shi Bar (AKA the Pit) has been a Long Island pride community bar since 1976 & about to celebrate 30 years of LESBIAN PRIDE!!
From poking around the facebook page (which feels like you're exploring a house that has been inexplicably abandoned by its occupants), we find out that Shi Bar was closed on Sunday and Monday nights, but that pool tournaments were held on Wednesdays. Every Thursday, there was "free BBQ" and "free Coors Lights" from 8:00 to 11:00 PM--with Christine behind the bar! Every Friday night was a dance party with DJ Tina Silano and "$2 shot specials." And there was live music too: "Musical showcases on the 2nd Saturday of every month--featuring uprising Long Island and NYC female artists." As for Shi's musical tastes, here's a sampling:
Tella, Nicole Monroe, Roxxi Occasio, Kat Glick, Rorie Kelly, DayGlow, Liz Caruso, Kathy Arnold, JEN/ed, Meghann Robinson, Antigone Rising, Ani Difranco, Marcy Lang, Jill Scott, Doria Roberts
A self-described "queer bar & club directory" described Shi Bar in these terms:
Very female crowd, small dance floor, sometimes live music, good atmosphere. 41 miles from Stony brook.
Even towards the end of her life, you see nothing but customer praise for the Shi Bar. This is what Amy A. said in March 2008:
Shi Bar is a great local, woman's bar. A great place to hang out, shoot pool, talk to friends or make new friends. The staff is very friendly. Drunk prices are good. Good music.
And Cara M. in November 2008:
i love coming here, having a martini and relaxing. Theres nice people and a nice environment. i recommend coming here with friends for a nice night out.
So what happened? Maybe after 32 years, the owners had just had enough. Zen Bar is now at that location ("has a Japanese-American industrial decor with a relaxed and sexy atmosphere, where you can bring a date after dinner or flirt with one our hot bartenders."). Zen Bar identifies itself as "gay owned and operated" and "gay friendly." But apparently more friendly to men than women, given the photos and the Tuesday "Boyz night."
Photo: The Day Glo Band at Shi Bar, June 2005