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

Carmen Robinson was last seen getting off a bus in View Royal the evening of Dec. 8, 1973. Her case remains unsolved 47 years later. (Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers)
Gone cold: Fate of View Royal teen remains a mystery, 47 years after her disappearance

Carmen Robinson, 17, was last seen exiting a bus in View Royal in December 1973

A Saanich crash has left many residences in the area without power Thursday morning. (Google Maps)
Early morning crash causes Saanich power outage

Power expected to be restored by 9:30 a.m.

Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital took in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health as part of a provincial agreement. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria hospital takes in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health

Royal Jubilee Hospital takes patients as part of provincial transport network

The Oak Bay Police Department has announced plans to purchase the municipality’s first electric marked police vehicle. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Electric vehicle could soon be patroling Oak Bay streets

Oak Bay police plan to purchase first marked electric police vehicle in 2021

The Sooke School District is actively looking for more bus drivers after they had to cancel a handful of bus routes in late November. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bus driver shortage cancels routes in Sooke School District

More drivers needed to accomodate expanding bus routes amid pandemic

(AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)
POLL: Has COVID-19 changed your plans for the holidays?

The lights are going up, the stacks of presents under the tree… 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 Dec. 1

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

Janet Austin, the lieutenant-governor of British Columbia, not seen, swears in Premier John Horgan during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. Horgan says he will look to fill gaps in the federal government’s sick-pay benefits program aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. premier says province prepared to patch holes in new federal sick-pay benefits

Horgan said workers should not be denied pay when they are preventing COVID-19’s spread

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

BIG SALMON ranch in Washington State. (Center for Whale Research handout)
Non-profit buys Chinook ranch in hopes of increasing feed for southern resident killer whales

The ranch, which borders both sides of Washington State’s Elwha River, is a hotspot for chinook salmon

Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy are inviting audiences into their home for ‘A Celtic Family Christmas’. (Submitted)
Natalie MacMaster coming to you through Cowichan Performing Arts Centre

Here’s your chance to enjoy the famed fiddler in an online show with her husband Donnell Leahy.

Most Read