A group of West End entrepreneurs is taking over the former Fresgo Inn restaurant at 1138 Davie St to open a queer dinner and show lounge to be called The Majestic Restaurant and Lounge.
While an opening date has yet to be set, Steve Bauer, Vince Marino and Murray Kryski say the new place will fill a much-needed niche in the city’s queer nightlife.
Bauer says The Majestic will feature live entertainment, including drag acts. “It’s multi-purpose,” he says. “Come in, have a drink, have a meal and enjoy a show.”
Marino says the menu has not been finalized, but he promises a culinary treat. “We want to do something that will fit with the calibre of the venue,” he says.
Marino says he and his partners jumped at the Fresgo space because other available venues did not appeal to the diversity of the queer community.
“The Majestic will do that,” he says. “I think it’s something that is missing and needed. It will add to the mix on the street.”
Bauer and Marino, who also co-own the PumpJack Pub, recently got within months of opening a queer bar in the old Denman Station space at 860 Denman St.
As they were about to embark on renovations, however, they discovered flood damage that meant the place needed to be gutted completely–including plumbing, ventilation and electrical. Marino says the costs of turning the now-empty basement into a bar would have made the venture financially unviable. He also says he was concerned about feedback he received from queer people who weren’t interested in visiting a subterranean bar.
“The deal isn’t completely dead,” he says, “but it’s unlikely at this point.”