Farewell to Fritz

fritz BostonRumors of Fritz’s closing was first whispered to me early this summer, but I paid it little attention.  It seemed strange that such a successful bar would close, but as the rumors persisted it became obvious that there was more truth than fiction and this wasn’t just neighborhood gossip.

Earlier this month Fritz confirmed on Facebook that they are closing at the end of this year. The owner of the Chandler Inn is remodeling the space to turn it into a restaurant and bar and make it more welcoming to the entire neighborhood (cue the bugle to play taps as yet another gay bar bites the dust).

Fritz Boston BarFritz is my favorite place in Boston to watch a game and even though I’m always a fan of seeing new restaurant open, I’m torn and left with a bitter taste by its closure. I’ll miss Fritz.  What are your thoughts?

61 responses to “Farewell to Fritz

  1. Why is there a need for a “gay” bar in the south end. I’m straight and open minded I would and have never discriminated against anyone yet the “gay” brs in my neighborhood routinely make me feel unwelcomed. I have never been to fritz because of this reverse discrimination and am glad everyone has a sports bar to feel comfortable in.

    • Hi Craig –

      I can’t speak for others but the reason I am sad when I see a gay bar close is because there are so few remaining in Boston. It may be hard to articulate and even harder to understand but there are so few places that the gay community can call their own. Perhaps you wouldn’t notice the difference between a gay friendly space and a gay space, but it is very apparent to me. Just as different ethnic or racial groups bemoan the loss of a space that catered to their community it is the same for the gay community. While I’m sorry that you never felt comfortable at Fritz, you at least had the luxury of a half dozen other sports bars all within the same neighborhood. The entire city of Boston now only has 3 full-time gay bars in the entire city and that is saddens me.

  2. its not farwell!! ITS GOOD RIDDANCE TO THE HOSTILE STAFF!!

  3. Will miss the way Fritz was back in the 90’s!! It has been bad since then! the staff are just mean and nasty and arrogant!!! not customer friendly-hate to say it but GOOD RIDDANCE!!! There is no gay life in Boston anymore!!! I am so glad I moved to SF 8 yrs ago!! great gay life, weather and friendly people !!

  4. I went to Fritz for the first time on Friday (didn’t know it’d be the last time) I’ve recently relocated to Boston from NYC where we have a few places like this. (Gym bar, boxers, 9th ave saloon) I thought it was great, it was packed but people were friendly and so were the bartenders. I keep hearing about a nasty one with glasses but I had one with glasses and he was perfectly nice, he even gave me a free drink when I didn’t like the one he made. It’s a shame it’s closing, I would’ve returned.

  5. Memories of Boston is all I have left. I haven’t been back in two years, not much to go back to except Jacques and Pie Alley. I heard that Ramrod is closing in a bit after its lease is up. I hate Club Half Gay, there is really nothing for me to go back for except to visit friends. The nightlife in Boston is among the worst of any major city.

  6. Fritz was my home place and the only place I truly felt comfortable in Boston other than Nepoleons. It is sad those days are gone by but the memories and the people I met there will be with me for eternity. Change is not always well received but it is a constant. I will miss the old place and those I grew to know and love.

  7. I lived in Boston from the early 70s til a few years ago… when there were gay bars a-plenty… a place for everybody and all their changing moods, tastes, and situations. From Playland to The Other Side and the Napoleon to “the 12″, Chaps, Styx, Sporters and Buddy’s, and dozens of others opening and closing through the years, I thoroughly enjoyed them ALL, including Fritz. Anyone who said any bar was always horrible or always great sounds like a very sad and boring individual. Too bad for them.
    AIDS took a devastating toll on our community and the “bar-centric” lifestyle many of us enjoyed so much. The political landscape has changed. The necessity for “a place of our own” has greatly diminished as a result. The internet as a social venue further effected the old bar scene.
    Face it folks, times have changed and WE have all changed. For me, while it would be nice to have Fritz as an option for a place to go when I visit Boston, but if not… well, it was good while it lasted. What’s next?

    • Sorry Jon, you are quite right. I miss those days, but you cannot deny the fact that the bartenders became complacent. I have been apart of the place for 20plus years, and I still received attitude. Times have changed, and restaurants can be our new gay places… I miss the old days…

  8. Another one bites the dust, but in this case, very long overdue. Unfriendly south end crowd, very unfriendly bartenders and the manager had an bad attitude towards anyone he didn’t know. You’d think he and the bartenders would be friendly and open to make someone want to come back.

