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Lantana LGBTQ bar Penny's at the Duke is closing

Longtime customers lament bar's impending closure
Posted at 6:03 PM, Jul 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-09 23:32:24-04

LANTANA, Fla. — After eight years, a South Florida LGBTQ bar is closing in Lantana.

In a post on social media, Penny's at the Duke stated: "The friendships and good times we have created with everyone won't disappear and we are looking to enjoy the next chapter in our lives."

The bar owner said an opportunity came up that they couldn’t pass up.

"Penny's was nice," said customer Bernadette Green. "Everybody got along with one another. Like I said, got along with one another. You would just come and enjoy yourself whenever. A bad day, an evening or at night whenever, it was nice. It was a nice place to be. I am going to miss it."

Penny's is the one of the only few remaining LGBTQ bars open in Palm Beach County.

Some of the performers and staff have mixed emotions learning about the closing.

"It's bittersweet. It's sad. But as a community, we'll all come together, we'll be there to support Penny and Penny's at the Duke when they do close," said drag performer Rianna Petrone.

Omar Nichols, one of Penny's longtime bartenders, said he will never forget the kindness the owner showed to him and to many of the other staff during the COVID-19 outbreak last year.

"Every day at work, I'm tearing up," said Nichols. "When we went into shutdown, she still made sure she did food drives and stuff like that to make sure she paid her employees."

July 17 will be the last hurrah for Penny's at the Duke.

"It's the end of an era. Time to start something new, when one door closes another one opens," said Nichols.