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Name of Bar/Club: Allegro

Location: 1412 Spruce St.

Period in existence: 1948-1980

The Allegro was perhaps the most popular gay bar in Center City. It occupied three floors of a brick building that may originally have been a townhouse. While it was popular and often crowded, there were times in the early 1970s when it was also the object of some protests and boycotting by members of the gay community for two particular reasons that I recall. One was a "dress code" that forbade wearing hats or open-toed shoes or high heels, the former ban aimed at excluding African Americans, many of whom were accustomed to wearing hats in that era, and the latter aimed at excluding women and male transvestites. Another serious concern was one of safety, as periodic examination of the fire escape doors on the upper floors found that they were at times chained and padlocked, creating a dangerous hazard in the event of fire. A campaign to see that these doors were kept unlocked did succeed for a time. -- Bob Stewart

Philadelphians who spent time at this bar or club: