The Vicious Poodle will be located on Johnson Street between Douglas and Blanshard streets. (Google Maps)

The Vicious Poodle will be located on Johnson Street between Douglas and Blanshard streets. (Google Maps)

New gay pub to open in Victoria in the new year

The Vicious Poodle will be relaxed setting and host drag shows as well

A new space for the LGBT+ community will soon open its doors in Victoria.

The Vicious Poodle, a gay pub in downtown Victoria, is set to open early in the new year.

Socrates Diamant, the owner of The Vicious Poodle, has been in the restaurant business for years and ran a couple of gay bars in New York City. Having grown up in Calgary, he made the move back to Canada and to Victoria eight years ago.

Diamant said he took note of the pub culture in Victoria and the love for local draft beers and relaxed settings. He decided to open a space for people to relax, enjoy a drink or have lunch or dinner.

“Victoria is a rapidly growing city with a vibrant queer community and very little infrastructure,” Diamant said. “I think the community here is underserved and we need a little bit more choice…to do something different than a nightclub.”

READ ALSO: PHOTOS: 50 years of LGBTQ pride showcased in protests, parades

Drag shows will also be hosted at the pub from time-to-time, according to Diamant who noted that the space will be complementary to Paparazzi Nightclub, an LGBTQ night club in Victoria’s downtown.

In September, Diamant signed a lease for the pub which will be located on Johnson Street between Blanshard and Douglas streets. A Facebook post announcing the soon-to-come space saw 165 comments and over 500 likes from people supporting Diamant’s endeavour. Diamant said seeing the reaction from the public had him “gobsmacked.”

Kelly Legge, director at large and chair of youth initiatives with the Victoria Pride Society, said she thinks the new pub will be a great thing for the queer community.

“Our community is very diverse and we have diverse interests,” Legge said. “We gather in different ways and pubs can be fantastic places to share food and meet one another.”

Having another business that is queer-owned and dedicated to the queer community is important as well, Legge said, noting that it can be a “beacon” for the queer community as a gathering place.

READ ALSO: Chilliwack homeowners get rainbow driveway after city rejects Pride crosswalk

Legge, who is also a member of the drag community in Victoria, said it is exciting to have another spot for people to enjoy shows.

“Drag has historically been showcased in bars and it hasn’t been accessible to everyone who is underage or who don’t go to bars so I love the idea of making queer art accessible,” Legge said.

The Vicious Poodle is currently in the remodelling stage and Diamant is waiting for appropriate approvals like a liquor licence to come through as well. He said he has received offers from several people to help out or be involved and is grateful for the support.

“Opening a business is not for the faint of heart,” Diamant said.

As someone who worked in a queer neighbourhood in New York City at a gay bar, Diamant considered himself lucky to experience being in an environment set up for the queer community.

“Part of my vision is to recreate that experience on a small scale and have a place where not just the community can come in and enjoy it, but to also be an employer,” Diamant said. “The people that work here and come here are going to create the culture of the space…It’ll be unique.”

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The Vicious Poodle will be located on Johnson Street between Douglas and Blanshard streets and is set to open early in the new year. (Socrates Diamant/Facebook)

The Vicious Poodle will be located on Johnson Street between Douglas and Blanshard streets and is set to open early in the new year. (Socrates Diamant/Facebook)

Just Posted

The Berwick Retirement Communities’ 2021 Spin-A-Thon event on Feb. 23 raised more than $7,100 for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Berwick Spin-A-Thon raises more than $7,000 for Heart and Stroke Foundation

Two centenarians among participants in second annual all-day pedal event

Hundreds of child care spaces will be available in Greater Victoria in the coming two years. (Unsplash)
More than 300 child care spaces opening in Greater Victoria in next two years

Province announces spaces in Victoria, Sooke, Saanich and North Saanich

This was the scene outside North Saanich’s Parkland Secondary School after an attempted but unsuccessful break-and-enter into the school torched an ATM inside of it. Sidney/North Saanich RCMP did not make any arrests and currently lack suspects as the investigation continues. Members of the public who may have witnessed something or possess other information can contact police at (250) 656-3931 or to Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. (Submitted)
ATM at North Saanich high school torched during early morning break-and-enter

Police dogs searched the exterior and interior of the school

Victoria Police Department vehicle outside the headquarters building. VicPD (Black Press Media file photo)
Man arrested after Victoria restaurant worker punched, thrown to the ground

Police say woman was found lying on the sidewalk with non-life threatening injuries

Victoria’s Swartz Bay terminal. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries offers cheaper, prepaid fare options

Ferry service preparing for busy terminals when travel restrictions are lifted

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Graffiti trouble? Duncan will give you the brush and the paint to remove it

Intiative based on a successful project to protect Port Alberni from unwanted spray paint

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

The first of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s long-range maritime patrol aircraft—the Dash-8—becomes operational. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s new De Havilland Dash-8-100 long-range surveillance air craft is capable of staying aloft for eight to 10 hours for a variety of missions up and down the B.C. coast. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
New plane will double DFO’s surveillance capacity in B.C.

The Dash-8 will fly out of Campbell River for enforecment, conservation missions

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

Most Read