Ottawa
2 min

Java junkies

Suburban Lesbian Coffee Club a hit

BREWING UP IDEAS. Lesbians don't have to trek downtown to enjoy the Suburban Lesbian Coffee Club. From left to right, founders Kim Meechan and Sharman Potechin, with coffee clubbers Shannon Steele and Genia Whitten. Credit: Shawn Scallen

Coffee and lesbians are proving to be a successful mix in the Ottawa suburbs.



The Suburban Lesbian Coffee Club (SLCC) has taken off, says the club’s mastermind, Kim Meechan – and membership is growing weekly.



“There’s some regulars that are going now,” says Meechan. “It’s established, in just two short months.”



Meechan’s coffee club offers a casual way for lesbians in the west end to hook up and meet new women. There are no membership dues, no rules and, most of all, no pressure.



Lesbians of all ages – married, single or taken – are welcome.



“We’ve basically got a Sunday night coffee club going. People drink coffee and talk,” says Meechan of the club that began early August. “It’s a non-threatening place to meet other women. It’s a non-bar atmosphere so there isn’t a problem with not being able to hear people speak.”



Meechan says the club began when she and her partner, Sharman Potechin, realized that short of trekking downtown, west-end lesbians had nothing to do.



The SLCC is filing a gap, she says, whether women are looking for new friends, old friends – or even Ms Right.



“Any lesbian can come,” explains Meechan. “Just show up. People just order their own coffee and come into our corner. Every week we had at least one woman who was new.”



The casual atmosphere they’ve created has drawn women from as far as Kanata, Manotick, Richmond and Ottawa. She says the club has seen close to 25 different women join them and is friendly toward newcomers.



“They love it, they’re just thrilled that there’s something like that and they’re just glad there’s something happening,”



Meechan says the SLCC has marked its territory at Steamers and received great support from the owner.



“Now the owner reserves the spot at the back with nice chairs and a fireplace for us,” she says. “We used to put a little rainbow flag on the table, but now the numbers are so large it doesn’t matter. It’s obvious.”



As many as 14 women have met at one time, and Meechan adds that the coffee sippers are at various levels of “outness.” She’s impressed with the coffee club’s success and says more like it should crop up around town.



“I think anyone can start one up in their community if they know enough people,” encourages Meechan. “I think the more we do things like that the better it is for women in our community.”



Meechan and Potechin, who operate Out Stuff, say they started the club by advertising in community papers and on websites.



“Other people could do it, anybody could start it themselves,” she says. “If it takes off, it takes off.”



SUBURBAN LESBIAN COFFEE CLUB.

7pm. Every Sunday.

Steamers Coffee House.

12-3570 Strandherd Rd, Barrhaven.

Info: 276-8117.