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.