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Four timeless gay bars have closed in West Hollywood amid the pandemic: Flaming Saddles, Gold Coast, Rage, and Gym Bar. Despite trying global circumstances, owner Ryan Floyd is completing the permitting process for Stache, a new LGBTQ+ bar situated at 8914 Santa Monica Blvd. that may begin to fill the void.
“With so many of our beloved establishments closing this year it’s critical that we start rebuilding our community,” wrote Floyd on Instagram. Floyd did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
So-named to honor the millions of gay men who succumbed to the AIDS epidemic in the ’80s and to celebrate the resilience of the LGBTQ+ community (much like a mustache, it will grow back even thicker if you try removing it), Floyd wrote that the City of West Hollywood will be reviewing plans for the establishment on Thursday, January 20. A support letter to indicate the community’s backing to the body is available to sign on the upcoming bar’s website.
Stache will be a full-service restaurant, serving only plant-based offerings for lunch and dinner. Complete with a cafe-style espresso bar, the establishment will serve lunch and dinner on weekdays and brunch on weekends.
A dance floor, stage and DJ booth will facilitate events planned for the space, including drag queen bingo and themed music nights. More interpersonal events, like vogue-ing classes, political watch parties, book clubs featuring queer authors and short film festivals are also planned for the future location of Stache.
“Our mission is to create a place that will become a cornerstone of our community. A safe and fun place for all to continue to grow, connect and thrive,” reads the potential bar’s website. It will… exist as a ‘social house’… host[ing] events [that] foster queer collectivity.”
According to the City of West Hollywood, the former sites of Cafe D’Etoile and Bumsam will be combined for a collective 3,093 square-foot space (including both the bar’s interior and its outdoor dining area, which measures at 375 square feet). Sound-absorbing materials are proposed for the building’s interior, along with high-tech directional speakers meant to direct music to the bar’s interior and not out onto the street. The building’s proposed exterior canopy will simultaneously protect diners from the rain and muffle sound from inside even further.
“Many have said we’re crazy opening a new venue in the currently devastated hospitality industry, but we believe it’s our responsibility to rebuild our community,” reads the upcoming establishment’s website. “In doing so we keep our family and neighborhoods healthy, motivated and connected.”