Location: 2321 Arsenal Street, St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Opened: July 2015
Closed: May 2016
From out in stl:
Excerpt from interview with Kristin Goodman:
Can you tell me about the idea behind Lilly’s Music & Social House?
When we were getting ready to open Lilly’s, Novak’s had already been closed for two years. People — women in particular — were sort of at a loss, especially women who are in their late 30s and 40s and 50s. A lot of women in that age group are not out at work, or they’re not out to their families yet, so LGBT bars and spaces are really important for that age group.
When we were thinking about opening a place, I wanted it to feature a lot of light music and make it a place where that lesbian who lives out in Ballwin or Crestwood would feel totally comfortable.
When we were brainstorming with the staff about our mission, we landed on “safe space for women, welcoming space for all.” That really was the driver for all of the decisions we made, from menu items to price points on cocktails to the atmosphere.
We probably were in the wrong-sized space for what we were trying to do. We’d have an awesome band on Friday night and be slammed, and people would come in and hunker down and maybe order dinner or a cocktail and then sit there and watch the band the whole night. With only about 40 seats in the place, we weren’t getting the volume that we needed to sustain us on a slow Tuesday or Wednesday night.
It was an amazing learning experience, and I was sad when it closed, but I don’t regret it. It connected people to other friends that they didn’t know before, and now they’re all still hanging out and doing their own parties and social gatherings.