02317: O Bar is Family

I've repeatedly written about O Bar being a second home for me and Tobie and I really find that to be true every time we go "home". We celebrate special events like birthdays and anniversaries there. And holiday nights make us consider going to O Bar first before anywhere else.

I guess I kind of understand why a place like O Bar might seem intimidating from the outside, especially for closeted gay guys who are still trying to get a grip of who they are. And so you rely in media versions of different things to guide you including what you might expect from a "gay bar" or something. Local movies focus on gay bars of the more macho dancer variety. Foreign shows focus on exclusive clubs with guest lists and all that jazz.

Thankfully O Bar is none of those things. If anything, it's a big entertainment experience that takes place in a bar. There are VIP areas that you can pay for, but really the bar is one big equalizer as it doesn't matter who you are or where you come from since you'll enjoy the same general experience. And O Bar does its best to keep everyone on an equal footing so everyone can feel welcome whether or not you happen to need a security escort or something. Check your ego at the door and let your hair down. Relax and enjoy the night's entertainment as it is instead of trying to impose your brand of enjoyment on others. You'll live longer that way.

When you take the time to get to know the staff and the performers better, then you better appreciate all the work that goes into putting together an amazing experience every night. It's part of why we keep coming back, why we're always game to invite other friends to try out O Bar and why I take so much time to take so many photos for the performers to possibly use in future marketing efforts. We love the bar and we want to make sure that they continue to keep the party going for as long as possible.

Last night friends reminded us that Tobie had been going to be for like 10 years now and I'm well into my 7th year of going as well. That's quite an amount of time to hang out with a similar set of friends who also call the bar home. And it's a heck of a lot of great memories to treasure and celebrate with new ones in store every weekend. And I have Tobie to thank for first bringing me to O Bar when we started hanging out more and introducing me to the group of friends that have become our extended family.

There are a lot of reasons to go to O Bar ranging from the hot guys to the amazing drag performances. But more than anything Tobie and I go to be with friends, to share new stories and laugh at old ones and to just be there in a place that makes us happy and makes us feel welcome and loved. And not every establishment will give you that kind of an experience no matter how much you spend there or how often you go. And that kind of appreciation ought to be valued.

I think more than anything, there's a subtle humility at work that drives the direction of O Bar that has greatly contributed to its success. Try telling any of the owners or the management that O Bar is the best LGBT bar or that the have the best drag show in the country, for example, and you'll normally get corrected. They never see themselves as being the best at anything - at most they'll possibly succeed that they could be among the best or one of the best but never THE best of them all. And it's not an act or a bit of put on modesty but it's a genuine perspective of the management team.

And I totally respect that. In the end the never let the bar's success get to their heads and thus they continually strive to improve and make things better. And this is why O Bar has lasted as long as it has and will continue on strong for many years to come. Sure it's always going to be a business, but you can also tell that O Bar is also very personal to them and you ought to respect the love and dedication that goes into the bar. We certainly do.