Saturday, December 10, 2011



Location: Vikoriagade 2-4, Copenhagen, Denmark

Opened: Maybe 2007?

Closed: Apparently still open, but now straight and "queer" oriented

From what I can tell, you'd be hard pressed to classify Vela as your typical lesbian venue. From ucityguide:

Previously a strip club, this is now a lesbian club, although the vintage furniture and red colors have remained. Men are welcome too, who will also enjoy the reasonably-priced cocktails and "pussytails."

Well, as we say here in the American midwest, "that's different."

I'm imagining two midwestern dykes who win the lottery and embark on the great Scandinavian tour. After playing tourist in Copenhagan all day, they're looking for a place to go out for the night. Or as we might call this scene, the Case of the Dueling Travel Guides....

Partner A: Are you sure you want to go to this Vela place? I'm looking at Out travel, and I don't think this is a lesbian bar. And it sounds pretty sleezy. Maybe we need to check the guidebooks again, honey. (Partner A points to entry):

Vela is new to the scene. Located in the red light district, it is a former strip club and the red d├ęcor and vintage furniture is still intact. Sunday nights Berlin party is a sure fire blowout.

Partner B (looking dismayed): You're right. That does sound pretty dubious. But wait! (She shuffles around for another guide.) Here at Wikitravel, it's saying this is a lesbian place. Or at least it's "targeted at lesbians." Is that the same thing? (Partner B points to entry):

VELA, the only bar/lounge in town that is targeted at lesbians is on Vesterbro.

Partner A (leafing through yet another guide): Copenhagen Gay Life says it's a gay place. But I'm not seeing lesbian anywhere. And what's with this racist "oriental-style gay gem" crap? And this "pussytail" sh** is really pissing me off. (Partner A points to entry):

A real oriental-style gay gem. This little night club featuring a very special and a bit nostalgic feel is located right in the middle of the trendy neighbourhood Vesterbro. The bar serves cocktails and pussytails at affordable prices. Rent the bar for private events

Partner B (who has already located still another guide): It's not like that! Here at AnOther, it says that Vela is "a former prostitute haunt turned lesbian bar replete with beautiful wood-panelling and turn-of-the century Chinoiserie." I'll have you know that "Chinoiserie" is in a totally different league from "oriental-style" crap. I think it sounds like a perfectly charming place. So there!

Partner A: Not to me! It's sounds like this place just found a fancier way to be snotty AND racist! All I want a pool table, a cold beer, and a place to meet some Danish lesbians. Is that too much to ask?

Partner B: Snotty and racist? You said before it sounded sleezy. Which is it?

Partner A: Snotty, racist, and sleezy. It takes a special talent to hit the triple crown.

Now our dyke travelers look upset and thoroughly dejected.

Partner A: Did you pack The Rough Guide to Denmark? Wait, I think I see it under your jeans jacket. (She pulls out the copy and thumbs through the pages.) Aha! (She points to entry):

Hugely popular oriental-style place that began life as a predominantly lesbian venue - it serves "pussy-tails" as well as cocktails - but now attracts partygoers of all persuasions. Wed-Sat only.

Partner A: See? It's not a lesbian bar anymore! If it ever was one! So we came all the way from Rochester, Minnesota to party with "partygoers of all persuasions"? We could have stayed home for that! And I'd still have my dog!

Partner B: What about that place called Chaca? Isn't that a lesbian bar?

Partner A: Check the guides again. Closed last year. I wish I were back home! At least I'd know where to find a cold beer and a pool table.

Partner B: What? And miss the Little Mermaid statue???

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