UPDATE 9 Nov 6:30 pm —
Though he still won’t disclose the new owners’ names, he says they plan to keep the space gay.
Initial attempts to reach the new owners have so far proven unsuccessful.
UPDATE 29 OCT 6 pm —
Oasis owners are giving interested buyers another week to collect the money they need to buy the gay Davie St lounge.
Vinnie Singh and his business partners had hoped to hold on to the Oasis, but feel committed to the negotiations.
Singh admitted earlier this week that if the buyers, who have had financial setbacks coming up with the money, couldn’t make this week’s Thursday deadline, they would not allow an extension.
But he and his business partners changed their minds after hearing from the buyers on Wednesday.
“They really want the place. They’ve already spent $20,000 for things they will put in, and they’ve shown me the receipts,” says Singh. “We decided yesterday that, yes, we’ll give them a week extension. If they can’t come up with the money then we will not sell the place.”
While Singh isn’t disclosing names, he will say that if the deal goes through next Thursday, the new straight owners will definitely be keeping the club gay.
“They see great potential and they want to work with the gay community to make the place better and they have fresh ideas.”
OCT 27 –– The Oasis Lounge on Davie St might be switching hands on Thursday as owners are in the middle of a deal they don’t really want.
Oasis owners were approached by interested buyers some time ago and decided it could be a good opportunity to move on to another gay establishment in the Davie Village.
They’ve since changed their minds but can’t back out now.
“We thought, you know, the offer was great so we could start something else, and that’s the reason why we decided to go ahead with it,” explains current co-owner Vinnie Singh, who along with brother Asish Singh and Edgar Galvan has begun looking into other potential gay lounges in and outside the Village.
“In a way we were hoping they wouldn’t close [the deal],” Singh confides.
“We thought, well, we’ve already made a commitment to sell the place, but there is a chance it will not be sold. They had some financial problems and we got a few phone calls from them asking us for an extension for another couple of weeks, and we said no – no extension. If you can’t come up with the money on Thursday, you can’t close.
“We’ve been there for several months,” Singh notes of the Oasis. “We really love the place. We really love the community. We’re hoping that they don’t close [the deal].”
Singh and his business partners took over ownership of the Oasis Feb 1, having purchased it from a business group called the Davie Entertainment Zone, which retained ownership of Score on Davie.
At the time, Singh made his commitment to the gay community clear. “It will be absolutely gay,” he told Xtra West back in January.
“It was a gay lounge. We still want to keep it that way,” he said, adding that although he planned to be inclusive of straight customers, the lounge’s theme and events would retain their gay focus.
Singh won’t say who the interested party is now.
But he and his business partners are not looking for anyone else if these potential buyers don’t make the Thursday deadline, he says.
“We would want to stick to Davie Village because it is the safest and less headache business, actually,” says Singh.
“We looked at other places and we looked at other locations as well, besides Davie St. They are really expensive and we’ve had a lot of problems with it. Every location has problems, right?
“For the past several months, we didn’t find one single problem [at Oasis] and we like that. We don’t have problems. We don’t have fights. We had a few noise complaints but other than that we had no issues.”
A number of gay spaces on Davie St have changed direction in the last few years and diversified their clientele due to increasing difficulties financially maintaining gay nightspots.
Singh doesn’t think Oasis will by de-gaying any time soon, but that question could be one for new owners if the deal closes on Thursday.
“As far as we know it will still stay the same, but the thing is we don’t even know whether we have sold the place or not,” says Singh.
“One moment, we are really happy that we’re selling the place and we can move onto something. At the same time we are sad. We don’t want to sell the place because we can’t find anything else and we love the establishment. Chances are they will not be able to close and I’m hoping for that.”