The same social restrictions pressing against women and minorities applied to the world of gay bars, too. The Backstreet era has ended, but the renovations and renaming at the Front Row have not changed the feel of the bar much at all. Roanoke's location at a gap in the Blue Ridge Mountains makes it an urban center for a significant area of eastern Appalachia: The Park and Backstreet were not unique as the Roanoke's only gay bars, but they stand out for their stability over decades. Its second gay bar opened inthe first gay discotheque in She currently books the Coffee Pot, another historic bar on the other side of town, as well shows at other venues. The Backstreet Cafe reopened its doors just a week after the shooting, and then remained open for another 17 years.
In an era when many individuals were closeted, these places offered the chance to be oneself, in a variety of flavors.
Even after their peak, those spots remained important for those seeking to explore their identity in a supportive environment. The same social restrictions pressing against women and minorities applied to the world of gay bars, too. Additionally, however, there was Macado's, a family-friendly restaurant with quirky decor—think 3 Stooges mannequins flying a plane hung from the ceiling—that spawned a regional franchise.
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