LGBTQ landmark in Rochester turns 50

The Bachelor Forum

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The Bachelor Forum has always been a place where everyone in Rochester has been welcome, even when other spaces were not. Which is why the mayor and city council members gathered on Saturday to celebrate the bar’s 50th anniversary.           

When Bachelor Forum started in 1973, it would take another 42 years before gay marriage was legalized across the country. It is just one sign of this bar’s ability to stand the test of time.

“50 years of fun. 50 years of sorrow. 50 years of activism. 50 years of celebration and joy. This is more than just a bar,” said City Council President Miguel Melendez Jr.

He and Mayor Malik Evans, together with loyal patrons at the bar, raised a glass to the 50-year celebration.

“50 years ago, coming out was something only people could do when they came out to the forum.”

 A legacy that the bar’s second owner, Peter Mohr, says he intends to carry forward. No matter what.

“Ya know, we’ve had a lot of shootings, we’ve had a lot of marriage equality issues, we stand here as a community. This is really a focal point.”

Withstanding every twist and turn in history, Mohr says that the Bachelor Forum’s policy of welcoming anyone through the door won’t change.

Mohr said, “It’s money in the register and it’s not greedy, but we need to have a safe space. There’s so many bars you can go to and get harassed and bullied. We are first and foremost, a gay bar.

Making it a place for patrons like Jared Lion who call the bar more of a home, than a forum.

“It’s just so welcoming. you can always be your authentic self. And, it’s just so social and great people here.”

The Bachelor Forum is the oldest gay bar in Rochester and is open seven days a week, every day of the year.