“It’s queer, a little bit kinky, you know?” Welcome to Fallout

by | Oct 31, 2023 | EAT DRINK, NIGHTLIFE, PINNED, QUEER RVA

This article originally appeared in Virginia Pride Guide 2023. This is a version formatted for RVA Mag. You can read the whole original issue here.

In the ever-changing landscape of Shockoe Bottom, a district in Richmond, Virginia, one venue has proven to be a steadfast beacon of inclusivity, diversity, and joy for the city’s LGBTQIA community. This place is called Fallout, a nightclub known for its unconventional events and safe space for every kind of alternative lifestyle. Its owner and managing partner, Jackie Bishop, is a driving force behind the club’s creative energy and devotion to community.

Jackie Bishop, manager of Fallout in Shockoe Bottom 2023_photo by jody Adams
Jackie Bishop of Fallout in Shockoe Bottom 2023, Photo by Jody Adams

Describing Fallout is no easy task, as it continues to evolve and adapt to the city’s needs. However, when pressed to characterize it, Jackie says, “It’s queer, a little bit kinky, you know? It’s basically a space for everybody that’s just trying to find a place to belong.”

Fallout’s commitment to inclusivity is clear, even as the city itself grapples with a lack of dedicated safe spaces for the LGBTQIA community. Fallout, alongside Godfrey’s, Babe’s, Thirty’s and Diversity Richmond, serves as an exception — a place where people are free to be themselves.

Bishop articulates the importance of these spaces, saying, “The most important thing when it comes to socializing is that everybody has a place to go. That they feel that they can have a good time and feel okay to be themselves.” This philosophy is what has led Fallout to become a cherished venue for those seeking acceptance.

Fallout in Shockoe Bottom – Image courtesy of Fallout

Fallout’s transformation from a private lifestyle space to its current form was not an overnight process. As Bishop took over the venue in late 2014, she had a vision to make it not only an entertainment hub but also a community center. “I want a community center with drinks,” she laughs.

The evolution of Fallout coincided with significant shifts in Richmond, both legally and culturally, such as the legalization of gay marriage and the re-growth of Shockoe Bottom as an entertainment district. Despite these changes, Fallout has remained true to its ethos.

From dance parties with drag queens to unconventional events like Butch Lube Wrestling (a fundraiser for gender-affirming surgery), Fallout is unafraid to push boundaries and create unforgettable experiences. These events are more than mere entertainment; they are an expression of the club’s unique personality and a celebration of diversity.

Fallout Butch Lube Wrestling 2023, photos by Alicia Helm
Photos by Alicia Helm @long_leash

When asked about her favorite events, Bishop lists a dance party called Gagged and a summer night where they “make it rain inside the building.” These fantastical celebrations capture the essence of Fallout, a place where creativity and community blend seamlessly.

The legacy of Fallout extends beyond its wild events and lively dance floors. It’s a sanctuary where people of all backgrounds, preferences, and lifestyles can find solace, joy, and acceptance. Through the heartfelt efforts of Jackie Bishop and her team, Fallout has become a symbol of what a community can achieve when love, understanding, and the freedom to be oneself are prioritized.

We mention to Bishop, “I need to go. I need to come by there more often!” Fallout beckons all who seek a place to belong—a place where they can be unapologetically themselves. With its doors open to anyone seeking refuge, fun, or a dance in the rain, Fallout stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of inclusivity and creativity that makes Richmond’s LGBTQIA community thrive.

Top photo of Jackie Bishop by Jody Adams

PAST EVENTS AT FALLOUT

Photos in the gallery are by Alicia Helm @long_leash and Bailey Kathryn Photography @baileykathrynphoto

R. Anthony Harris

R. Anthony Harris

I created Richmond, Virginia’s culture publication RVA Magazine and brought the first Richmond Mural Project to town. Designed the first brand for the Richmond’s First Fridays Artwalk and promoted the citywide “RVA” brand before the city adopted it as the official moniker. I threw a bunch of parties. Printed a lot of magazines. Met so many fantastic people in the process. Professional work: www.majormajor.me




more in eat drink

RVA 5×5 | Substantial Doubt of Competency, More Meals Tax Issues

While the Mayor and friends were busy celebrating the AAA bond rating upgrade atop City Hall, inside the lower levels the city continues to fall apart. Most notably, the meals tax fiasco that we were told was being handled and improved is showing more and different...

Wave That Flag! Richmond’s Pride 2024 Events Are Here to Slay

We are a little late on this but Virginia Pride has unveiled the schedule for its annual "Endless Summer of Pride" campaign, a celebration of the Richmond region's LGBTQ community. The campaign kicked off on May 31 with a pride flag-raising ceremony at City Hall,...

Time For A Richmond Pizza Date!

Over the last decade Richmond has become a proper pizza town. Local pizzerias dish up a variety of styles at every price range. Pizza is the food of the people so naturally it makes a great date. You can learn a lot about a person across a slice. Are they a folder?...

RVA 5×5 | Legend Brewing Co. is Looking to Sell

This Business of the Week story is somewhat bittersweet as Mike Platania at Richmond BizSense reported that Legend Brewing Co. is looking to sell its property and maybe their assets and formula as well. Last month they put their 1.3-acre property on 7th Street in...

Cicadas on the Menu in Richmond!

In late April or in early May, trillions of cicadas will emerge in various U.S. states. These periodical cicadas, from Brood XIX and Brood XIII, surface after 13 and 17 years, respectively, and will appear in unprecedented numbers. Virginia will experience this mostly...

Congrats 821 Cafe! A Favorite Richmond Hang Out Turns Twenty

821 Cafe, the unassuming diner/restaurant/bar on the corner of Cherry and Cary streets - where Oregon Hill and the Fan meet - turns 20 years old in its current incarnation. Andrew Clarke and Chip Cooke bought the place from its previous owners back in 2004, and have...

JewFro restaurant was robbed. Help them bounce back.

We were made aware of this post from the restaurant and wanted to lend our support. If you have any details that could assist, please step forward and notify the authorities. Additionally, there's a GoFundMe campaign established to aid their recovery, which you can...

Behind the Rebirth: Inside Story of Harry’s at the Hofheimer

I was strolling down Broad Street on what was an unseasonably beautiful day in March, and as I rounded the corner at Arthur Ashe Boulevard I was greeted by the familiar yet striking architecture of The Hofheimer Building. I was making my way there that day to meet...