  9. Its about time this dump closed. Its got the worse and unfriendliest bartenders in the city. Good riddance!

  10. Fritz should remain the staple that it has always been, a gay bar. The place was built on gay dollars and gay support. Unfortunately, Larry Basile, the brains behind the place sold out long ago for new ventures. It is time to revamp the place, but that entails ridding the bar of the entire “complacent” staff. The attitude of “your here to see me” days are long gone. The place would be much better off with a fully new and friendlier staff. Also, if they host the Block Party during Gay Pride, there should be some inquiries made on who and where the outside alcohol monies go….There is no accountability for an all cash venture…

  11. Fritz reopen in 60 days ya try 4 months, going to be new place and new staff, the Fritz days were over long ago they rode it to the end, now in smell like grease when you walk though the door with the frozen food selection, during a week night. Chandler Inn wants cash and a nice place not Fritz.

  12. It’s pathetic that Boston is supposed to be a world class city…. we close everything early, the subway shuts down and we have no gay bars…. WTF people. Get off your asses and GO OUT!

  13. I’m glad I got to enjoy gay nightlife in Boston from the late 80’s to the early 2000’s. It seemed like a new club/bar was opening every month. I’m at a different point in my life, so I’m not much into the nightlife anymore, but I do have some amazing memories. I remember if you were interested in someone, you actually had “talk” to them and you would exchange phone numbers. Now, people post on craigslist in missed connections, it’s all very bizarre to me. I guess technology, coupled with gentrification certainly has had a lot to do with our urban gay culture disappearing. I liked to go to Fritz once-in-a-while. It’s a fun spot and I find it to be friendly, and pretty attitude free. I was never into Club Cuntay

  14. Message from Fritz: As per our facebook post, yes we will be closing for a renovation, not permanently! We will then re-open to again serve the community with our focus still being on sports. We will see you all once the renovation is completed when you come back to check out how much better it will be.

    • Gary – will you be re-opening and marketing yourself as a gay bar? I’ve been led to believe that will not be the case.

      • EXACTLY!!!! You want those yuppie dollars. You want to charge a fortune for drinks and your eyes are big giant dollar bill signs because everyone in the hood is Rich! another SELLOUT!!!!

    • Let me guess…. a quaint little restaurant with price points between 17-34. A wine list. quiet classy lil flat screens with the game on in subtitles. Something the wife and he can enjoy while fingering the Times and thinking about painting the bedroom of the $5000 per month apartment in the brownstone….. Gary I am appalled and disgusted. Fritz used to do so much for the community and is such a part of the community… How much money do you really need? Apparently you aren’t satisfied being wealthy. Those of us who spent what little we had hanging out there are SOL! Thanks for your final “hooorah” to the community!

      • It is not Gary, he is a manager. The owner obviously is not satisfied with his income, although he is quite wealthy. He is trying to get blood from a stone….

    • dont bother-Gary and the entire staff need to be kicked to the curb with no mercy !!! It is the staff amd management that buried the place- take you attitude and get lost !!!! The days of Gary and his HORRIBLE unfriendly staff are over !!!! THE GIG IS FINALLY UP !!

    • Sad to hear all these negative comments about the staff. I worked with & know Gary and didn’t find the staff rude at all. It was a fun place and yes, it was a place where everyone knew everyone so I guess an outsider might feel uncomfortable. That’s BOSTON and not exclusive to Fritz. I doubt that Frtiz will ever re-open as a gay bar. Once Larry sold his share of the Chandler Inn, it was just a matter of time. They no longer even TRY to get gay hotel guests. Long & Gordon don’t care if they never see another gay dollar. They sure liked then for 32 years though!

      • did you read all the negative comments about the staff?? That some thought these rude abrasive people were friendly only shows the staff were selective about who they treted with respect !!! I hope they are all kicked to the curb !!! no mercy for these nasty unfriendly trash !!

  15. Anyone have the ambition to start a new gay sports bar? This could be the opportunity. There seems to be a need. You don’t have to open it in the South End. Maybe it is time to try something new. Just don’t call it Fritz. That name gets retired.

  16. This is awful. It’s the death of a cozy neighborhood sports bar.

  17. I guess Larry Basil’s Manhunt, which started the on-line hook-up industry, is actually killing off his own business. File under: What goes around, comes around.

  18. NO NO NOooooooooooooo! Here come the soccer Moms and baby strollers! There goes another piece of our community. I’m so grateful that I knew the South End ten years ago.

  19. I joined Boston’s gay scene a little late, but in a time when you could walk from Club Cafe to Fritz to the Dedo Lounge, over to Buzz, and then down to the Eagle all within a few minutes of one another. Of those five, only CC and the Eagle remain. So sad!

  20. Fritz has always been where I go to relax and enjoy the company of great people. There are plenty of phenomenal restaurants in the area but I feel this is a staple. To play Devil’s advocate, I understand the revenue sense of Chandler’s owner. Still sorry to see it go. I’m also a member of the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus and they have always offered us a warm reception after a rigorous rehearsal (takes hard work to sound so good… pardon my BGMC pride). All in all it is terrible to lose one of the greats in this beautiful (albeit Gary limited) city.

