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Downtown Syracuse Queer bar and theatre closing, plans to reopen next year

The patio of Wunderbar located at 201 S. West St in Downtown Syracuse.
Tanner Efinger
The patio of Wunderbar located at 201 S. West St in Downtown Syracuse.

Wunderbar, a Queer bar and theatre in Downtown Syracuse, is closing. The bar is in the former home of RedHouse Arts Center and serves as the home for Breadcrumbs Productions — the theatre in residence at Wunderbar.

Tanner Efinger opened Wunderbar in 2019 as a safe space for queer people to be themselves. The landlord sold the building prompting the move. The current space is 10,000 square feet with Efinger saying he's looking at spaces in Downtown Syracuse about a quarter or third of the current size.

"That, I think, actually really helps us as a space," Efinger said. "It's likely not going to have a separate theater and a separate bar area. It'll more likely be all encompassing sort of one room, but it will still be a performance space as well as the Queer bar."

Efinger says he's been happy Wunderbar has served as a space for people to connect whether its a trivia or karaoke night or their annual Christmas Eve celebration serving as a space for folks who don't have family on Christmas to have some laughs and connect. He said he hopes in the interim people continue to seek connections with each other in other ways.

"Maybe that is like a pop up event or maybe that is trying to find someone who might also be feeling similarly and connecting out and reaching to them and being intentional with how we spend our time," Efinger said. "But I think that should be how we are, whether Wunderbar is open or not."

The last event hosted by Wunderbar in the current space will be a Halloween Drag Brunch on October 29. Breadcrumbs Productions will perform their last show, "The Game of Life", in the space in November. Efinger hopes to reopen what he's dubbed "Wunderbar 2.0" next year.

To see other events happening at Wunderbar, click here.

Ava Pukatch joined the WRVO news team in September 2022. She previously reported for WCHL in Chapel Hill, NC and earned a degree in Journalism and Media from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Ava was a Stembler Scholar and a reporter and producer for the award-winning UNC Hussman broadcast Carolina Connection. In her free time, Ava enjoys theatre, coffee and cheering on Tar Heel sports. Find her on Twitter @apukatch.