Friends rally to help reopen bar

Posted on 03 May 2007 at 8:48pm
By David Webb Staff Writer

Benefit at Buddies to raise money for torched Denton gay nightclub



Kelly Sanders

When news spread about Mable Peabody’s Beauty Parlor and Chainsaw Repair burning in Denton, owner Kelly Sanders started getting calls from concerned friends who wanted to help her.

And now she realizes they really meant it.

Sanders’ friends are hosting a benefit at Buddies II, with the help of the bar owner, on Sunday, May 6, from 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. to help Sanders reopen the nightclub.

The 27-year-old nightclub, which was the only gay bar in Denton, burned on March 21. Fire officials said the blaze was intentionally set, but they found no evidence to suggest the arson was a hate crime.

No suspects have been arrested in connection with the arson.

Sanders, who had owned the bar for 13 years, said now that the shock has worn off, it is time to move forward and reopen the nightclub.

“The support from all over the Metroplex has been overwhelming, and I am happy to say that Mable’s will be back,” Sanders said.

“It’s important for the community that we come back, and that was the primary motivator to reopen.”

Sanders said at the time of the fire that the calls she received after the fire was reported in the media heartened her and helped her cope with the loss. Patrons of the nightclub said the fire had left them anxious and feeling the loss also.

Whether the bar reopens in the same location depends upon the building owner’s construction plans, Sanders said. He has expressed interest in the nightclub reopening at the same site, she said.

“We may have to look elsewhere for a location,” Sanders said. “Right now, it depends on how quickly the building can be repaired.”

The Mable Peabody Fund has been established at Point Bank and funds raised from the benefit at Buddy’s II will go into it, according to the coordinators of the benefit. The money raised will be used to help outfit the club when it reopens.

Sanders said the building was insured by its owners, but the contents were not.

“We lost everything: sound and lighting systems, cash register, tables, chairs, glasses everything down to the napkins and straws,” Sanders said.

“I think we managed to pull four reusable tables out of the wreckage. For everything else, we will literally be starting from scratch, which is going to be expensive.”

The benefit will include a barbecue dinner, entertainment, poker and an auction.

The show will feature local lesbian legend Lory Masters as emcee and performances by Kathy Jack, Sherry Briggs, Page Price, Kathy Corbin, Linda McClain, Connie McLain and Susie Buck.

Auction items will include art work by Ginger Fox.

Tickets for the event are $25. VIP tickets that include a special T-shirt are $50. People interested in performing or donating an item to the auction should call Dee Pennington at 214-796-1131.

Donations to the Mable Peabody Fund can be sent to P.O. Box 1187, Denton, TX 76202. Call 940-206-7077 or 972-880-5470 for information.

E-mail webb@dallasvoice.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 4, 2007

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