Mostly it’s people who come out but sometimes businesses do as well.
So Addictive Lounge (733 Elden St.) in Herndon, recently started billing itself as a gay bar and is the only one in Virginia’s Fairfax County. It’s only the second gay bar in Northern Virginia after Freddie’s Beach Bar.
Austin Jennings, the manager of So Addictive, says it has been a dream of his to create such a bar in Fairfax County.
Jennings grew up in the area and always wished there was a place he could go without having to get on interstates and deal with parking or a metro ride and crashing at someone’s place.
“People shouldn’t have to drive all the way into downtown D.C. to have fun with their fellow gays and gals, or to see the latest drag queen’s rendition of Tina Turner and see cute boys dance with each other,” Jennings said about the lack of gay bars.
Jennings says the most challenging part of turning what was once a straight establishment into a gay bar has been making it look better.
He says the bar was not pretty when he started working there.
“Seeing it in the daytime was even worse,” he says. “At night it only got by because the lighting was generously mellow and the customers could drink their way through the ugliness, just like Joan Rivers.”
So far, Jennings has given the place a new paint job, added new furniture and black curtains, but he says there’s still a lot to do and that customers can expect more changes over the next couple weeks as they put the finishing touches on their “beautiful debutante.”
So Addictive is open Monday from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., Tuesday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“Everyone always asks if we serve food, and I almost want to yell, ‘Yes, yes yes.’ We’re open at 6 for dinner and we serve our full menu until close every night,” Jennings said.
There are events going on almost every night. There’s drag bingo on Tuesdays at 8 p.m., a drag show with Lacontress Farrington on Wednesdays at 9 p.m., the “L night: karaoke and ladies on Thursdays,” “t.GAY.i.f.” on Fridays and college night on Saturdays.
There’s only one non-gay day, “Heavy Metal Monday,” which features a new band each week.
“Currently I’m happy with the metal night, but it does seem to hint at a lack of integrity if we are calling So Addictive Lounge a full-gay bar. It’s something I will need to re-evaluate in the near future,” Jennings says. “For now, I guess being a little straight just makes the bar bi.”