Look out, WeHo. Looks like downtown may once again be staking its claim as an equally viable LGBTQ epicenter in Los Angeles.
Andres Rigal, club promoter and co-founder of the DTLA Proud Festival, announced today via his social media a brand-new venue to open next year, and judging by the artist's rendition and words he shared about the project today, it will offer a modern and eye-catching meeting place for gay patrons and their friends to socialize, interact and imbibe.
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The new venue sees Rigal partnering with Bar 10 West Hollywood on a location near the corner of Fourth Street and Broadway. He revealed the venue's name will be Bar Menagerie & French Exit. After his posting, Rigal provided L.A. Weekly with more exclusive information as well as his personal goals with the project.
"Bar Menagerie & French Exit are joining an already robust community, and we all look forward to continue building and elevating DTLA in what, I feel, is a defining moment in queer downtown Los Angeles history," Rigal said. "Historically, queer communities in Los Angeles have been somewhat isolated, and DTLA gives us the opportunity to entice a diverse cross-section in nightlife. Given all my experience in the nightlife community, I feel as though the most magic takes place at the intersection of high and low, glitter and grit. What better place to fuel those exchanges than DTLA, where we have South Park and Skid Row all in the same town? Which is exactly why we chose the Historic Core, to perfectly situate us in between all of this diversity."
As we wrote in December, Rigal has been a major mover and shaker in gay nightlife for well over 10 years, throwing popular events on both the west and east sides of Los Angeles. The 2016 DTLA Proud event in downtown attracted 10,000 people to Pershing Square, while 2017's expanded to two days and 20,000 guests and 2018’s event on August 25th & 26th promises to be bigger than ever.
Rigal hasn't abandoned West Hollywood just yet, either. He currently hosts one of its hottest dance parties, Evita, every Friday at Bootsy Bellows, on the west end of the Sunset Strip.