The Abbey Celebrates 31 Years on West Hollywood Abbey Day

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(L-R) Donato Crowley and Jan Thomas - Photo by Steven Curtis via @theabbeyweho instagram screen grab

The Abbey Food & Bar Celebrated 31 years this week on Monday, May 23, 2022. The City of West Hollywood officially declared May 23rd as The Abbey Day last year in celebration of The Abbey’s 3 decades of success. A proclamation marking the official declaration was presented by then West Hollywood Mayor Lindsey P. Horvath to David Cooley, owner of The Abbey, on behalf of the City Council of the City of West Hollywood.

The Abbey Food & Bar opened in West Hollywood in May 1991. Since then, it has become a social and cultural epicenter for the local LGBTQ community. Thirty one years ago, David Cooley invested in a small, discreet space in West Hollywood that he renovated into a coffeehouse. During three decades, The Abbey has expanded five times, growing from a humble coffee shop to a 16,000-square-foot venue with multiple rooms, four bars, and a full menu.

In addition to a restaurant and bar, The Abbey serves as a de facto community center, often becoming a place to gather in protest or celebration of important milestones impacting the LGBTQ community, such as the passage of Proposition 8 in California or the announcement of the Supreme Court decision affirming the right of same-sex couples to get married.

May 23rd was also declared Born This Way Day” by the City of West Hollywood to honor Lady Gaga and the Born This Way Foundation on the 10th anniversary of the iconic “Born This Way” album last year.

Lady Gaga, the Grammy and Oscar Award-winning superstar and pop icon made a special appearance at The Abbey where she was given a key to the city of West Hollywood by the Mayor.

The “Born This Way” album was released and its lead single became an LGBTQ anthem. The song has encouraged people of all sexual orientations, genders, ages, and races to accept themselves and others, and to embrace differences, reject prejudices, and feel empowered.

The Abbey Food & Bar’s 31st anniversary and official inaugural Abbey Day celebration featured 1991 $7 pricing on the martini that started it all and put the bar on the map – the Abbey Apple Martini. Later that evening, Monday Night Lip Service Drag Show took the crowd through the decades performing the top hits from the 90s, 2000s and 2010s.

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Nate Pratt
Nate Pratt
1 month ago

Now the biggest straight bar and key to the straightenization of Weho. It was a great idea from Cooley at that time, but didn’t realize welcoming all the others to Weho would mean all the others would just take over.