GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Apartment Lounge, a staple in Grand Rapids for more than four decades, is asking the community for help to keep its doors open.

The Apartment Lounge on Sheldon Avenue downtown is Michigan’s longest operating gay bar, with a rich history in the city and LGBTQ community.

Like other bars and restaurants, it was hit hard by closures meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus, having to shift to only takeout and outdoor service. It got a Paycheck Protection Program loan from the federal government, said that only went so far.

Aiming to help out-of-work employees, keep the bar running and preserve its community, owner Bob Johnson launched a GoFundMe campaign.

“We need a safe space that’s our own,” Johnson said. “This is the place where me and thousands of others were allowed to become who they are today and it’s very important that we don’t lose that.”

The Lounge is currently hosting pop-up happy hours on its outdoor patio. Masks and social distancing are required. More information can be found on the Apartment Lounge’s Facebook page.