Gun Barrel City mayor stops police harassment at gay bar

GarlowsEmployees of Garlows, a gay bar located on Cedar Creek Lake about 60 miles southeast of Dallas, said police surveillance of the bar had been going on for several weeks before a number of patrons were stopped by police on April 5. Several were arrested for DUI. The bar’s owner was arrested for public intoxication while he was walking home.

Retired Dallas Voice reporter David Webb reported:

On April 5, following a drag show at the gay bar, patrons leaving the bar met as many as five squad cars sitting outside of the bar. Drivers who failed to signal whether they were turning left or right were stopped, according to sources at the scene. Several DUI arrests were made. One squad car followed the operator of the bar as he attempted to walk home and and handcuffed and jailed him on a charge of public intoxication, allegedly without testing him for intoxication.

Gun Barrel City mayor Paul Eaton told Webb surveillance would end immediately, saying he acted as soon as he heard about it.

Cedar Creek Lake has been home to LGBT retirees and weekend home owners for several decades. Garlows, in GBC, is the second gay bar in the area. Also, Celebration Church on the Lake, founded with help from Celebration Church in Fort Worth, has a large LGBT membership and is located in nearby Mabank.

David’s full report is here.


—  David Taffet

Man arrested for alleged sexual assault, stabbing of 17-year-old was a regular at gay bar Garlow’s

Tommy Robinson

GUN BARREL CITY — Tommy Robinson, 59, who is jailed in Dallas on a $1.5 million bond for the alleged stabbing and sexual assault of a 17-year-old girl in Oak Lawn was a familiar face in the Cedar Creek Lake gay bar Garlow’s.

Robinson, who went by the nickname “Hollywood,” frequented the bar as early as a year ago, but he told other customers he wasn’t gay. He also told others he suffered from a mental illness, and that was why he could not drink alcohol.

Robinson wore black attire and sported a pair of silver-framed sunglasses even at night. Other customers recognized that Robinson was eccentric, but he was generally viewed as harmless.

Robinson obviously was comfortable in a gay bar setting and freely mixed with other gay patrons.

A Dallas police detective in charge of investigating the crime confirmed he was aware Robinson had lived in the Cedar Creek Lake area prior to his arrest in Dallas. At the time of his arrest, he was homeless and was captured while bathing in a stream in Oak Lawn, according to multiple Dallas media reports.

—  admin

Gun Barrel City bar Friends closing

Leo Bartlett, owner of Friends in Gun Barrel City, announced Tuesday, Dec. 20, on his Facebook page that the bar is closing.

“Due to uncontrollable events, the clubs doors must be closed,” he wrote.

The bar has been a center of activity for the LGBT community around Cedar Creek Lake for about 20 years. Pageants, shows, food drives and charity events took place regularly at Friends. The most recent charity drive was a collection for Toys for Tots.

The closing was announced suddenly. Events were posted through January.

“From the bottom of my heart, I have never thought that this notice would go out,” Bartlett wrote. He called the closing a “heartbreaking decision.”

A number of financial factors apparently contributed to the closing of Friends but this summer’s drought, the worst in Texas’ history, was also likely a contributing factor. The lake level was down almost eight feet — far enough that many boat ramps were closed so weekend residents stayed away.

Friends is located in Gun Barrel City, located centrally on Cedar Creek Lake, which is about 60 miles southeast of Dallas. The lake was built by the city of Fort Worth to supplement its water supply in 1964 and is the fourth largest lake in Texas.

The area began attracting LGBT lake house buyers in the 1980s. Many Dallasites bought weekend houses there but the area has also attracted a number of LGBT retirees and other full-time residents.

Since Friends opened almost 20 years ago, other LGBT businesses and organizations have grown around the lake. LGBT-friendly Celebration Church on the Lake in nearby Mabank grew with help from Celebration Church in Fort Worth. Garlows, a second LGBT bar in Gun Barrel City, opened several years ago. Gay campground Circle J Ranch is near the lake in Eustace.

In addition, two cities on the lake have elected gay mayors.

The gay bars draw not only from lake residents but also from nearby Corsicana and Athens as well as a number of other smaller towns in Navarro, Henderson and Kaufman counties.

—  David Taffet

Thanksgiving weekend at Cedar Creek Lake

I know there are a lot of LGBT folks in the Metroplex who have weekend/vacation homes down south on Cedar Creek Lake, and I am sure there are others who plan on spending their long holiday weekend in that area with friends and family. And that’s not even counting all the LGBTs who live on the lake full time.

So if you will be spending Thanksgiving and the weekend on the lake and are looking for something fun to do once all the turkey is gone, checkout Friends, one of two LGBT bars in Gun Barrel City.

Friends, 410 S. Gun Barrel Lane, opens early on Thanksgiving Day, with football playing on the big screens and a big Thanksgiving Dinner served at 6 p.m. Leo and the gang will supply the turkey and all the trimmings, but those coming to share the meal are welcome to bring their own side dishes, too.

Friends also continues its food drive through the holiday weekend, in support the American Legion Post 310’s annual Christmas basket program for families in need. So if you have some extra canned goods or dry goods in your pantry, or if you want to pick up some extra when you go shopping, be sure to take them over and drop them off at the bar.

Then you can wind up the weekend Saturday night with Friends’ annual Mr./Ms./Miss Cedar Creek Lake Pageant starting at 9 p.m.

The other LGBT club in town is called Garlow’s, so you might want to check them out, too, while you’re in town. Garlow’s is located at 309 E. Main St. in Gun Barrel City.

—  admin

Congrats to new Miss/Mr. Charity America


Congratulations go out to the new 2012 Miss Charity America Thelma DaZel and the new 2012 Mr. Charity America, Josh Joblin, who were crowned Sunday night at the climax of the annual fundraising pageant, held at The Round-Up Saloon. This year’s winner claim Garlow’s in Gun Barrel City as their home bar. In the photos above, Miss Charity America 2009 D’Aundra Dennay and Miss Charity America 2011 Kelly O’Neil crown Thelma, left, and Josh poses with Kelly O’Neil and Mr. Charity America 2011 T.C. Cleveland.

Brian Paris, show director at Garlow’s, notes that the bar is also home to Miss Gay Texas State Jade Brooks.

Mr./Miss Charity America is a fundraising event benefiting Home for the Holidays, a program that helps send people with HIV/AIDS home to see their families.

—  admin

Celebrating Linze Serell’s 33rd ’21st’ birthday and helping out a great cause

Linze Serell

Linze Serell (aka Bill Lindsey) will be celebrating her birthday — Someone said her 21st? Yeah, right! — on Saturday night, Oct. 8, at 10 p.m. at Garlow’s, 308 E. Main St. in Gun Barrel City. And while Linze usually manages to have a good time wherever she goes, this event is about much more than that.

The “Christmas in October” party and show is also a fundraiser for the Toys for Tots campaign, kicking off Garlow’s annual Toys For Tots toy drive, with all funds raised going to help children in the Gun Barrel City/Cedar Creek Lake area.

Seriously folks, Linze Serell is one of the most giving, sincere and genuine people I have ever known, and she deserves a big birthday bash (her 33rd “21st birthday”). Plus, you couldn’t find a more worthy cause than Toys for Tots. So if you can make it to Garlow’s on Saturday, please go and give generously. And give Linze a big hug from me.

—  admin