Pasadena’s only gay bar is back with no cover, karaoke and drag
After 15 months of closure due to the coronavirus epidemic and on the verge of closing its doors, the Boulevard, the only gay bar in Pasadena, is open again, without social distancing and with live entertainment. Still, to be sure, owner Steve Terradot only allows people who say they are fully vaccinated. Terradot says: âThere is a double celebration here. A lot of people see this as the end of COVID, which it is safe to go out and mingle with, so people are just happy to be here and be among their friends and celebrate. There are also those people who are celebrating their return to their gay bar. “
Performers like drag queen Nico Cervantes, stage name “Borgia Bloom”, also celebrate. âSo before we had to wear a mask and a shield, it was really humbling because as drag queens we lip sync, we use our lips, we use our mouths, we use our expressions, and we couldn’t do anything. doing it all, you literally just saw our eyes. We were tipping with buckets and butterfly nets. Part of the drag culture, the tip part, is not just for the queen to earn money. money but it’s interactive, you have a connection when you take that dollar bill with every person that comes and [you] make them feel special, make them feel like part of the show.
The boulevard was saved thanks to efforts like those of longtime patrons Mark Chou and his partner, Mark Lanza, who launched a GoFundMe page to raise funds for the bar and donated their time to help with necessary repairs. . Both brands refer to the Boulevard as gay âCheersâ (in reference to the long-running TV series) because there are so many repeat customers who know your name. Lanza, who moved to Los Angeles 30 years ago from Louisiana, says: âI was used to small town type bars, and after 30 years this is the only place I have ever found. that looks like this. It’s a gay bar. , it’s a straight bar, it’s a trans bar, it’s a drag bar, it’s a karaoke bar, it’s a bar where you can go no matter who you are and feel comfortable . Everyone loves coming here because it’s just fun, it’s just a great place to hang out with friends and meet new people.
On a Friday night when people sang and listened to karaoke until 2 a.m. closing time, owner Terradot was very grateful to be back with his employees, friends and customers, to see so many people having a great time. good time. âThere’s a level of energy in there that I haven’t felt in years. Everyone is happy, that’s the best thing. Do you know that old saying about taking things for granted? I almost felt like I took it for granted and it was always going to be here and then when it was gone you know how I feel right now, total gratitude. I’m so happy we’re back here because during COVID I wasn’t sure we were going to come back here. Now we’re back here and it’s amazing.
This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.