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.

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