ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It was known as a landmark for the LGBTQ community here in Albuquerque, but after The Albuquerque Social Club announced it’s closure last month, the news hit hard to its members.
The Social Club’s interim president says it’s the oldest LGBTQ establishment in Albuquerque and was around for 38-years. Now, members are trying to do what they can to re-open the iconic club.
Amidst the glitz and glam, the Albuquerque Social Club meant more to its members than just a bar. “It wasn’t just a place that you go and you have drinks and watch a show. It was a place that you go to see your family that you wanted to see every week,” says Nathan Illidge.
Now, the members-only club off Central and Montclair has been without its guests for the past month. “When the mandate happened, we had to shut down, it put a huge damper on everything we were trying to accomplish,” Illidge says.
Nathan Illidge is the president for the club’s board of directors. Before the pandemic, he says they were on track to pay their 2019 taxes.
Under the current health order, they couldn’t keep their doors open. They filed for bankruptcy to prevent the bills from piling up even more. “We were all concerned that our second home was going to go away,” says Adam Mora.
As a member, Mora, says he had to do something. That’s why he created a GoFundMe page to do what they can to help the club pay off its debts. “It’s brought a lot of people together and I’m excited that there’s a glimmer of hope for the social club,” he says.
A combination of back taxes and utility bills, the social club owed $60,000. To see the community raise more than $7,000 in four days was something Illedge never would have imagined. “It was overwhelming at first, but it was overwhelming in the best kind of way,” he says.
While the club’s future is still unclear, both Illidge and Mora believe the community’s help will get them that much closer to re-opening. “I have really best friends, really close people in my life because of the social club,” says Mora.
The club needs to pay off the $60,000 by the end of October. Any extra money raised will go towards a possible re-opening once the state’s health order allows it.