  21. They have a horrible, unattentive staff more intent on chatting with their regulars who have been perched there for decades. No big loss here. And, “gay” bars are no longer relevant. We are accepted everywhere.

  22. It was Monday late afternoon after stressful work, I went to Fritz for a drink and met Jeffery who is now my 6 years boyfriend.

  23. I don’t see this tragic. If we want to be seen as equal, why do we need our own bars? It’s like 50 years ago when there were bars that said no blacks. We say we want to be equal right?

    • We need equal rights but we still need to be US!!!!

      • I hate to say it, but Jeff is right. This is what we have been working for….to be accepted without hesitation anywhere and now that it is happening, most of us don’t like it. It’s ironic, isn’t it?

      • “Birds of a feather” honey, we just might like to hang out with each other.

  24. The South End is becoming a miserable heterosexual nightmare. You can’t have a decent neighborhood for more than a decade or two before the straight white families come in and raise the prices on everything essentially booting out what made the neighborhood great in the first place. Jamaica Plain is next on their list.

  25. When I worked in BOS over a couple of years Fritz was my favourite bar (yes I’m British) and I spent many nights there on my own and missing my friends and family and partner in the UK – but I was made to feel welcome and involved at Fritz. Killer drinks too

  26. Soon, there will be no more ‘gay’ bars in Boston. Unfortunately, not a very cohesive or active community I guess. What a shame !

  27. SO SAD, I HAVE LOTS OF MEMORIES. REMEMBER I WAS BARTENDING THERE WHEN IT WAS RUSTLERS.

  28. Many a first grindr meetup “date” was spent at Fritz. They made really strong, really cheap drinks. It was a great bar and great vibe! Sad to see it go.

  29. This article is a little misleading. According to their Facebook post, quoted below, they are temporarily closing for renovations.

    “Starting the first week of January, Fritz will be closing for just a few short months for a much needed full renovation (well, let’s face it kids, it has been 30 years) and we will be reopening again in the early Spring. New, bigger and better than before.”

  30. At “Just Saying”…….Fritz was everyman’s bar and never did I feel excluded when I went there. Can’t say the same for Club Cafe; in fact, I went there after a hiatus of sorts and even though it changed in appearance and all, the ATTITUDE is still the same. At least at Fritz I hang out with MEN and not with pretentious show/stand/and model jerks. Perhaps it felt creepy to you because YOU put out the negative vibes and let’s face it, the clientele who frequent Fritz just do not have the time for that kind of bull shit.

    JUST SAYING!

  31. Are you sure this is accurate? Oct 2, 2013 Fritz Facebook post reads –

    Good Morning Everyone!

    Rumor has it all around the town

    It’s true. It’s true we are going to be putting on a New Face!!!!

    Starting the first week of January, Fritz will be closing for just a few short months for a much needed full renovation (well, let’s face it kids, it has been 30 years) and we will be reopening again in the early Spring. New, bigger and better than before.

    Watch in the coming months for more details.

    But we are here until the first of the year. So stop by for a drink and one of our new appetizers and say “Hi.”

    Thanks for your continued support!

    Bill Svetz

    Joe McGowan

    Gary Staples

    (Fritz Bar and Fritz Staff)

  32. I used to work there, so this was sad news to me, Boston has so few gay bars left…seems to be a dying breed.

  33. This sucks. Period.

  34. Sad! very sad.

  35. I’ve only been there twice – once with you! It seems every gay place I touch in Boston closes. You know, Geoffrey’s and this bar. I’m sure I’m the only person who has been to both! : )

  36. Looks like a nice place. Too bad it’s going to be gone by end of the year. High rents and gentrification are driving many small businesses out of Manhattan too.

  37. Looks like a nice place. Too bad it’s going to be gone by end of the year. High rents and gentrification are driving many small businesses, bars and Mom and Pops out of Manhattan too.

  38. Personally, I’ve never cared for that place and in 25 years of being active in the gay club /bar scene, I may have hit Fritz half a dozen times. It often seemed creepy and at times, unwelcoming. I won’t miss it at all but certainly recognize that other guys will. No doubt, yet another bland, posh, overpriced South End eatery will open in its place.

  39. That is so sad. I am really starting to hate the developers in Boston. Time to move…

  40. Just what we need…another restaurant in Boston. Ugh! So sad to see Fritz go, it really was a fun place.

  41. It’s a sin and a shame that Boston can’t keep any gay bars. What happened in the time between years ago when there were several gay bars and now where there’s hardly any left. Club Cafe and Ramrod. Poor excuses for a gay bar if you ask me, especially Club Cafe.

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