Longtime gay bar Denver Wrangler is closing its doors after more than 20 years

Friends enjoying a beer at the old Denver Wrangler location in 2009. The bar will close its doors at the end of June. (Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post)

Longtime gay bar Denver Wrangler has announced that it will be closing its doors at the end of June after more than two decades in the city.

The Wrangler moved to its Whittier location in 2016, leaving its home in the Uptown neighborhood. The bar is known as a popular bear bar, or a bar for gay men who are larger and hairier. Its closing was first reported by Out Front.

At the time of the move, owner Chris Dawkins said the former location had gentrified from small and queer-friendly businesses to Starbucks and chain restaurants. He said the bar was trying to form a new gay neighborhood at its new location on Downing Street and East 31st Avenue. Tracks Denver nightclub is only a few blocks away.

The bar will close on June 25, according to an announcement on the bar’s website. A farewell beer bust, Wrangler’s long-running event that supports local charities, will be held on June 24. A Pride beer bust is scheduled for June 17.

Although Wrangler is a mainstay in the local LGBTQ scene, it has also had problems in the past. In 2014, Colorado regulators ruled that the bar had discriminated against a man by denying him entry while dressed in drag and noted a history of discriminating against women and effeminate men. Dawkins had told the Denver Post that the ruling cited several facts that were false.

Dawkins could not immediately be reached for comment.

Denver Wrangler announced the close on its website.

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