The Vicious Poodle will be located on Johnson Street between Douglas and Blanshard streets. (Google Maps)

New gay pub to open in Victoria in the new year

The Vicious Poodle will be relaxed setting and host drag shows as well

A new space for the LGBT+ community will soon open its doors in Victoria.

The Vicious Poodle, a gay pub in downtown Victoria, is set to open early in the new year.

Socrates Diamant, the owner of The Vicious Poodle, has been in the restaurant business for years and ran a couple of gay bars in New York City. Having grown up in Calgary, he made the move back to Canada and to Victoria eight years ago.

Diamant said he took note of the pub culture in Victoria and the love for local draft beers and relaxed settings. He decided to open a space for people to relax, enjoy a drink or have lunch or dinner.

“Victoria is a rapidly growing city with a vibrant queer community and very little infrastructure,” Diamant said. “I think the community here is underserved and we need a little bit more choice…to do something different than a nightclub.”

READ ALSO: PHOTOS: 50 years of LGBTQ pride showcased in protests, parades

Drag shows will also be hosted at the pub from time-to-time, according to Diamant who noted that the space will be complementary to Paparazzi Nightclub, an LGBTQ night club in Victoria’s downtown.

In September, Diamant signed a lease for the pub which will be located on Johnson Street between Blanshard and Douglas streets. A Facebook post announcing the soon-to-come space saw 165 comments and over 500 likes from people supporting Diamant’s endeavour. Diamant said seeing the reaction from the public had him “gobsmacked.”

Kelly Legge, director at large and chair of youth initiatives with the Victoria Pride Society, said she thinks the new pub will be a great thing for the queer community.

“Our community is very diverse and we have diverse interests,” Legge said. “We gather in different ways and pubs can be fantastic places to share food and meet one another.”

Having another business that is queer-owned and dedicated to the queer community is important as well, Legge said, noting that it can be a “beacon” for the queer community as a gathering place.

READ ALSO: Chilliwack homeowners get rainbow driveway after city rejects Pride crosswalk

Legge, who is also a member of the drag community in Victoria, said it is exciting to have another spot for people to enjoy shows.

“Drag has historically been showcased in bars and it hasn’t been accessible to everyone who is underage or who don’t go to bars so I love the idea of making queer art accessible,” Legge said.

The Vicious Poodle is currently in the remodelling stage and Diamant is waiting for appropriate approvals like a liquor licence to come through as well. He said he has received offers from several people to help out or be involved and is grateful for the support.

“Opening a business is not for the faint of heart,” Diamant said.

As someone who worked in a queer neighbourhood in New York City at a gay bar, Diamant considered himself lucky to experience being in an environment set up for the queer community.

“Part of my vision is to recreate that experience on a small scale and have a place where not just the community can come in and enjoy it, but to also be an employer,” Diamant said. “The people that work here and come here are going to create the culture of the space…It’ll be unique.”

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The Vicious Poodle will be located on Johnson Street between Douglas and Blanshard streets and is set to open early in the new year. (Socrates Diamant/Facebook)

Just Posted

Sidney’s Cascadia Seaweed hopes to float to the top of a growing industry

Food products based on seaweed could hit local shelves in spring 2021

New Oak Bay officer on the traffic beat

Const. Jeff Savoy a ‘top traffic enforcement officer’

Deadline looms to take Esquimalt’s waste stream survey

Township wants residents, business owners’ thoughts on integrated resource management

West Shore Rotary Club raises $20,000 with Golf Ball Drop fundraiser

Nearly 4,000 golf balls poured onto Olympic View golf course Saturday

Construction slows weekend traffic at Millstream overpass

West Shore RCMP recommend Leigh Road exit instead

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Most Read