Oilcan's Celebrates 30 Years Open This Weekend
And not just this weekend, our oldest gay bar is gonna party all year long
By Diane Zaragoza,
5:00PM, Thu. Jan. 23, 2020
Sometimes you just feel like the weekend needs to come a little early. Wednesday rolled on and by the time Thursday hit you're internally screaming "I'm ready for you, Friday!"
If that's you this week, you're in luck because Austin’s beloved Oilcan Harry’s turns 30 in 2020! Yes, our longest standing gay bar is starting its year-long(!) anniversary celebration tonight. Yes, you heard me, this Thursday night, Jan. 23. And, if you’re like me, you’re going to want to check out their Instagram @oilscanatx to stay tuned for the three more weekend celebrations they have coming up throughout the year ahead.
Tonight at 10pm, however, host James Perry will kick off the celebration in the Walk This Way Grand Ball, where the winner has a chance to take home $800. Friday, Jan. 24, will include a Wood Fired Pizza happy hour from 5-8pm and their signature Crave drag show is slated to start at 11pm. The weekend only gets better from there! On Saturday and Sunday (Jan. 25-26), the bar will have events hosted and DJ’d by Honey Davenport of RuPaul’s Drag Race fame. Earlier Saturday evening, swing through for a $1 client appreciation party from 9-10pm – Honey DJs after. Wrapping it all up, Sunday will host a variety of events starting at 5pm with grilled food, a Tea Dance Drag Pop Up at 6pm, closing it all out with be the always awesome Diva show at 10pm where the gorgeous Honey will obviously perform (for free!). If you’re interested in a meet and greet with the queen, the bar is selling VIP tickets via Eventbrite.
Oilcan’s first opened its doors in 1990 and has remained a safe, fun space for all, but it hasn’t gone without its struggles. In Sept. 2018, employees were confronted with a sign on the door of the bar that read: “Oilcan Harry’s is currently closed for repairs and maintenance.” Dumbfounded, they went without pay for a couple of weeks – though thanks to the support of the qmmunity, they managed to raise over $15,000 via a GoFundMe campaign. The matter was resolved when OCH’s longtime neighbor in the gayborhood Rain on 4th stepped in to help revive the Fourth Street hotspot and help staff make that cash. As of Nov. 2018, STS Warehouse, LLC had taken over the lease to keep the party going well into Oilcan’s 30th anniversary. As stated in the press release sent out Thursday morning, OCH “remains an iconic fixture as a popular, safe and festive gathering place 30 years” after opening.