Barometer: The Town House Celebrates 45th GLBT Anniversary

By George Holdgrafer October 16, 2014

Categories: Clubs & Music, Our Scene

Owner Holly Monnett Marks 40th Anniversary


The Town House owner Holly Monnett at the beautiful main bar. Photo by George Holdgrafer

The Town House owner Holly Monnett at the beautiful main bar. Photo by George Holdgrafer

This year is a dual celebration for The Town House in St. Paul. It’s the bar’s 45th GLBT anniversary. As well, it’s owner Holly Monnett’s 40th anniversary at the bar.

In the fall of 1969, straight owner Emmett Jewell turned The Town House into a GLBT bar. That year, too, was historic both locally and nationally. On May 18, 1969, Fight Repression of Erotic Expression (FREE), Minnesota’s first GLBT organization, was founded. On June 27, 1969, the Stonewall Riot in New York City catalyzed GLBT liberation worldwide. The Town House is now St. Paul’s oldest GLBT bar.

August 1 is an auspicious date for Monnett. On August 1, 1974, she began her tenure at The Town House, moving quickly from barback to bartender to manager by 1976. On August 1, 1987, she bought the bar from Jewell, who suddenly died shortly after on September 30. She’s now the only gay woman who is proprietor of a local GLBT bar.

On October 25, the Town House will host a gala party throughout the day and night to celebrate its 45th anniversary. Beginning at 3 p.m. is a special Old Timer’s Party, with a DJ playing favorite oldies. YOLO performs 3-6:30 p.m.. Chef Larry’s famous buffet will then be served. Jen Mink, a police officer with the St. Paul Police Mounted Patrol Foundation, will be in the parking lot next to the bar with two trained horses and merchandise as a fund-raiser for the organization. At 9 p.m., Lori Dokken will play in the Lounge. The main event is a show starting at 9:45 p.m., hosted by Mary Brewster, featuring a cavalcade of female impersonators, including Dotti West, Miss Toast of the Town House 2014. Monnett sums up The Town House’s 45th-anniversary success story this way: “Throughout our long history, we’ve continually been able to change with the times.”

Town House
1415 University Ave. W., St. Paul
(651) 646-7087

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