Solidarity, extra precautions at Philly’s largest gay bar

(image via <a href=Wood's Bar)" title="screen-shot-2016-06-13-at-4-54-28-pm" width="640" height="360"/>

(image via

Even after a tragedy on the scale of the shooting in Orlando, people still go out to have a good time.

Philadelphia’s largest gay bar  — Woody’s on 13th Street — attracted a much larger crowd than usual on Sunday night.

Granted, Sunday was the annual Pride Parade and festival, so lots of people were out for that. Even so, Woody’s saw many more people than expected because of the mass murder at a gay club in Florida.

“A lot of the people that we spoke to — customers — said they came out because of it,” said Michael Weiss, a co-owner of Woody’s. “What it means is, they weren’t going to come out, but this made them feel that they had to come out to show they are not going to change who we are and what we are.”

One of the people who put in an appearance Sunday at Woody’s was Mayor Jim Kenney, a longtime champion of gay rights.

Just to be safe,  the Philadelphia Police Department stationed five officers outside the club on Sunday night, Weiss said.

Woody’s also is increasing precautions, including bag searches and metal-detecting wands, that are closer to the security standards of a stadium than a dance club. And Weiss has asked the police department to create a program at its academy to prepare club bouncers for deadly circumstances.

“It’s what we’ve always had in this country — how do we balance our freedom, and keeping everyone protected at the same time?” said Weiss.

Woody’s will display a remembrance image for Orlando on its TV screens for the rest of the week.

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