Mable Peabody's was Denton's longest standing gay bar.
Mable Peabody's never looked like much from the outside, but it sure meant something.
Legendary Denton gay bar Mable Peabody’s quietly shuttered on Sunday after nearly four decades in business. The online sphere was buzzing over the weekend with rumors that the iconic watering hole would close its doors before Labor Day, though the owner didn’t confirm this until after the fact.
Loyal patrons lined up out the door on Saturday for the chance to grab one last drink at the iconic bar. Mable Peabody’s Beauty Parlor & Chainsaw Repair, better known as Mable Peabody’s or simply Mable’s, was one of Texas’ longest standing gay bars. Though many bars in the area are LGBTQ-friendly, Mable’s was, surprisingly, the only specifically gay bar in Denton. Open since 1979, the nightclub was an essential hub for the LGBTQ community in the city, and an important part of Denton’s culture as a whole.
The popular dive bar played host to Denton’s vibrant live music scene, as well as burlesque and drag shows, and karaoke nights.
Mable’s had a colorful history over its 38 years of operation. When it originally opened, it was the first bar of its kind in town. About a decade ago, the bar was robbed and burned down by an arsonist. Less than two years later, Mable’s reopened with a new location, and a new, flashier look – but the same welcoming attitude that drew crowds of regulars.
The bar has been owned since 1994 by Kelly Sanders. The Denton Record Chronicle reported that the property owner Seyed Bagheri said that Sanders’ lease on the bar is expiring on September 30 and has not been renewed.
Sanders has yet to specify the reason for Mable Peabody’s sudden closure, or whether it will be relocating to another space.