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After 22 years, Pachyderm Pub says farewell

(WJRT)
Published: Jun. 29, 2020 at 1:32 PM EDT
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The Pachyderm Pub has been a staple in the LGBTQ Community and after 22 years the restaurant is closing. As June celebrates PRIDE, the pub opened its doors one last time.

"22 years ago you got an idea, you put it out there, and it was pretty well received," said Greg La May, owner of Pachyderm Pub.

In 1998, Greg Lamay and his partner Ron opened the Pachyderm Pub with the idea of opening their doors to a place that felt welcoming to the LGBTQ community.

"There were no gay restaurants and that was the whole thing the food. That was our main calling. There was always good food and Ron was the cook, he was the chef. He was my partner," said La May.

Ron passed away in 2012 leaving behind a legacy that has welcomed guests since the beginning. While it was hard, Greg has had the strength from his Pub family and that has made him proud the last 22 years.

"The support. Without people it's only walls and like I said who would've ever thought. We just took the reins after he passed away," said La May.

The decision to sell the Pub has been a thought for a while. Last year Greg had a stroke and his father passed away. Leading him to the decision it's time to retire.

"This year now we have all of this and the stroke made me not interested as much anymore. That's what kind of triggered the decision to have one more party," said La May.

Pachyderm felt it was fitting to celebrate its farewell event this weekend as Pride turns 50. The Pub is a safe haven for the LGBTQ community with an environment that is friendly and welcoming.

"I'm here today to say farewell to Pachyderm. It's been an icon in our lives for 20 something years. I think it's a safe haven for us because we know that no one is going to beat us up when we leave the bar so it's a safe haven," said long-time customer Dave Wolverton.

The Pub has been sold and will become a Jazz club, but the celebration was a chance to walk through the Pachyderm Pub doors one last time.

"Surreal in many ways it's something I wanted to do for a while. I just can't keep up with it,” said La May. “Who would've thunk, you know a couple of guys with an idea."

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