LGBT Washington has seen a spate of new business openings in recent months. Here are a few to check out.
The Dirty Goose, a new gay bar
The Dirty Goose (913 U St., N.W.) is the new kid on the block for D.C.’s gay nightlife scene. Tucked into the U Street corridor across from Nellie’s Sports Bar, the Dirty Goose’s slogan is “Where Birds of a Feather Drink Together.” Owners Justin Parker and his fiancé Daniel Honeycutt say they consider the Dirty Goose a gay bar, but welcome all to their establishment. According to Park, they consider their bar to be upscale but welcoming.
”We believed that sometimes ‘upscale’ gets a stigma and is assumed to be stuffy and expensive,” Parker says. “We have tried really hard to address small details that we think can wash the stigma away. Our bartenders are specifically friendly, outgoing and always willing to help. Our prices are comparable to our neighbors. We simply just try to provide a higher quality of drinks, food and service.”
The bar, which opened Aug. 18, has plans for parties in the near future with details to be announced. In addition to dinner, the Dirty Goose also offers bottomless brunch for $38 on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Brunch includes your choice of a bottomless mimosa, rose mimosa or Bloody Mary paired with entrees such as the spring vegetable omelet, eggs Benedict and TDG hamburger with Sriracha aioli. Make reservations at thedirtygoosedc.com. (MC)
SIR, a new male burlesque show
SIR is an all-male burlesque show hosted at SAX Restaurant & Lounge (734 11th St., N.W.) every Sunday.
There are two shows — one at 10:30 a.m. and another at 1:30 p.m. It’s slated to launch on Sunday, Sept. 11.
Billed as an “electrifying show that brings together some of the hottest men in the DMV,” it promises a “theatrical experience that will leave you begging for more.”
Performers are dancers, aerialists, pole dancers and more. There are games, bottomless mimosas, brunch, go-go boys, “stud” waiters and more. Participants must be 21 to enter. Tickets are $50-65.
Seating is on a first-come-first-served basis. No entry 15 minutes after show time.
SAX is a French-American cuisine restaurant. Full details at saxwdc.com. (JD)
Pretty Boi Drag, a new drag king troupe
Pretty Boi Drag is a drag king collective that hosts day parties, brunch shows and workshops in the District. The shows feature music from DJ Tezrah and audience members are invited to dance and sing along with the kings making shows interactive. Workshops are part lecture and part Q&A for audience members to learn about the drag king experience and create their own drag king persona.
The group’s new brunch show at Acre 121 (1400 Irving St., N.W.) will be on the first Sunday of every month. For $40 enjoy bottomless mimosas, one entree and a show from noon-3 p.m. The first show of the season starts Sunday, Sept. 4.
Pretty Boi Drag also hosts its monthly day parties at the Bier Baron (1523 22nd St., N.W.). On Sunday, Sept. 18 the party’s theme will be #PrettyBoiHigh. The party will be back to school themed. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.
On Sunday, Oct. 16 there will be #APrettyBoiFairyTale, which will be a fairy tale-themed event. Drag kings will perform as fairytale characters to reenact moments from fairy tale stories with a modern twist. The final show of 2016 will be #SundayService on Sunday, Nov. 20. The show will be a secular interpretation of a church service featuring a six-person choir, church fans and ushers.
Co-producer Pretty Rik E says being part of these shows as a troupe member and as an audience member is fun and brings people together.
“Speaking from the perspective as a member of Pretty Boi Drag, we have the best performers and crew in D.C., hands down,” Pretty Rik E says. “More importantly, we are a family. We enjoy spending time with each other outside of performance space as much as we can and turn to each other in times of need or celebration. From the perspective of an audience member, we like to think we create an environment of fun and camaraderie whenever we put on a show. Our goal is to have every audience member leave our shows having had an experience.” prettyboidrag.com. (MC)
WhiskHER, a new bi and trans queer party
WhiskHER is a brand new bisexual and trans-inclusive queer party that will take place at the Old Engine 12 Restaurant (1626 N Capitol St., N.W.) every fourth Friday of the month.
The V D.C. promoters behind the queer party GlittHER ended the event after the head promoter moved to San Francisco. Wanting to keep the same spirit alive in a different event, WhiskHER was born from GlittHER’s resident DJ Tezrah and Katy Ray, an active member of D.C.’s queer women’s community. Its opening party kicked off on Aug. 26. DJ Tezrah and Katy Ray say they have plenty of ideas for future parties. The pair want to include various DJs, live performances, artists, contests and different themes into this new party scene.
“Since GlittHER was consistently successful for three years, WhiskHER strives to emulate GlittHER’s positive presence while primarily possessing its own, distinct entity,” DJ Tezrah says.
Details at facebook.com/whiskherdc. (MC)
East City Bookshop, a new bookstore on Capitol Hill
Conventional wisdom has it that launching a new brick-and-mortar bookstore in this day and age and going up against Amazon is nuts. But there are some Davids out there making a case for themselves among all the Internet Goliaths.
East City Bookshop is a new queer-friendly space that opened at 645 Pennsylvania Ave., S.E. (suite 100) on April 30 on Capitol Hill. Sensing what she felt was a need after Trover Shop Bookstore closed in 2009 after 51 years in business, Laurie Gillman, a Washington resident since 1991, pounced.
“I was so annoyed I’d have to go to Virginia to go to a bookstore,” says the 50-year-old Gillman, who’s straight. “Even after my kids were older, I kept thinking, ‘Why do we not have a bookstore here? This is a perfectly good bookstore neighborhood.’ I began to think maybe I should open one.”
Gillman, who also lives in the neighborhood, went to Florida for a weeklong course offered by Paz and Associates, a group that offers seminars on how to open modern-day bookstores and the challenges entrepreneurs are likely to face. She says the “bottom of the valley” for bookstores was about 2009 but once so many were gone, people started to miss them.
“It’s actually a really good time because people do want actual books a lot of the time. They like to browse and pick things up and flip through them,” Gillman says. “And bookstores are such community spaces. … More bookstores have been opening than closing in the last few years.”
East City has about 3,200 square feet of retail space that Gillman rents in what she calls a “funky, little shopping center” right by the Eastern Market Metro. Labyrinth, a board game and role-playing game shop, is next door and offers “a nice mix of customers and items.” She has about 12,000 books in stock in all genres, including a large kids’ section, a bargain book section and everything in between. LGBT content is spread throughout — just because a mystery might have LGBT protagonists, for instance, did not justify putting all the gay stuff in one section, Gillman felt.
And so far business has exceeded her expectations. She hoped to turn a profit by the five-year point. If things continue at the present pace, she says that might be more like three years.
Gay authors are peppered throughout the upcoming events schedule. This week out author Gregg Shapiro shared readings from his new short-story collection, “How to Whistle.” On Friday, Sept. 16, comic artist Ed Luce will talk about his underground hit series “Wuvable Oaf,” set in San Francisco’s queer music scene. Full schedule is online at eastcitybookshop.com. (JD)