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No Longer FAB-ulous, Tower District's Famed Gay Club Closing
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By Edward Smith
Published 4 months ago on
December 20, 2023

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An openly LGBT bar and nightclub in the Tower District will have its last event on New Year’s Eve.

“Hello all you fabulous people, it is with heavy heart and eternal gratitude that we inform you all that FAB Fresno will be shuttering its doors and our last day open will be Sunday December 31st for New Years Eve,” a Facebook post on the club stated. “We thank you all so much for the amazing 8 years and hope you join us for the next 2 weekends to say good bye.”

The vibrant club opened in 2015, complete with pink trim and a bar outfitted for go-go dancers. The club hosted drag shows and karaoke nights regularly, but it also had its share of controversy as well as hate crimes. It now is joining numerous Fresno nightclubs that have closed.

Attempts to reach the owners of FAB Fresno were not successful.

“The closure is very unfortunate, as it shuts down one more location that the LGBTQ community could call ‘home,'” said Jason Scott, executive director of LGBT Fresno.

Fresno Has Trouble Keeping More Than One LGBT Club Open at a Time

Scott said it’s very difficult to stay relevant in the LGBTQ club scene.

“Each new bar closed down the prior bar. The Express closed when Legends opened (even though they completed a major remodel), North Tower Circle closed around when FAB opened. Legends and FAB are a casualty of Splash, who came in with a big budget and wowed everyone away from FAB, in my opinion,” Scott said in an email.

One drag performer who did not want to be named said he saw his first drag show at FAB.

“It’s also the same moment I said I can do this better lol,” the performer said in a text message.

Unconfirmed Accusations of Spiked Drinks Affected Perception

In 2022, unsubstantiated claims of a bartender drugging drinks at FAB circulated on social media. Though the claims never moved beyond rumors, the damage had been done. Just the thought of a bartender spiking drinks caused some members of the LGBT community to feel unsafe, multiple sources told GV Wire.

“In the club scene the priority is A SAFE PLACE and especially in tower district (sic) as a primarily queer/gay club you would want it to be the safest place for your community,” the drag performer said in a text.

Back in 2016, the community rallied around the club when an online comment to the owner of FAB, Terry Story, said FAB would be the next Pulse Nightclub. On June 12 of that year, a gunman shot and killed 49 people and wounded 53 more at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

FAB Still Celebrated

The Facebook post announcing the nightclub’s closure garnered more than a hundred comments and nearly twice as many shares.

“Thank you for giving my young gay self a place to be, dance, sing, etc. Thank you for making Fresno more tolerable for the gay community,” said one Facebook commenter. “Thank you for being Fab.”

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Edward Smith,
Multimedia Journalist
Edward Smith began reporting for GV Wire in May 2023. His reporting career began at Fresno City College, graduating with an associate degree in journalism. After leaving school he spent the next six years with The Business Journal, doing research for the publication as well as covering the restaurant industry. Soon after, he took on real estate and agriculture beats, winning multiple awards at the local, state and national level. You can contact Edward at 559-440-8372 or at Edward.Smith@gvwire.com.

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