Management of SA’s Most Popular LGBTQ Clubs and Cafes Adjust to Coronavirus Reality

The Bonham Exchange (Courtesy photo)

The management of the city’s most popular LGBTQ clubs and cafes are facing new challenges after San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg announced a Public Health Emergency that bans gatherings of over 500 people and recommends canceling gatherings of over 250 people and meetings of high-risk populations.

The result for local gay clubs has been to adjust their operating procedures, or in the case of one business, to temporarily close.

In a letter to the community Lee Haines of the Bonham Exchange announced, “It is with a heavy heart that we must announce a pause in our operations . . . We will take this time to clean and disinfect our historic building and look forward to re-opening as soon as our city deems it safe to do so.”

The three-story Bonham Exchange is the largest club in San Antonio and on a busy night can easily host hundreds of patrons. “We love you San Antonio and know this temporary pause can be unnerving but have faith that we will be on the dance floor living happy again very soon,” Haines’ letter concluded.

Luther’s Cafe (foreground) and Heat Nightclub across the street. (Photo: Facebook)

Randy Cuniff owns four businesses on the Main Avenue Strip: Heat Nightclub, Luther’s Cafe, Sparky’s Pub and Knockout Sportsbar.

In a March 13 announcement, Cuniff said his businesses will remain open while implementing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cuniff emphasized he is adjusting operating procedures by limiting capacity to 250 customers and employees, and insuring frequent sanitation of restrooms, kitchens, dining surfaces, trash cans and outdoor locations including walkways and patios.

“As always, we maintain close relationships with our local health authorities. We will take their guidance if additional preventive measures are deemed necessary. Meanwhile, we invite, as always, you to enjoy our hospitality and relax at any of our venues,” Cuniff said.


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