Bucking a trend over the past few years, which has seen the closing of gay bars, a gay couple is about to launch a new gay establishment in Baltimore. G•A•Y Lounge is set to open on the weekend of April 28-30. The new owners, Joshua Persing and Robert Gay of Hanover, Md., are confident that it will appeal to LGBT patrons because of its unique identity and features.
The operating hours for the lounge-restaurant are slated to be Monday through Friday, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. It will offer small plates that will be served from 4 to 9 p.m., and then at 9 p.m., G•A•Y Lounge becomes a dance bar and cocktail lounge.
“We have always had a passion for the food and beverage industry and had been looking to acquire a space for quite some time,” Persing told the Blade. “With the recent closing of the Baltimore Hippo, we felt that it was the perfect time to bring the community another option, but with a chic, eclectic, West Coast feel.”
Located at 518 North Charles Street between Baltimore’s downtown area and the Mount Vernon neighborhood, G•A•Y Lounge will inhabit the building in which the old Louie’s Bookstore and other succeeding businesses were located. The building was constructed in the early 1900s, says Persing, and “features soaring 17-foot ceilings, ornate Corinthian columns, a fireplace mantel in bas-relief, and a mezzanine level with a lofty view of the space.”
Grand opening weekend will feature New York-based drag performer Sherry Vine on April 28, and Baltimore DJ Ryan Doubleyou will be spinning. On April 29, DJ Ryan Doubleyou will be spinning, and on April 30, G•A•Y Lounge will kick off its first drag brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with an afternoon tea dance to follow.
Co-owner Joshua Persing is enthusiastic about G•A•Y Lounge and its potential popularity.
“With its chic, eclectic style, the promotion of talent from across the U.S., our decadent small plates, brunch, and cocktail menu, and the amazing artistry that will be showcased at our drag shows and drag brunch, we feel that G•A•Y will stand out as an icon within the community,” he says.