ABQ Social Club now plans to reopen - Albuquerque Journal

ABQ Social Club now plans to reopen

Jesse Trevino, left, and Estevan Zamora paint the boarded up windows of the Albuquerque Social Club  Aug. 29, 2020. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

The Albuquerque Social Club, a local gay landmark, will no longer be closing thanks to several months of aggressive fundraising and community outreach.

“Due to the efforts of the community here in Albuquerque, we are not permanently closing the doors for the Albuquerque Social Club,” said Social Club interim president Nathen Illidge in an email.

The Social Club, known as the SOCH to members, originally announced in late August that the board of directors had made the decision to close the historic gathering spot.

At the time, then-board president Jay Decker said the body had voted to close the club after being unable to pay creditors.

Decker said the club had been dealing with financial problems, exacerbated by the pandemic.

Announcement of the closure was met with mourning and an outcry from LGBTQ community members who vowed to save the venue which is the oldest gay bar in the city.

A GoFundMe launched in late September to support the club raised nearly $25,000 and other fundraising efforts, including car washes, were also held to raise funds.

“We were able to raise the money needed to stay open,” Illidge said. “Although our doors are closed during this time of shut down, we do plan on reopening once the government mandate allows us to do so.”

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