Gym Sportsbar and Grill has been a staple of the LGBTQ sports space in West Hollywood and Los Angeles for over a decade. | Gym Sportsbar

Erik Braverman, the out gay senior vice president of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and his husband, Jonathan Cottrell, along with an investor group, are poised to purchase Gym Sportsbar and Grill in West Hollywood. The acquisition is currently pending.

As of Wednesday morning, the California Alcoholic Beverage Control said the prospective new owners’ license application to transfer the necessary licenses was still pending.

Gym Sportsbar was the first bar in the Los Angeles area dedicated specifically to gay sports fans and catering to the LGBTQ community.

Braverman has been a longtime supporter of Gym Sportsbar, as well as other West Hollywood establishments. He has worked with the bar to elevate LGBTQ sports fandom, as well as sports teams and leagues, in West Hollywood and Los Angeles.

He and Cottrell are also regular patrons and fans of Gym Sportsbar for years.

Now they are poised to be majority owners.

“As stewards of Gym Sportsbar & Grill, our commitment is not just to preserve its legacy, but to enhance it, ensuring it remains a beacon of community, diversity, and excellence in West Hollywood,” Braverman and Cottrell said.

“Our vision is clear: to create an inclusive space that honors the past while embracing the future. Our goal is to elevate the experience for all who walk through our doors, fostering connections, camaraderie, and unforgettable moments. We believe in the power of sports to bring people together, transcending differences and forging bonds that last a lifetime. At Gym Sportsbar & Grill, everyone is not just a patron, but a valued member of our vibrant community, where each visit feels like coming home.”

Braverman is one of the most influential out LGBTQ people in American sports. He was named to the Top 10 of Outsports’ inaugural Power 100. He and Cottrell married at Dodger Stadium in 2023.

Rick Schmutzler, a Gym Sportsbar founder, has been with the company as a founder from the very beginning.

“I opened the business in NYC in 2005, and I’m proud to say, 19 years later, that store is still going strong,” Schmutzler said. “At the time, the idea of a gay sports bar was still a very radical thing, there wasn’t much of a blue print on how to do it.”

Over the years, Gym Bar has been a beacon for many LGBTQ sports fans in multiple cities. It’s also been a strong supporter of local LGBTQ sports teams and leagues. Schmutzler himself has been a fixture in some of these leagues.

Now after over a decade in Los Angeles, and navigating the last few years and a move to a new location in West Hollywood, he’s stepping away. He said he’s found the perfect people to forge the future of the establishment.

“I approached Erik and Jonathan specifically because I knew they understood what made Gym Bar special,” he said. “They are uniquely placed to bring new and exciting partnerships to the table. Gym Sportsbar and Grill West Hollywood will be in very good hands. I’m excited to see where Erik and Jonathan take the business in the next few years.

“I’m also excited to stay home and sleep.”

No doubt, operating a bar is a lot of work. Braverman and Cottrell say they are up to the task.

And we wish them and their entire investment team years of success.

You can follow Gym Sportsbar on Instagram. You can also follow Erik Braverman and Jonathan Cottrell.