After much speculation for several months, it has been confirmed that Oil Can Harry’s, the beloved gay country western line dancing bar, located in Studio City, is closed for good after 52 years.
A message posted back in November, 5, 2020, assured customers that the bar would return as soon as they were allowed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The only reason Oil Can Harry’s is closed at this time is strictly due to COVID-19 and will re-open when allowed,” read a message on their official Facebook page. “The Sole Owner of ONLY the property at 11502 Ventura Blvd., Studio, City, CA 91604 has placed the property up for sale. Once a sale of the property has been completed, the new owner shall work with OCH on new terms of our lease agreement.”
However, a message posted on their website speaks of new owners with different plans for the venue. An important update dated January, 4, 2021 reads as follows:
“Happy New Year to all!
2021 has not brought great news to OIL CAN HARRY’S: The property sold in December, thanks to Monty and Jon just needing to shut down another establishment. It was purchased on December 9th by a new buyer, who wants to have their own venue with Jazz music.
So, at this time I have to vacate the property–nothing bad or ugly, just something I have to do.
I fought hard to keep it, but just had to give up!!
Not sure down the road where it will lead.
Thank you all for this beautiful gift that we all shared for 52 years.
Please, no negative posts on social media! It only hurts. Only positive would help!
Any help would be wonderful… 🌈🌈🌈😥😥😥”
Established in 1968, the gay bar and dance hall was known and loved for its various themed nights catering to all walks of life. It featured karaoke nights, line dancing, retro-themed parties, leather, rodeo and other special events.
“Our customers as well as the dance floor have witnessed 52 amazing years of great times, laughter, triumphs, a little sorrow, love, generosity, compassion, plenty of birthdays, lots of dancing and tons of entertainment,” reads the bar’s About Page in their website.
Oil Can Harry’s has hosted or partnered with the Wranglers, LA Rodeo, LA Band of Brothers, Silverstreak Softball, Los Angeles Leather Coalition, Gay Men’s Choir, The Troupers, The Flos, Martha Wash, Christopher St. West/LA Pride, Valley Pride and countless other organizations and entertainers. Throughout the years Oil Can Harry’s has been many things to its customers, but most importantly a place they can call their own.”
In 1999, a scene from the movie Happy, Texas was filmed at Oil Can’s.
Grammy and Academy Award winner Lady Gaga hosted a party in 2019 after she took home three Grammys. Other guests included Adele and Katy Perry.
Other Oil Can Harry’s Trivia include:
- The hot Haim music video, “Little of Your Love,” shot entirely on location in OCH. (iTunes resource)
- Grammy Nominee & Dove Award-Winner Ty Herndon has performed on the Oil Cans stage.
- Grammy Award-Winner LeAnn Rimes has performed on the Oil Cans stage.
- Academy Award-Winner Geena Davis has been spotted taking class.
- Grammy Nominee & GLAAD Media Award-Winner k.d. Lang has been spotted on the dancefloor.
- Congressman Barney Frank has been spotted chillin’ with the ‘real people.’
- Primetime Emmy Awards & GLAAD Media Awards-Winner RuPaul has been spotted taking class.
The property at Oil Can Harry’s was owned by Monte Overstreet. Overstreet owns the real estate at the spaces that once housed the Gold Coast Bar, the Rage Nightclub and the Hallal Guys, which all went out of business due to rent negotiations gone south.
The year it opened this LeaherMan drove all that way down Ventura Blvd. from Topanga where he Owned The MOONFIRE INN and Pine Point Commune.,
(Before the FWY) to the first-ever gay dance bar experience. Back then the stage was populated with the dance boys from the Studio’s… One could join in if able to keep up… Many of them were practicing their movie routines. “WOW” moments!
*LeatherWeb” is returning.
What a wonderful legacy! Good luck on what comes next.
The oldest existing gay bar in L.A. First gay bar I ever walked into in 1986, and where my husband and I got engaged 6 years ago. So damn sad.
Used to go to OCH way back in the 1970s, with my friend, Bob Duran. At the time, aside from the dance floor, movies were featured on screens around the room. One I saw was of Bette Midler performing in gay bathhouses in New York.
I do not think anything negative could come out of Oil Can Harry’s. I was honored to work there for 16 years. I never thought I would DJ Country Music or even teach people how to Couple and Line Dance. I was asked by my dear friend DJ Rick if I would be interested in spinning at OCH. I was scared to do it but also excited. I was the new kid on the block and everyone I worked with was older than me and had been there for many many years. I too would follow in those footsteps. There… Read more »
It was one of the first bars I ever visited when I came to La La. I guess a new chapter awaits for all of us. Congratulations, Monte!
So sad, so much history for all and so many memories as well. I remember all the good times here and hope OCH LA will find a new chapter soon.
So sad. I loved Disco nights there! Also loved Halloween there. Not gay, but would go with a group of friends. Always had a fun time. Everyone was so nice, great music and lots of fun.
What a shame, OCH was part of my upbringing in gay life & made so many lasting relationships
How many wonderful fun times for me and my 2 gay roommates. I loved that place, you didn’t have to be gay to enjoy great people and fun times with friends, one always looked forward to the next time. Stay safe and know this is a good memory!
Sad in arkansas