MPR’s Kate Williams profiles Sutton’s, a gay bar in downtown Minneapolis that relocated to a more prominent location. Sutton’s has been around for over a decade but it officially came out of the closet last week when it opened its doors to over 800 people at a new location…the old Elk’s Club on 5th street in downtown Minneapolis.
Sutton’s has gained a reputation for being the largest gay bar in the Midwest. The old bar was tucked away on a dimly lit downtown street near the warehouse district. There was no illuminated name over the door, nor were there any of the traditional beer signs. For a long time, gay people had been cautious about openly admitting their gayness, so they’ve liked the fact they could come and go to Sutton Place without being seen. Things began to change in 1974, when the Minneapolis gay rights ordinance was passed, preventing discrimination against people because of their affectional preferences (for example, The law makes it legal for gays to hold hands and dance in public).