Park Place Lounge, founded 31 years ago on Park Street by Alan Wood and David Perreault, is a haven for the LGBTQAI+ community, offering a safe and welcoming space. Recently relocated to King Street, their business thrives on the pillars of community support, equal rights, and love for all. Our mission is to carry forward their legacy and create an inclusive environment where patrons can enjoy drinks and socialize in a compassionate setting.
In 1989, Midwest-born and raised partners, David Perreault and Alan Wood ventured to sunny Florida. They drove to the Keys and only stayed a short time before deciding that it wasn’t the place for them. As fate would have it, their car broke down in Jacksonville. Jacksonville became their new home.
The original Park Place Lounge started on Park Street in 1992. The penny-lined bar top served drinks for five years before the location changed to King Street. At the time, King Street looked drastically different: First Guaranty Bank, Whiteway Deli, The Junction, an antique store, tire and auto shop, laundromat, donut shop, Ezell’s BBQ, and lots of other vacant buildings. Park Place was a no-windows, low-key bar that offered a safe and relaxing space for the gay community. David and Alan started the King Street Entertainment District. Many of you helped build this bar and/or the original one. We love your memories!
Discrimination was commonplace, but it didn’t slow them down and, more importantly, they never gave up. They just worked harder. There was no fanfare for a gay couple back in the day. They supported everyone in the community: Little League teams, the Cancer Society, NFAN, Veterans, all their customers who had the need and more. They fed customers every Sunday for customer appreciation and prepared and served holiday meals because they were always open for those who had nowhere to go. They threw fabulous parties, partied hard, went on a few vacations, and loved life.
And then AIDS became a part of daily life. Everyone lost so many. The scars sit beneath the resiliency, the strength, the fortitude to carry on. We honor these beautiful souls. We honor all of you who courageously live with HIV.
We honor all of the beautiful souls who have passed on and remain a part of Park Place’s history.
We honor all of you who are survivors.
In 2013, at the age of 61, Alan passed from esophageal cancer. Five years later, David, age 51, passed from a heart attack. David and Alan are buried together in our family plot in Upper Michigan. Ever with us in spirit, we carry on their legacy with love and gratitude. We carry on for them in the commitment to equality.
We want to expressly thank all of you for your love and support. We want to expressly thank our employees for their hard work and dedication. We couldn’t have done it without you.
We are proud to be your neighborhood bar. Everyone is welcome here. Come in. Be who you are. Park Place Lounge is one of the oldest (and few) gay bars in Jacksonville. It will remain as it ever was.
Owners of Park Place Lounge
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