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Owner of Gay-Friendly Dixie’s Bar Dies

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By MARY FOSTER

NEW ORLEANS – Yvonne “Dixie” Fasnacht, who spent much of her life playing jazz and welcoming aficionados to her French Quarter Club–Dixie’s Bar of Music on Bourbon Street–has died at 101.

Fasnacht toured with the all-female Southland Rhythm Girls, playing Dixieland jazz in the 1930s. In 1939 she and her sister, Irma, opened the first of several bars, all called Dixie’s. The Bourbon Street location was described as a place where rich and poor, gay and straight felt comfortable.

New Orleans historian and film maker Peggy Scott Laborde described Fasnacht as one of the era’s great personalities in the French Quarter.

Elegant and sophisticated, Laborde said Fasnacht was among the first French Quarter club owners to welcome gay patrons. The club closed in 1964.

Her funeral was Wednesday.

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