WeHo, a New Gay Bar, Takes Over Lotus on Locust Space

lotusstorefront.jpg
The future WeHo. | Nancy Stiles

Lotus on Locust closed a few months ago, though the cover-charging Pepper Lounge is still open next door. Come April, Lotus -- located at 2001 Locust -- will become WeHo (short for West Hollywood), a new gay bar.

See also: The Eight Best Gay Bars in St. Louis: 2013

Manager JoJo Zahner ran hot spots like Galaxy in the '90s before heading to California to play poker professionally. Family circumstances brought him back to St. Louis; he's friends with the landlord at 2001 Locust and jumped at the chance to run a bar downtown again.

Zahner says WeHo will shoot for a mixed crowd during happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m., as well as Wednesday and Friday nights. He calls WeHo a "video bar" -- meaning there will be music videos on all the television screens instead of sports. On Fridays and Saturdays there will even be a VJ.

"There are no gay bars downtown," Zahner says. "The way it's decorated, it's really fabulous." The building boasts antique tin ceilings, chandeliers, ornate wall tiles and leather booths. "It's a work of art. This place is one of a kind," he says.

The grand opening is April 4, but there will be a sneak peek on Wednesday, April 2, with dollar bottles and other specials. Keep an eye out for themed weeknights, like karaoke, show tunes and ladies' night.

Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at nancy.stiles@riverfronttimes.com or follow her on Twitter.





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42 comments
James Madison
James Madison

If a bar had a sign saying "No Coloreds Allowed" but did not enforce the policy, would that be okay? That is what you are saying is alright for gay bars to do. Hang a sign or refer to themselves as a gay bar, but allow straights to walk inside. Would you not think a bar calling itself a straight bar but allowed gays in to be discriminating?

James Madison
James Madison

Adam Woodson, you fail to read and comprehend. It's the name, not the door policy. Why the label of a gay bar? There is absolutely no need to label themselves as such. We all should be outraged if a bar claimed to be a straight bar, and we all should be equally outraged by a bar being referred to as a gay bar. White bars? Black bars? think about it. It is outrageous that a bar wants to be known as a gay bar, or accepts the RFT calling it that. Should we look at the 3-7pm as a token straight hours? Gays were not forced to segregated themselves. Gays wanted gay bars to improve their one-night stand ratio. Deal with reality. I'm tired of people thinking segregation is a good thing. Self-imposed or not.

iexpress
iexpress

This is awesome because I grew up in Hollywood, and can't wait to check the place out. It'll be fun DJing for you guys, and I've been getting music videos lined up to go along with CD's and vinyl I collected over the years of DJing.

Adam Woodson
Adam Woodson

please. how many straight guys do you know that are itching to go to a gay bar? if it weren't specified and you walked in thinking it was a "straight" bar and got hit on or something you'd be all outraged and offended. gay people segregated themselves because they were FORCED to. and although things are changing we're not there yet. sorry, but your demand for immediate inclusion reeks of privilege. nobody's stopping you from going to a gay bar, though. you'd just rather be outraged and offended.

Adam Woodson
Adam Woodson

no , bruce. that would be you trying really really hard to frame it that way. like doug said, discrimination would be the gay bar throwing you out for being straight, which doesn't happen.

Andy Wright
Andy Wright

Did SteFan from SNL Weekend Update name this place?

Doug Hammerstroem
Doug Hammerstroem

Most bars are assumed to be "straight bars" by default. If you were to walk into a gay bar and they found out you were straight and kicked you out for that reason, that would be discrimination. But then again, that sort of discrimination is legal in Missouri.

William Wiser
William Wiser

Lotus was pretty gay already. Right, Rusty Woody?

cj.calhoun31
cj.calhoun31

I'm a VDJ if you read this article JoJo Zahner, contact me via FB under CJC John C or google if you're looking for a VDJ. Sounds like a nice place. I tried to look this place and his name up on FB but returned nothing.

James Madison
James Madison

What an outrage! If I referred to a bar as a straight bar, the LGBT community would be rightfully upset and demand a different reference to the bar. Why should a bar be labeled "a gay bar"? Why are the gays not willing to open their doors to straight people? (Clue: they are, but calling it a gay bar discourages the straights from coming, just as calling a bar a straight bar would be discouraging gays from entering.) When the gays stop segregating themselves, maybe we will start to understand each other as just another person.

Bruce A. King
Bruce A. King

Wouldn't that be discrimination? If there was an announcement that the was a new "heterosexual bar", or an "African American bar" or a "white redneck bar" or a "left handed pirates bar" or a "blondes bar" or or or .. the press would be all over it, starting a revolt. Why is is good for gays to continually segregate? Why cant bars just be bars?

Tyson Blanquart
Tyson Blanquart

Par will always be the Hi Pointe. WeHo will always be The Rocket Bar.

Tessa Smith
Tessa Smith

This area needs a gay bar, bout time!

Katie Markert
Katie Markert

They really do...the quality of the neighborhood improves lol.

Matt Howe
Matt Howe

Closed a few months ago? They are still open and their last night is this Saturday. Another quality article from the RFT... (yeah, that's called sarcasm)

Laura Dee
Laura Dee

It was hard to say, anyway. More gay bars are welcome, IMO. They really spruce up a neighborhood. lol

Matthew KB
Matthew KB

Where will Justin De La Fuente & Scott Johnson host their 31st bday parties next year, Doug Cox & Keith Darmody

jaco1175
jaco1175 topcommenter

Over under on how soon before david fowler shows up to practice his wide stance in the mens room stalls there? Just come out of the closet already you fucking pervert

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