Mabel's Beauty Shop & Chainsaw Repair

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1986 ad for Mabel's from The Kaleidoscope.

Mabel's Beauty Shop & Chainsaw Repair was an all-night gay bar at 318 14th Street South near UAB. The bar was opened by John Elder in 1986. It was most likely inspired by "Mable Peabody's Beauty Parlor & Chainsaw Repair" which was opened by Margaret Honeycutt in Denton, Texas in 1979.

On January 3, 1989, the bar was the scene of an unsolved robbery-murder in which bartender David Painter died from a bullet to the head and money was taken from the cash drawer. Elder reopened the next day, offering a special on Bloody Marys, but the club closed soon thereafter.

Elder then opened a different bar, Eunice Crabtree's Cut Rate Delicatessen & Bait Shop, in the former Ed Salem's No. 2 location, near the Bowl Lo-Mac bowling center on 3rd Avenue South at 32nd Street. A new version of Mabel's opened briefly in 1992 with an address of 3207 3rd Avenue North, sharing the building with Eunice's. Both bars were closed down before 1993.


  • Birmingham City Directories, 1985–1993
  • Robinson, Carol & John Archibald (December 17, 1995) "David Painter: Victim of the perfect murder." Birmingham News