I’m sort of loathe to beat a dead horse into the ground when it comes to the recent “Bar Wars” brouhaha but I also think “Fair is Fair”. Floyd Lovelady, the manager of R Place was rather upset about Bill Grey’s column last week about the supposed “War” between two Thursday night club events, ElektroPOP at The Baltic Room and R Place’s new night, Thirsty Thursdays. Since Bill is technically biased (he bartends at ElektroPOP) and though he clearly mentions it is an opinion piece, it’s only fair I print Mr. Lovelady’s rebuttal. I should also mention that Mr. Lovelady also apparently contacted the Seattle Gay News and they printed a story last Friday which did not mention the controversy but that article does use some of the exact language of Mr. Lovelady’s letter to me so I’m assuming he sent a similar letter to SGN which was used in their “interview”.
As for the notion of “Bar Wars” between the two events, it’s a bit silly in my opinion, as I’ve already stated last week. Both are businesses and both are competitors…and, competition is good for the consumer seeking different kinds of nightlife events. R Place and ElektroPOP serve different customer bases and, for those who want to do BOTH, they’re only 3 blocks apart from each other. As to the charges bouncing back and forth between the two, that’s also a bit silly. One: neither one of these events is “original”…drag queens/go go boys/booze specials/dj music and themed events have been around since Coolidge was president. Two: I also don’t see much point in bickering about who created a stripper contest in a gay bar…also not an original idea. From what I’ve learned, one of the partners in Sinfinite claims he PITCHED the idea to the owners of R Place and other than that, had nothing to do with the implementation of the event which obviously Mr. Lovelady put together and made a reality. It’s all water under a very old bridge.
So, in the interest of fairness, here is an edited down version of Mr. Lovelady’s letter to SGS:
I received a message from a friend about an article written for the Seattle Gay Scene by Bill Gray an employee at Baltic Room/ElektroPOP. I read the article, and I was a little shocked. It was stacked with some…total inaccuracies, not to mention it was biased….I would like a total retraction or correction of the inaccuracies. The article claims Sinfinite productions (for) having created our ASS show is simply a complete bald faced lie, or someone has been totally misinformed. The article also claims that we’re copy catting bringing in RuPaul girls for Thirsty Thursday Nights. I think you and I can both agree that we released (the news) 3 weeks ago that we were bringing in RPDR girls only to find out that they’re bringing in a girl this week. (If any “copy catting” is occurring) it seems to me the copy catting is being done by them. As far as them “winning” or “winning for sometime”, they have no idea how many people come into our bar. R Place is doing just fine!
First of all, let me say that ASS and Wet were created by me, as the manager of R Place. I’ve never worked with a production company. I do all the work as an employee of R Place. I don’t know, and have never known who Sinfinite productions is/are. And I have nothing against them…never met them.
R Place is, and always will be, a gay bar that tries to offer its clientele the best possible entertainment with good sized cocktails at a reasonable price. Rick and Steve, the owners have been involved with this community for over 20 years. They open their bar 364 days a year for the community (Closed one for an employee Xmas party). They made a decision a long time ago that they weren’t in this business for the money, but to provide an outlet to the community. They have been a major sponsor to gay sports organizations as well as a big supporter of non profit organizations in this community such as The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Rise and Shine, Northwest Aids, Lambert House, Rise N Shine, and Chicken Soup Brigade to name a few. They are all about supporting the community.
As far as shows, in 2001, ASS (Amateur Strip Show) was created for Thursday Nights and the infamous Strip pole was added. The liquor laws in our city prohibited us from serving alcohol and paying performers to strip. That’s why female clubs like DejaVu and others only serve beer and wine. But I thought, what if it was a contest and the clientele was allowed to strip? We checked with the liquor board and were given the Okay! ASS was born.
We’ve done some Sunday night shows that didn’t catch on. A funk night, a house night, a few more that I cant recall. But that’s the nice thing about working at R Place. We’re not afraid to try new things. In this business, you can’t become complacent or stagnant. With the constant opening of new bars and new clients, you have to always be on your toes. And we take it as a challenge to try and invent nights and reinvent the bar on a consistent basis year after year. We will continue to do so, as customers will see in the coming months. We have some exciting changes coming up inside the bar as well. I won’t say too much, but come in and check it out and let us know what you think.
The new THIRSTY THURSDAY night, is a night to give customers the best music, the way we know how to do it. Great drag performances by national and local stars, cheap strong drinks, and some hot ass gogo boys. And we’re bringing in some new boys you’ve never seen before, as well as our regulars. We figure rather than a 15-20 minute show of boys stripping, you’re getting hours and hours of half naked boys. And we’re doing it all for the same cover price of only $3.
The move of ASS to Wet Wednesdays, is because the shows are so similar, but its very hard to get boys to sign up to do the wet show when its 30 degrees outside. And the Wet show requires a lot of production. We may bring it back in the summertime, we’ll see. But people love the Strip Show and they love the pole. 11 years is a long time for a show, and it will remain at R Place for years to come! Who doesn’t like to see hot boys strip and climb a pole?
As far as what drag entertainment we’ll be bringing in, well, you will just have to wait and see. We will continue to strive to bring Seattle the best possible entertainment. And if you go to our Facebook wall, we’re asking you who you’d like to see. We’re always trying to listen to “R” customers to give them what they want. So come out this Thursday for a great new night.
And, with that, I consider the matter closed. Check out BOTH Thirsty Thursdays at R Place and ElektroPOP! at The Baltic Room. Both are amazing events with good value, amazing performances and semi naked go go boys.