A retro lodge on Las Vegas Boulevard is about to turn out to be a brand new hub for Las Vegas’s queer neighborhood. The proprietor of the downtown homosexual bar the Backyard and host of the Strip’s largest LGBTQ+ pool celebration is debuting Queen Las Vegas, a group of linked areas leased from a historic Las Vegas lodge and remodeled right into a bar and restaurant, nightclub, and block of themed lodge rooms that cater particularly to queer people.
“It’s been my mission for a few years, and my profession, to concentrate on LGBTQ-inclusive meals and beverage [spaces],” says Eduardo Cordova, the proprietor of Queen. ”I’ve been making an attempt to create and develop an leisure district for the LGBTQ neighborhood.” When it opens this fall, Queen will probably be house to twenty-eight newly designed lodge rooms, a nightclub with native performing artists, and a 24-hour restaurant that includes a weekend drag brunch — and an area the place Cordova says all guests can really feel protected, represented, and heard.
Cordova and his Q Group Hospitality are leasing the saloon, chapel, and occasion corridor from the Thunderbird Boutique Resort — a lodge on Las Vegas Boulevard, north of the Strat, in an space generally known as the Gateway District. The Thunderbird saloon is changing into the Queen restaurant and bar. The occasion corridor is changing into the Queen nightclub. And the chapel will stay a chapel — now devoted to internet hosting weddings for queer people. Whereas lots of the property’s lodge rooms will stay beneath the Thunderbird, Cordova is taking the 28 rooms which can be adjoining to the Queen venues and reworking them, and transferring the check-in course of for these rooms to the Queen bar.
“The rooms are already operational. And so they’re good,” says Cordova. “However we’re doing just a little homosexual contact.” Cordova says that if the mannequin proves profitable, the plan is to buy the complete property outright.
Queen is way from the primary house to take up the torch as a hub for Las Vegas’s homosexual neighborhood. The cluster of LGBTQ+ nightclubs and bars on Naples Road close to UNLV has been known as the Fruit Loop — a reputation first used as an epithet earlier than it was reclaimed by the native queer neighborhood — because the Nineteen Seventies. A lot of these homosexual bars are nonetheless open, together with the Piranha Nightclub, Quadz, and Freezone. However Queen’s takeover of the Thunderbird is a large new entry to the Las Vegas queer scene. And it’s a brand new route for the property — which had beforehand courted vacationers who deliberate to separate their time between the Strip and downtown areas.
Cordova says the Queen’s bar and restaurant will probably be “the crown jewel” of the property. The 24-hour bar and restaurant will supply a number of mild bites and dinner entrees, plus a weekend drag brunch, just like the one hosted on the Backyard. The bar and nightclub will serve a menu of signature cocktails. He describes the restaurant as a hybrid between a supper membership and a drag bar with an enormous disco ball serving as a DJ sales space. DJ units will carry out nightly to accompany reveals by the resident queens, Cordova says. And Cordova seemed to his personal neighborhood for staffing the restaurant. “I’ve just about every little thing in each shade within the rainbow working for me and being represented right here,” he says.
A tunnel of fifty,000 LED lights will join the restaurant to the Queen nightclub. On weekends, aerialists will sway from the membership’s 25-foot-tall ceilings and dancers will carry out on elevated platforms in entrance of an enormous LED display screen. “We’re giving the gays the Vegas nightclub expertise that we don’t at the moment have,” says Cordova. Presently, he additionally hosts and books expertise for Temptation Sundays at Luxor, the Las Vegas Strip’s solely LGBTQ+ pool celebration — and town’s closest approximation to the long-gone Krave nightclub. He anticipates double-booking celebrities and DJs to separate their weekends between Queen and Temptation. Early subsequent 12 months, the plan is to place a bar within the chapel’s foyer in order that guests can bar-hop between the restaurant bar, membership, and chapel.
The Thunderbird’s facade is getting a face-lift for Queen, with a coat of pink paint, gold accents, and animal prints. When Queen opens in September, Cordova plans to have drag queens acting on the sidewalk in entrance of the doorway, beckoning passersby in with music, a purple carpet, and queer delight.
Stationing drag performers on the property’s entrance is extra than simply good scene-setting. Within the wake of drag bans rippling throughout the nation, Cordova says that illustration is vital in making certain individuals in his neighborhood really feel seen — and protected. He factors to the LGBTQIA+ Middle, situated only a mile away from Queen. “They are saying ‘be no matter you needed to see probably the most whenever you have been rising up,’” says Cordova. “And for me, it was that mentorship and illustration.” He hopes for Queen to develop right into a homosexual leisure district, the place each locals and vacationers are welcome to go to the resident drag artists, dine within the all-hours restaurant, and keep within the reworked suites.
“I’m decided to make this the West Hollywood of Las Vegas,” Cordova says.