St. Pete's Georgie's Alibi closing doors

Posted at 6:36 PM, Sep 10, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-10 18:36:52-04

"We called it the gay Cheers,” said Brian Longstreth, Owner, Gay St.Pete House.

Georgie's Alibi was a family for many in the LGBT community.

"There was a special magic to that place that I just don't think anybody else will ever reach,” said Ed Gonzalez.

But St. Pete is losing so much more than a bar restaurant.

"It was a place where people brought their parents and grandparents and everybody had a good time. The diversity of people who came in that bar and felt at home and comfortable and safe, was just a huge compliment to us,” said Gonzalez.

Gonzalez was the General Manager of Georgie’s Alibi for more than a decade. Georgie's announced last night on Facebook they're closing and selling the property to make way for a new apartment complex.

A loss many are mourning because the bar was also heavily involved in charity work.

"When the officers were slain a couple years ago, he was right there supporting the families and he's established continuing scholarships for children of those officers,” said St. Pete Realtor Bob Barnum.

The bar's owner also helped fund the Historic Kenwood Neighborhood Association, CASA, a local non-profit fighting child abuse and neglect and Equality Florida which fights for equal rights for the GLBTQ community.

"They packed up everything, the entire bar, full bar with all the bartenders. They wrapped everything up and brought it over to the Dali and you know they worked for us free of charge,” said Equality Florida’s Todd Richardson.

Not only was Georgie's a good neighbor, they were also a political forum giving candidates a forum to meet the community.

"They were one of the few gay bars that actively got involved in politics and supported candidates and that helped change the makeup of City Council and County Commission,” said Longstreth.

Georgie's Alibi will stop serving customers in nine days but many of them will tell you the community partnerships it created will far outlast closing time.

"The community, we're not going to lose touch or fall apart. We're just going to be missing a piece of our heart,” said Gonzalez.