307 Lounge (demolished 2015)
Please notice the inset plaque to commemorate the 307 Lounge. It relocated from 307 Roosevelt to this location in the early 1950s. Keeping the 307 name meant the current clientele as well as any newbies who had only heard of the place, could easily find the bar. The 307 name stayed with the bar through decades of changes in ownership. It officially closed in early 2000. In the 50s, Tucson artist Ted DeGrazia struck a bargain with the bar, artwork for drinks, this enabled him to drink on the cheap. At that time, he was a relatively unknown, later he would be called Arizona's Warhol. His mural depicted a moonshine still operation, can-can dancers and members of the local Yaquai community. Unfortunately, these one-of-a-kind murals were painted directly onto the plastered brick walls. The Tucson DeGrazia Museum tried to save the murals when the building was slated for demolition, but the artwork shattered during removal. Legendary Drag Queens; Ms. Ebony, Pussy Le Hoot, Barbara Seville and Celia Putty graced the stage at the 307 Lounge.
Backstory and Context
LGBTQ+ Pride is held in June each year to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Uprising. Although the Stonewall Riots are not the first, it is recognized as the start of the LGBTQ+ Civil Rights Movement. The LGBTQ+ community held demonstrations, protests and riots in direct response to police raids and harassment. Arizona is not exempt from these activities.
LGBTQ+ history in Arizona is under-documented in archives and libraries. We are actively tackling that issue by encouraging the documentation and the preservation of personal narratives, documents and other items that tell Arizona's LGBTQ+ history.
Portland Street was the northern boundary of the area affectionately called, the Fruit Loop. The surrounding blocks were a well-known gay hangout for men to find men. The route was Roosevelt Street to the alley West of First Street, Portland Street and 3rd Street.