About a year ago, Town Danceboutique (2009 8th St., N.W.) expanded and opened Town Patio, an outside space that bar manager Dusty Martinez says, “has a totally different vibe” from the rest of the club.
“Our music is more low key during the day and bumping at night,” the 28-year-old Ferndale, Md., native says. “We have a more relaxed and laid-back vibe from our fun, easy cocktails and our homemade life-size Jenga set, it’s just a great and fun place to come during the week and hang.”
Martinez, who also runs his own bartending business called D&D Cocktails, has been at Town (towndc.com) “off and on” for about eight years in various positions. He says the patio is a great addition to the city’s gay scene.
“There’s really no other place or space like this,” he says. “It’s unique in every way and has really shown people what an outdoor space should look and feel like.”
Martinez lives with his boyfriend, Drew Ransom, in Shaw. He enjoys being outside, working with his hands, traveling, singing country music in the shower, biking and spending time with his family in his free time.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
I’ve been out since I was 15. The hardest person to tell was my mom, although it wasn’t hard at all. She loved me just the same and is my best friend.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
I really look up to Ed Bailey. He is one of the owners of Town, Town Patio and Number Nine. I’ve learned so much from him through the years and I’ve watched him start and support so many LGBT causes. I admire how he always gives back to our community.
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
I’m a Nation kid. I loved that place, everything about it. The foam parties, Wess the DJ spinning in the Blue Room, waiting to get stamped at the VIP room, the gritty side of the gay city.
Describe your dream wedding.
Something intimate. I think relationships and marriages are built on family and I’d want something that would really showcase how our two families are now connected here and forever. Romantic sap here!
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
Better early education in our schools.
What historical outcome would you change?
I think most historical outcomes happened the way they needed to happen. We’d be living in a much different world if any changed.
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
I’m a big ole country music fan so I thought it was pretty amazing that Steve Grand came out as a gay country singer. I loved his music video and it really shows how far our movement has come.
On what do you insist?
I insist that every person should spend at least one year in the service industry.
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
I posted a video of a Jenga set I built for the Town Patio. It’s a life-size set that’s so much fun to play.
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
“There is always a handkerchief color for that!”
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
Nothing. I love me and I love men. I’d never want to change that.
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
I believe we are all connected spiritually.
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
We had a great leap forward a week ago in equality but that shouldn’t stop the momentum.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
Anything to do with my family.
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
That gay guys only drink fruity drinks. Pour me some whiskey please!
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
“But I’m a Cheerleader”
What’s the most overrated social custom?
Kissing on the cheek.
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
Last year the Blade readers gave me the title as Best Bartender in D.C. I had that paper framed.
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
I love the feel this city gives me. A small town in a big city. I love walking/biking around town and recognizing my neighbors. I also love that it’s fairly close to my family.