Less than one year after closing for renovations, the Triangle in Williamsburg is closing again.
This time for good.
On Feb. 20, the Triangle bar on Scotland street announced it would be permanently closing its doors on Saturday so the staff can focus on owner Anna Krouse’s health. The bar was visited frequently by student groups at William & Mary including Salsa Club and Lambda Alliance.
“A lot of it has to do with our owner’s health — our owner Anna,” General Manager Matthew Black said. “… Her health has not been great and it’s reached a point where it just makes sense to say goodbye and then concentrate on her health.”
Plans to open the Triangle began in 2013, and the bar officially opened two years later in June 2015. The tapas-inspired bar and restaurant closed for renovations May 15 through May 31 last year.
Throughout the bar’s operation over the past four years, Black has been surprised by both the diversity of music performed on the Triangle’s stage and the unexpected demographics of Williamsburg residents that frequent the hotspot.
“We found we appealed to a different demographic then necessarily we were looking for,” Black said. “We didn’t think we would be as embraced by the university community, which was very exciting, and we also didn’t expect to be embraced by the retiree community as well,” Black said. “Our goal was that middle bit, and it ended up being two polar opposites – something for everyone.”
Spending long evenings at Steal the Glass night, as well as LGBTQIA+ and Salsa nights, many students at William & Mary have made the Triangle a regular part of their evenings out.
Lambda Alliance member Holden Mershon, class of 2020, said the bar has served as a safe space for queer members of the William & Mary community and that the bar’s closing is deeply saddening to him and other queer students.
“I am so saddened and heartbroken to hear that the Triangle will be closing,” Mershon said in a written statement. “For years the bar has been a pillar of the William & Mary queer community and I can’t believe that the Triangle is shutting its doors. The Triangle has served as a friendly gathering point for the community where we were free to express ourselves and meet others without fear or judgement.”
Mershon made many of his friends at the Triangle and often used the bar as a gathering space to catchup with both old and new friends.
“I have gone to the Triangle almost every Thursday night since spring semester freshman year, and the event quickly became my weekly highlight where I bonded with friends old and new while having the time of our lives,” Mershon said.
According to Mershon, one of his favorite memories at the Triangle involved him experiencing a clothing malfunction on the dance floor. Mershon also recalled some other fond memories he shared with friends at the Triangle.
“I’ll never forget the time when I made a giant foot-long rip in my jeans on the dance floor, but no one decided to tell me until after we were at Wawa,” Mershon said. “Or, the time the DJs didn’t show up but me and my pals were still able to make the night our own and hung out in the Triangle by ourselves. While I hope we can find a replacement for the Triangle, I will always cherish the memories and friends I made at the bar and the Triangle will always hold a special place in my heart.”
In addition to its LGBTQIA, Karaoke and swing nights, the Triangle is also known for hosting regular salsa nights every month.
Salsa Club social chair Sheila Hill, class of 2020, said the salsa nights have been a great way for members to get to know each other and meet fellow salsa lovers within the Williamsburg community.
“It was really good for introducing new people to salsa because even if you didn’t come to club you could always go to Salsa Night,” Hill said. “It was also really good for club members to get a chance to interact with the outside community that liked salsa.”
Hill said she and other Salsa Club members will miss the regular opportunity to dance at a bar within walking distance of the university.
“I’m very sad obviously because salsa night is very new; salsa club itself is pretty new, so we were always in support of any sort of local salsa events especially ones we can participate in,” Hill said. “It was super student friendly and within walking distance, and that’s the first time we’ve had something within walking distance.”
After serving a wide variety of community members around Williamsburg and hosting a myriad of theme nights, one of Black’s favorite past Triangle events was an eight-year-old’s birthday party.
Although Black found the request unusual at first, he was excited with how the event turned out.
“We had a mother reach out about us about hosting her eight-year-old’s birthday party, which we weren’t sure what to do with it but they enjoyed that we had a stage and the girls wanted to have it at Triangle,” Black said. “So we did a build your own slider bar, they had a choreographer come in and teach them a dance and then the girls danced on the stage, and their parents clapped, and everyone had a fun that was a genuinely sweet moment.”
The Triangle will continue to give back to the community in its final weeks of operation by donating some of its proceeds to a local charity.
“We’re hoping to work with a charity of the last two weeks,” Black said. “Selling off some of our craft beer that we have from Virginia.”