A lesbian bar functioning partly as a music space and also as a mutual aid hub is heading to Astoria, Queens.
Kristin “Dave” Dausch, the owner and founder of Dave’s Lesbian Bar, will host a summer pop-up in partnership with the bar Heart of Gold on July 24 at 2 p.m. on 37th Street and 31st Avenue in Astoria. Attendees can expect live music from queer bands, including the owner’s band “Themme,” as well as flash tattoos and queer undercuts. Dausch, a singer, performer, and open mic host, said they envision a space where LGBTQ folks can listen to queer artists while perusing a free clothing rack, donating to a local food pantry, or grabbing fruit from their in-house community fridge. The owner hopes this mutual aid model can encourage others to help those in need.
“Because money is fake and community is real,” Dausch said, referring to the importance of building resources for marginalized folks. “It has just been rewarding that everybody I’m around is giving a little bit of themselves, to make all of us better.”
In the future, they added that this could also apply to ticket sales at the venue, “‘Oh, you bring groceries, you see the show,’ come see the show with non-perishables so that we can give them to the community.”
The venue is hoping to build momentum for the watering hole before they secure a spot of their own. Since launching a GoFundMe for the bar, they have raised more than $7,000 of their $70,000 goal.
The creation of the pop-up is especially timely given that several lesbian pubs have shuttered in the US due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In New York, the lesbian bar Ginger’s in Brooklyn is closed indefinitely while Cubbyhole and Henrietta Hudson in Manhattan are open. With only two lesbian bars open, Dausch is ready to join the select few.
“It’s time for us to take some space for ourselves,” Dausch said. “I’m very proud to be loud enough to say let’s go.”
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