HOUSTON - Buddy’s in Montrose is making history as the first LGBTQ-friendly bar in Harris County to serve as a polling location for a presidential election.
Buddy’s Bar, located on the corner of Grant and Fairview, opened last Christmas Eve for 11 weeks. But shortly after its debut, the bar had to shut down for six months because of Covid-19.
The owner tells FOX 26 business is now doing well.
"I call this the gateway to the "gayborhood." We are under the pride flag, it’s loud and proud and this is Montrose," said owner Christopher Barry.
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Peeking inside Buddy's on a Thursday afternoon, one can see a few patrons sipping on happy hour cocktails.
"We called the bar Buddy’s because everyBuddy’s welcome," Barry said.
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On November 3, the inside front section will transform into a 14-booth voting center -- one of roughly 800 in Harris County.
"What is the most productive thing that we could do for our community the day of to help them vote? And that’s literally turning it into a polling location," Barry said.
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Barry says he's planning for business as usual on Tuesday with a party in the back parking lot, so voters can cast their ballots, then walk outside to the patio and order pizza and drinks from the double-sided bar.
"We’re not serving people inside as they vote, obviously that’s going to be a voting space. But we will have an event from 5-10 p.m. with the DJ in the back parking lot," Barry said.
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Buddy’s is certainly not your typical voting center -- at a school or a gym. Next door is an adult novelty store and Hamburger Mary’s – a drag restaurant.
"Not everybody agrees with a gay bar or LGBTQ space. But just as much as churches are welcome, so should a gay bar to participate in a democratic process," Barry said.
Polls on Election Day will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.