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The pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges for everyone, and the lively, upbeat mood of West Hollywood has noticeably changed. Nevertheless, this June marks the 50th anniversary of L.A. Pride, and the Abbey has shown its pride with everyone for the last 29 years.  The community has faced many challenges and difficult times before, but the Abbey’s sense of community and dedication to supporting loved ones and neighbors remains strong.

The celebration will be different this year, but no less prideful. The Abbey team has graciously shared their tips for a DIY Drag Brunch you can kick your heels off to at home under quarantine.

“We are deeply missing being able to celebrate Pride hand-in-hand with everyone and pay respects for the passing of beloved LGBT activist Larry Kramer, who fought so hard during the AIDS epidemic,” general manager Todd Barnes tells L.A. Weekly. Although we’re unable to celebrate in the traditional way like years past, we are grateful for our Abbey staff, patrons and community for still rallying together to show our pride in whatever unique and innovative ways we can.  Nothing can take away our pride.”

Pride 2019 (Courtesy The Abbey)

One of the first bars to close at COVID-19’s onset — even before the mandated closures — it’s still uncertain when the Abbey will re-open.

“We won’t reopen until all of the public health officials tell us it is safe to do so, especially since there are over 100,000 people who have lost their lives to COVID-19,” Barnes says. “When we do re-open, we will be a restaurant first, nightclub later, limiting our occupancy to controllable levels to maintain social distancing because it’s in the best interest of the safety of our staff and our customers.

But until then, here are some ideas for a prideful party, starting with drag queen fashion tips from Allusia Alusia:

“Pride celebrations are the most cherished and looked forward to moments of the year for so many of us, so it’s important to be prepared with the right outfit and vibe for each and every Pride occasion! I firmly stick to the fashion belief that more is more, so don’t ever be afraid to pile it on! If it feels excessive, add one more piece and maybe some glitter.

2019 Pride (Courtesy The Abbey)

If you haven’t had a chance to go out Pride shopping this year, never fear! There are plenty of ways you can jazz up some pieces you may have just laying around the house. All you need is some superglue and bag of rhinestones that you can buy online. Old sunglasses? Glue some rhinestones on them! Dollar store headband? Glue some rhinestones on it! Glue some of those disco ball key chains on it too.

Do you have a pack of those pride rainbow napkins? Look up a YouTube video on how to fold them into an origami rose and glue those to headband! Do you see where I’m going here? You can turn almost every spare household item into a customized personal pride jamboree. Personally, I’ve always been a fan of vibrant rhinestoned rainbow legging, and a can-do attitude,” Allusia tells us. “Feel the freedom to wear whatever makes you feel your most amazing you and be PROUD!”

“One thing that I feel is a very important addition to your Pride Ensemble this year is a mask,” the drag queen adds. “If you plan on going out to a gathering this year, it’s important to protect the health of others, and you can do so in a way that makes a bold personalized statement. Rhinestoning a masc… sorry…mask… is super easy! Place one small dot of superglue everywhere you want there to be a rhinestone. Then just pick up your stone and gently set it on top of the dot of glue. Now, if you don’t already have a mask in a color or pattern that matches your ideal celebratory look, just ask a drag queen. Many drag queens that you may already know, know how to sew! And many queens that I know have been churning out designer masks that look runway ready on subway budget.”

“Remember darlings, the most important part of your Pride outfit is you. So love yourself, love others, wash your hands and stay safe!”

No crowds this year (Courtesy The Abbey)

Abbey resident DJ Dawna Montel says keep it uplifting and fun and try a theme like Motown or the ’80s and suggests the following playlist:

  • “I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross
  • “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor
  • “Dancing Queen” by ABBA
  • “Flawless” by The Ones
  • “Gypsy Woman” by Crystal Waters
  • “I’m Every Woman” by Whitney Houston
  • “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by Cindy Lauper
  • “Vogue” by Madonna
  • “Bad Girls” by Donna Summer
  • “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge

Once you’ve worked up an appetite after lots of dancing, fill up on these Abbey classics:

Abbey Breakfast (serves two)

Ingredients 

  • 6 eggs
  • Butter
  • 1 lb. fingerling potatoes
  • .4 oz. thyme
  • .4 oz. rosemary
  • Olive oil
  • Bacon and/or sausage of your choice

Directions

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. For country potatoes, cut fingerling potatoes into quarter-inch slices, and rough chop thyme and rosemary. Mix in a bowl the potatoes, thyme, rosemary and olive oil,  then put on a sheet pan and in the oven for 15 minutes until cooked to preference (for crispy, cook for five more minutes).
  • Cook bacon or sausage in skillet
  • Heat up the nonstick pan and olive oil; crack your three eggs and cook to your liking
  • After everything is cooked, set up in a plate and enjoy

Almond and Banana French Toast (serves two)

Ingredients 

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 oz. sliced almonds, raw
  • 4 slices of ½ in thick brioche bread
  • 1 banana
  • Nutella

Directions

  • Mix eggs, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and milk in bowl
  • Heat up a nonstick pan at medium heat and add butter for easy peel
  • Cook one by one so the skillet won’t get cold and dip brioche bun lightly inside the mix and put into the skillet. Add sliced almonds on top side and turn down the heat to low, and flip over for other side to cooked
  • After French toast is cooked, cut bananas and drizzle Nutella on top

Hashed Beef & Eggs (serves two)

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 lb. cooked corned beef
  • 1 lb. of fingerling potatoes
  • 4 oz thyme
  • 4 oz rosemary
  • Butter
  • Cheddar cheese

Directions

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. For country potatoes, cut fingerling potatoes into quarter-inch slices, and rough chop thyme and rosemary. Mix in a bowl the potatoes, thyme, rosemary and olive oil,  then put on a sheet pan and in the oven for 15 minutes until cooked to preference (for crispy, cook for five more minutes).
  • Heat up skillet or nonstick pan to medium heat and add the corned beef until nice and crispy
  • Add cooked potatoes to corned beef and mix all together add cheddar cheese while still warm
  • Cook eggs to preference and add to mix of hash and beef
  • Place hash and beef on a plate and add egg on top

Wash it down with an Abbey Sunrise (2 oz. of  both Cîroc peach and orange juice in a Collins glass garnished with orange and a cherry) or a Wild Berry martini ( 1.5 oz Cîroc black raspberry, dash of grenadine that’s shaken, strained into a martini glass and garnished with fresh summer berries).