Downtown, nearby GLBT businesses weather the storm


Historic levels of rain on Saturday and Sunday caused various amounts of flooding at local GLBT businesses in and around the downtown area, but most are mopping up and reopening less than a day after the skies cleared.Photo Courtesy AP/Kristin M. Hall
“We got about seven inches of water in, but we’ve gotten it all out and everything is pretty much OK,” said Richard Kincaid, a bartender at Blue Gene’s on Church Street. “We closed yesterday while we waited for it all to recede, then came in and got started cleaning so that today we could be pretty much back to normal.”

A couple of doors up the street at OutLoud!, the pressure was on to keep the books dry, said Jim Hawk, general manager.

Loyal friends and patrons pitched in at the Lipstick Lounge as the waters rose.“We got some water in from the back, as did OutCentral, but we had it cleaned up pretty quickly,” Hawk said. “We were in here while it was closed to make sure everything stayed up and dry, so we were able to reopen without any major problems.”

At Tribe Nashville, Play Dance Bar and Suzy Wong’s House of Yum, major problems were prevented by some quick action before the rains began, as well as some long-term fixes undertaken in the last few years, said David Taylor, co-owner.

“We got up and cleaned out our roof drains and had the plumbing in good shape, so we were prepared,” Taylor said. “We got some water in the back, but it just went into the lower patio area at Suzy’s. We redid our parking lot several years ago, and when that was paved it helped push the runoff back to the alley. We’re fine, but our hearts go out to everybody who has some damage, because we know there are a lot of people in pain.”

In East Nashville, the waters rose much higher in basements and low-lying buildings with around five feet pouring into the Lipstick Lounge, according to Kathleen Smith, partner of co-owner Christa Suppan.

“We’ve had some loyal friends come in and help us use buckets, pumps and whatever else we had to get it down, and three’s barely any on the floor any more,” Smith said. “It’s pretty amazing how many people volunteered their time and muscle to help us clean up.”

There’s still assessing to be done in terms of damage and lost stock, but it’s hoped that the Lipstick will be back open for business by Tuesday, Smith said.