Oilcan Harry’s, the gay nightclub on 211 West 4th Street in downtown Austin, appears to be closed. There is a notice on the doors of the building that says that the bar is “currently closed for repairs and maintenance,” according to the Chronicle.
However, a GoFundMe page created for the bar’s now-former staffers claimed that the bar’s closure happened out of nowhere, that they “all showed up to work one day to find a sign that the business was closed and were no longer with jobs.” It also asserted that some employees were either not paid for several weeks or received paychecks that had bounced. Eater has reached out to Oilcan Harry’s and the organizers of the GoFundMe page for more information; watch this space for updates.
The GoFundMe page mentioned that there was supposed to be a “transition” with a “new beginning” for the club that the staffers were aware of. Language about Oilcan being sold no longer appears on the page; instead, it was replaced by “shut down suddenly.” In the past two days, the crowdfunding campaign, organized by Kelly Kline, has exceeded its goal with $13,605 as of publishing time.
Chronicle also reported that Oilcan Harry’s, which opened in 1990, is currently on TABC’s delinquent list, which means it owes money to its liquor sellers. Over on its Facebook page, the last post notes that the bar isn’t hosting its Super Sunday Diva Show because of “unforeseen circumstances.” The show is relocating to next-door gay bar Rain on Fourth.
Update, 10/8: Per a post on Rain on 4th’s Facebook page, which was then cross-posted to Oilcan Harry’s Instagram, the bar has been re-opened with all former staff re-hired. The poster confirmed that there are new owners and a rebranding in the works, referring to the bar as “the space you remember as Oilcans.” Drag shows and special events will continue “for a limited time.” Eater has reached out for details, watch this space for updates.