By Rowan Collins Photos by Fiona Jones
“This is about our legacy, I’m just a part of that.”
If you’ve stepped foot in the Bachelor Forum on University Avenue in the last 19 years, you know Peter Mohr. Now the owner of the Forum, Mohr began as a bartender there in the late 90s after tenures at The Avenue Pub, Muther’s, and Marcella. When founding owner, Arnie Pegish, passed away in 2008, Mohr purchased the bar from the estate to keep it running and the community cornerstone it continues to be.
“We’re the oldest gay bar in Rochester and that’s something we’re really proud of,” he told the Empty Closet.
Mohr lives in Corn Hill with his husband Rob and their dog “son” Trevor. Outside of the Bachelor Forum, Mohr is heavily involved in community organizations and events, partnering and working with ImageOut, Trillium Health, and the Out Alliance. He gives back at any chance and opens the Forum’s doors to any event at the drop of a hat.
Immediately following 2016’s Pulse Nightclub shooting, Mohr opened the Forum for a community vigil and rally which drew over 700 people in pain, anger, love, and action.
Upon learning about his designation as 2018 ROC Pride Grand Marshal, Mohr said he was incredibly honored, but that he wanted to be sure it was less about him and more about the Forum and its history.
“It should be more about the bar and Arnie and Rich [The Bachelor Forum’s original owners] and their legacy. I’m part of it, I’m helping continue it.”
Most important to Mohr is making sure that everyone feels welcome and “at home” at the Forum.
“I want it to be somewhere people have a good time. We don’t have dancing or drag like some of the other bars in Rochester and I want people to feel like it’s a good place to be. We do events like Gayme Night, Ru Paul’s Drag Race watch parties with Wednesday Westwood, and karaoke. The name carries some stigma as an all-male bar, but it still has pull and we are welcoming to all! We want to keep that legacy alive and honor our history.”
Mohr says he is looking forward to the 2018 ROC Pride week of events and that his favorite part of Pride is the parade.
“Being able to feel the love of the community, which we [at the Forum] try to give people every day, feeling that come back to you during the parade is amazing. I love having my staff on our float and letting them receive that love and support from the crowd. My employees are the soul of the Forum and I want to focus on them. We definitely get an adrenaline rush and we’re so excited to get to the Festival afterwards.”
You can find Mohr leading the 2018 ROC Pride Parade as Grand Marshal on Saturday, July 21. Step off is at 1:00pm sharp.
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