Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Lace DC (Lace on the Avenue)

Lace DC (Lace on the Avenue)
Lace DC (aka Lace on the Avenue)

Location: 2214 Rhode Island Avenue NE, Washington, DC, USA

Opened: November 15, 2008

Closed: August 2013

From Tagg Magazine:

Lace DC Lists Property For Sale

Eboné Bell | August 14, 2013

Lesbian-owned bar and restaurant goes on the market

August 14, 2013

Is Lace DC Closing? According to a listing on LoopNet, lesbian-owned bar Lace DC recently listed their space for sale. The listing price is $795,000, which averages to approximately $397.50 per square foot. Lace DC, also called “Lace on the Avenue” is located on Rhode Island Avenue in northeast Washington, D.C.

Owner, Linda McAllister opened the bar/restaurant on November 15, 2008 as a lesbian establishment. Over the past few years, the bar has promoted itself as a ladies nightclub and a neighborhood bar. Lace hosted happy hours, karaoke, jazz events, sex toy parties, ladies nights, and football gatherings, but was never able to find its niche.

Long-time chef, Raymond Crook who recently left Lace in December 2012 was surprised to hear about the news. Crook was known for his signature dishes and trying to create an atmosphere open to all clientele.

“If Lace had of embraced the whole community, then it would have been more successful,” says Crook. “I think it lacked the responsibility needed to run an establishment like this.”

The current listing states that the establishment is “Open and Ready for Business” and boasts a “spacious commercial kitchen, full VIP lounge in basement, and ample storage and parking.”
McAllister could not be reached for comment.

Don't you just love how the former male cook is mansplaining what the owners should have done? Which, of course, from his point of view was "embrace the whole community" (translation: admit more men and cater to them!)

Which I think is distinctly the problem. If your "lesbian bar" is just like every other bar in town (catering to the dudes), then why not stay home? Or if you feel you must go out, why not choose the bar closest to you with the best drinks or music that reflects your tastes and so forth? In fact it might even be safer, since it won't attract the same high percentage of straight men who are obsessed with lesbians and/or cruising swinger dudes.

In all the articles I see on why lesbian bars are disappearing, I think the reasons provided are often half-truths and bizarre generalizations. I think you can go back to basic market theory, myself. Are you offering your customers something they want that's distinctive or provides a "value added" that stands out in the marketplace? Same as why I get my hair cut at this place rather than that one. Or why you get your morning coffee at this shop rather than that one. And lesbian bars no longer offer anything distinctive in terms of catering to women. So who can blame potential customers for defaulting to other criteria (location, price, service, atmosphere, music, etc.)?

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