The Double Header

407 2nd Avenue Extension S

Contemporary location of The Double Header
Facade of The Double Header Tavern
The Double Header Tavern, interior
The Double Header exterior, ca. 1957
State Medical Institute before building was reduced to one story

With its above-ground entrance around the corner from The Dance, The Double Header was a popular bar that opened in 1934. Unlike most other LGBTQ+ businesses, it wasn’t gay owned, though it still paid off cops. Anyone who ventured inside would’ve likely seen a drag show and heard an all-female oompah band called the Cracker Barrels. Maybe the oompah band drew the attendance of husky-voiced theater star Tallulah Bankhead, or maybe she went because gay men in the 1930s and 1940s adored her.

Some folks considered The Double Header a hustler bar, a place to pick up a man for the night (Mosaic, 100), but butch women found a home there too. The place created memories, and upon the walls were photos of customers who visited and events that transpired. Those memories must’ve meant something, because while other neighborhood spaces closed around it, The Double Header remained open until 2015 – which, at the time, reportedly made it the longest continually run LGBTQ bar along the West Coast, if not the U.S.

The “CASINO DANCING” marquee remains, but The Double Header sign is gone.

Stay right where 2nd Avenue splits and proceed to S Washington Street for our next stop.

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