Celebrations are underway Sunday as the iconic Palace Bar enjoys their final brunch.
After serving South Florida’s LGBTQ community for almost 30 years, the queens at Palace Bar are shutting their doors and looking for a new place.
“I tried to negotiate and stay in this corner but they are renovating the building. It’s in bad shape,” said Thomas Donall, the owner of Palace Bar.
The music, food and drinks, paired with world-renowned drag performances made the popular spot on 12th and Ocean a staple for South Beach pride.
“The Palace is one of the main reasons I’ve come to South Beach for about six to seven years now,” said Jason Graham, a regular at The Palace, “I didn’t find out about its closing until I got here and it’s honestly a shame.”
The bar has historically supported and rallied for gay rights. Last year, Palace hosted a special ceremony honoring the Orlando gay night club shooting victims. Events like those share Palace’s message of equality.
“We’re the voice right now. We’re the voice on the streets showing people who we are and showing the gay community in a positive way,” said Noel Leon, a performer at Palace.
“I was actually physically crying because it’s not okay. Things and places like this make a community and when you take away part of a community, you’re taking away a part of a person,” said Katie Olsen, a tourist from Chicago.
But Palace lovers can hold back their tears, as the oceanfront bar is working on re-opening in a new location.
“I’m working hard to get us a place that’s going to be just as magical as this,” said Donall.
The festivities will continue until July 4th, when Palace Bar will shut its doors for good on its Ocean Drive location.
The owner is currently scouting four locations on Miami Beach.