After 37 years Rage nightclub located at the northwest corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and San Vicente in West Hollywood will close permanently due to the financial burden COVID-19 has caused.
Rage was opened in 1983 by Robert Maghame and Saeed Sattari in a building owned by Monte Overstreet. Their lease is said to have been set to expire in November, but Maghame and Sattari were unable to negotiate a renewal with Overstreet.
Los Angeles County health officials ordered the closing of all bars on March 16 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an order on June 18 allowing bars to reopen so long as they followed certain safety rules. But then 10 days later shut them down again after COVID-19 infections surged. Rage, like many others, had been struggling with the financial burden of these restrictions.
Rage is not the only bar that has permanently closed due to the COVID pandemic. The closing of bars and clubs due to COVID-19 has devastated many LGBTQ small businesses causing many other queer focused spaces to close.
Cuties in East Hollywood, L.A.’s only queer focused coffee shop, went out of business last month.
Club Cobra, the North Hollywood gay Latino club, announced in May that it would not re-open.
Gym Bar, another popular gay bar, announced its permanent closing in July, with its owners saying that the property owner, Elias Shokrian of Calitex LLC in Beverly Hill, had been uncooperative in negotiating a way for them to pay their rent.
As well as Flaming Saddles the gay Country/Western bar, whos building is also owned by Overstreet, announced its closing on Aug.16 after they were unable to reach an agreement because of unpaid rent.
In 2014, Michel Thomas, who had worked as a promoter of events at Rage for 11 years, bought the business from Maghame and Sattari, making him the first gay man to own the gay bar. Thomas had launched events such as GAMeboi, which catered to gay Asian men, and Rage also hosted special nights for other ethnic groups, Kinky Saturdays and The Dreamgirls Revue on Tuesday. There was also an 18 and older night.
The club was known for high-energy dance music at night and a full-service restaurant during the day. The club offered two levels along with a large outdoor patio.
General Manager Ron Madril who has been working at Rage since May 1997 took to Facebook to say this about the announcement, “It’s almost a lifetime,” he posted. “The good times will always be cherished, as will the staff…past & present! It’s been a journey meeting sooooo many AMAZING people! So many! Thanks for all the memories, friendships and love!”