When Stache was Green Room, Jonny Veo's was a face you'd see around regularly. Since the closing of the Vagabond in Miami -- where he was throwing Thursday nights -- Veo returned to the Revolution Live complex in Himmarshee in both managing and marketing roles. His latest project is an all new Sunday LGBQT night at the Fort Laudy speakeasy. China White Tea Cup Party throws us back to the days of big drag, but for the cause of both making new friends (maybe very good friends via a Grindr party meet-up) and giving back.
Stache partnered up with Out of the Closet, the national thrift store chain where you can check up on your HIV status and give to the AIDS Healthcare Foundation while redecorating your house. "We'll have people dropping off clothing every week for a free drink ticket," explained Veo, and all your old duds will be donated to Out of the Closet.
"All I care about is just making sure all of my friends have a place to go," said Veo said of his intentions with the night. He thinks the downtown Fort Lauderdale scene is in need of some soul and community building. "We haven't had heart in a while," he observed. China White guarantees something different from the downtown status quo.
"This is a place you can go to sit down and have a really good drink and have some good conversation with your friends," said Veo. The 1920s drinking den is a classy spot; they won't just let any wasted bro-bag inside. There's a dress code, and if you're over a certain level of drunk, you're not getting in.
Jonny promises it won't just be all about gay men, there'll be something for everyone, including the other letters of the acronym. But a colorful perk of the evening is the Drag War, where up-and-coming drag queens make an impression on the community at an open mic of sorts (#DRAGWAR). If they near RuPaul status, Stache will bring them on as part of the regular drag team. Local queens Calypso Monroe and host Nicole Halliwell will keep your belly jiggling with laughter and DJ Scott Mann will get your arms in the air and feet tapping.
Most amusingly, this is a Grindr party (#GRINDRPARTY). When you arrive, present your app at the door, and get a free drink. Since you'll be Grinding like crazy, the free phone-charging station will come in handy.
Veo is passionate about this new event at Stache and can't wait for it to take off. "So many of my friends are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, and I'm actually doing something that my friends want and need," Veo expressed. He loves what he does and the fact that his position allows him to promote the things he cares about. "We're the anti-downtown Fort Lauderdale," said Veo, who's hoping Stache will be able to transform the scene in the area and turn it into something more than a gathering spot for drunk college kids.
China White, 6 p.m., Sunday, June 15, at Bar Stache, 109 S.W. Second Ave., Fort Lauderdale. There are $5 Stoli cocktails, $12 Miller Lite buckets, and $20 bottomless mimosas and crepe. Hash #chinawhitesunday. Visit stacheftl.com.
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