Julius’, the Gay-Elder Dive Bar of the Village, Gets Landmarked


Stucco and the Sip-In, now an official landmark. Photo: Robert K. Chin/Alamy Stock Photo

From Curbed: To those who know, Julius’ is already a landmark. The city’s oldest continually operating gay bar, with its stucco-petalled exterior and permanent perfume of sizzling burger fat, still fills up every night. Julius’ (with an apostrophe, please) is “the definitive ‘fit in the fabric of the neighborhood’ bar,” this magazine wrote — in 1980. By that point, Julius’ was 50 years (not all of them gay) into its comfortable tenure as agreeably grizzled, here-and-there greasy local. Back then, it was still a place where the doors opened at 8 a.m. for “a few old hags who guzzle their breakfast gin free of charge.”

These days, the doors open at four (noon on the weekends) and there are still a few hags but also bopping twinks exploring the city viaTikTok among the graying fixtures, many with rent-stabilized apartments — the Village having turned from gay ghetto to bankers’ brunch zone long ago. The whole scene is unusually friendly and low-key.

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Historic Bay Area restaurant slated for demolition ahead of housing project


Bo Town Seafood Restaurant in San Jose is expected to be demolished to make way for housing. Google Maps

From Bo Town, a permanently closed Chinese and Vietnamese seafood restaurant, is slated for demolition ahead of a new mixed-use property in downtown San Jose.

On Tuesday, San Jose City Council members unanimously approved a 30-story mixed-use structure that will replace the historic building at 409 South 2nd Street, which formerly housed Bo Town restaurant from the early 1990s to 2019.

The building itself is much older and dates to 1967, according to San Jose Historic Resources Inventory. Among its prominent features is its mid-century architectural design known as Googie. The style is best known for drawing inspiration from the space age along with its dramatic and futuristic facades. The historic San Jose building was designed by architect David Smith and has a Googie-style roof with sharp zigzag design.

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Iconic Orange Garden neon ‘chop suey’ sign restored, and to be unveiled at its new home near Chicago


Neon sign outside of Orange Garden restaurant, 1942 W. Irving Park Road in Chicago, on April 28, 2022. (Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune)

From the Chicago Tribune: Madame ZuZu’s will host a lighting ceremony to unveil the restoration of the iconic Orange Garden neon chop suey sign at its new home Dec. 17.

Billy Corgan originally opened Madame ZuZu’s, a plant-based tea cafe in Highland Park, in 2012 with personal and professional partner Chloé Mendel. Corgan is best known as the lead singer of The Smashing Pumpkins. The Pumpkins are an alternative rock band he cofounded in Chicago in 1988.

Mendel bought the sign for $17,000 at auction in April as a surprise birthday present for Corgan.

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Post-pandemic travel sparks mass return to motels


Australians are returning to motels as they hit the road to avoid air travel. Photo: Getty

From The New Daily: The great Australian road trip is back with a vengeance – and it’s reviving another holiday classic in its wake.

Motels have become the big winners as high airfares and flight disruptions cause many Aussies to look locally for their getaways.

Wotif data shows 70 per cent of Australians are planning a domestic trip this summer, and the number of holidaymakers considering booking a motel for their next trip is rising – up 75 per cent this year compared to 2019.

Demand for beach motels also spiked 35 per cent in the past year.

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Historical society receives grant to restore part of Cottage Court motel into welcome center


The Cottage Court museum in 2016. Lance Maggart/Sky-Hi News File Photo

From Sky-Hi News: Close to the shores of Grand Lake, the Cottage Court museum invites visitors to learn what life as a tourist was like in the early 1900s. The museum was once a motel — the Smith-Eslick Cottage Court. The museum preserves Grand Lake’s history, including how automobile tourism shaped the town’s growth.

On Dec. 1, the Grand Lake Area Historical Society, an all-volunteer organization which operates Cottage Court, recently received a $196,505 grant from History Colorado’s State Historical Fund to help restore the Eslick store and office, which was part of the original motel.

“Thank you, History Colorado! This is a wonderful gift,” said Elin Capps, secretary of the Historical Society.

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