Sunday, January 1, 2012

January 2012

As you know, Poppets, I frequently write my way down the coast, hitting Seattle, Portland, and, at least once, California. I’ve even headed all the way south to Mexico and east to tell you about events happening in New England. For some reason, though, I’ve never gone just east to Spokane. It wasn’t intentional; it just…didn’t happen. Too far, too under the radar. Who knows?

Then Dempsey’s, that Spokane institution, closed back in November and I’d never once reminded you about their drinks, their music, or their drag shows. It was a good, if startling, reminder that even our institutions can go under if we’re not vigilant. Admittedly, I don’t know why Dempsey’s closed. Reports are inconsistent and I’m not going to speculate. What I do know is it’s gone.

Not wanting to make that same mistake again, I’m using this month to tell you about Hollyrock, a new club in Spokane Valley. Is it further than Seattle or Portland? Sure. But it’s a damn site closer than California, Mexico or Boston, so why not, right? Plus, the place sounds really great.

Part gathering place, part community outreach, Hollyrock is more concerned with being a safe place for everyone, than making its owner wealthy. From 4:00 pm, when it opens, until 9:00 pm, teens 16 and older are allowed – and encouraged - to come, hang out, have a place to get away from the daily grind, and just be. This would be enough to make me love the place, if it was all Hollyrock offered (you know my soft spot for teenagers, Poppets), but it’s not.

The owner, Robin Tuttle, is aiming for a totally inclusive environment, rather than just being another gay club. LGBTQs, their allies, and straight folks are all equally welcomed, equally wanted. The food is a step or three above typical bar fare, making it an actual restaurant, instead of just a place to grab something greasy to help balance the booze. Many of the drag performers who kept Dempsey’s hopping have made the move to Hollyrock, as well, so you know the quality of talent is there.

It’s a new venture, during a time when new ventures are risky. And, sure, it’s a little out of the way, but what better way to shake off the post-holiday blahs than a weekend away, supporting an exciting new venture? I can’t think of much. So hang with Betty at Rumors on Wednesday, and then make a run to Spokane and check out Hollyrock on the weekend. They’re open seven days a week, 4 pm-2 am, at 20 N. Raymond, Spokane Valley, WA 99206. For more information, give them a call: 509-413-2793.

It’s a new year, Poppets. Let’s have an adventure or two, starting in Spokane. Until next month, take care of you.

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