LGBTQ bars and restaurants are the lifeblood of our community culture here in Richmond, and the COVID-19 outbreak has placed a heavy strain on them all. Here’s how you can help make sure they stick around.
As we are all aware, the COVID-19 pandemic has upended the way restaurants and bars do business — if they’re even able to be open at all. Thousands of local establishments are closed completely for the foreseeable future. Others have reconfigured their business to provide take out, curbside pick-up, or delivery service. Doing so has required incredible creativity and tenacity, especially for our local LGBTQ establishments that don’t necessarily fit the mold of a traditional full-service restaurant.
While each establishment has taken a slightly different approach, their goals remain the same: stay open and provide as much support for their employees as possible.
We reached out to Barcode, Godfrey’s, Thirsty’s, Babes of Carytown, and Fallout RVA to find out what (and how) they’re doing, to let you know how you can still enjoy their food, drinks, and entertainment while providing them with much-needed support for their owners and staffs through these challenging times.
As of Friday, April 17, Barcode has suspended its take-out and delivery service. Manager Matt Butler wrote in a Facebook post:
“As of today – we had to stop doing our to-go and curbside. For everyone that tried to order – through the site – or pick up a gift card – or jumped in to help us fix our window… from the bottom of my heart, I thank you. We’re gonna do our very best to weather this storm and hopefully will be able to resume service as soon as some of the restrictions placed on restaurants and bars are lifted/lessened. My heart is a little heavy today knowing that I won’t be able to do what I love and be there for you guys for a while. Looking forward to when this is all done and over with.”
You can still support Barcode’s employees by donating to its relief fund:
Godfrey’s has turned its world-famous Drag Brunch into a virtual experience, complete with brunch food and mimosas to go. They’ve recently expanded to include a late-night take-out menu on Wednesdays during the Godfrey’s Angels live online drag show. Owner Brian Thomas says that viewership is consistently good and that some aspects of the new virtual drag experiences may last beyond the COVID-19 quarantine.
Godfrey’s pick-up menu: Godfreysrva.com
Hours: Late-night bar menu Wednesday 7:00 -10:00 pm; Sunday Brunch menu 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Phone-in orders only: 804-648-3957
Godfrey’s Employee Relief Fund: gofundme.com/f/save-godfrey039s-richmond-virginia
Thirsty’s offers its Cajun-inspired fare for take-out, including daily specials that pair food with adult beverages for one low price. Beer, wine and cocktails are also available for pick-up. Owner Keyan Herron says that delivery may become an option soon. Check out Thirsty’s Facebook and Instagram for details.
Take-out menu: Thirstysrva.com
Hours: Daily 3:00 pm-10:00 pm
Phone-in orders: 804-918-3080
Fallout owner Jackie Bishop Wells says the last month or so has been the most challenging ever for her, professionally and personally. Her primary goal has been to revamp her business model so that the business can survive and to support her team, which she considers family, as much as possible. She’s also using this time to do maintenance projects on the club.
Fallout is offering carryout, curbside pick-up and delivery of food, beer, cider, seltzer, mead and wine. They’ll also fill growlers up to 64 ounces, if you supply the growler. Fallout merchandise, including rope and paddles, is also available for sale through an online store. They even have rolls of toilet paper for sale!
Jackie says that Fallout, known for its entertainment, will soon be streaming shows, including DJs, drag shows and concerts. All proceeds from online shows will go to support performers and artists.
Pick-up and delivery menu: falloutrva.com
Hours: Monday-Saturday 5:00 pm-11:00 pm; Sunday 11:00 am-11:00 pm
Online ordering: falloutrva.com
Phone orders 804-343-3688 (starting at 6:00 pm)
Online merchandise store: fallout-rva.myshopify.com
Fallout Support Fund: gofundme.com/f/keep-fallout-running
Fallout has also launched a subscription-based Patreon that gives subscribers access to exclusive content and entertainment. Prices range from $2-$10 a month. Revenue will go to supporting the business and its employees. patreon.com/falloutrva
Babes of Carytown:
Babes of Carytown isn’t offering take-out or delivery options, but the Triple X Divas host an online livestream drag show every Thursday night at 8:00. The shows last about an hour and include some of your favorite divas, hosted by Babe’s entertainment director, Michelle Livigne. There’s a question and answer session at the end of every show.
You can find the shows on the Babes of Carytown Facebook page. Information on how to tip the performers is posted in the live feed.
Babe’s of Carytown GoFundMe: gofundme.com/f/babes-tip-jar
The time will come again when we can all gather to eat, drink, dance, and drag. In the meantime, please consider supporting these establishments that are so important to our community. They’ve always been there for us; now it’s time for us to be there for them.