Our local LGBT establishments are, for many of us, social centers and refuges from a world that’s not always friendly. So it’s doubly painful when they are violated – it hurts our friends and family who run them, and it violates our spaces.
On Tuesday, October 30, 2018, Christa Suppan, one of the purveyors of The Lipstick Lounge, came in early to get to work. She was inside and moving around before she noticed that the cash till was lying in the floor and that the other door had been crow-barred open.
Suppan stepped outside to call Metro Nashville Police (MNPD). “I didn’t know if someone might still be in the building, or if I had caught them in the act, so I wanted to get outside.” She says MNPD quickly arrived on the scene and began investigating.
“We were just so thankful that this happened when no one was here,” Suppan said, “and that no one got hurt. They broke our door with a crowbar, which is *****y because we had to replace that too!”
Lipstick is a small, neighborhood joint, and they got hit at a very bad time. “You only have a few BIG weekends a year,” Suppan said. “Halloween is a big one for us, a lot of money and a lot of tips.”
Luckily, the bar was closed on Monday, and Jonda Valentine, another of the bar’s owners, happened to have come in and cleaned, including wiping down the door and multiple surfaces, allowing police to pull good prints that Suppan hopes will lead them to the thieves. Lipstick’s surveillance footage will also be analyzed for leads.
“We’ve been there for fifteen years,” Suppan said, “and we’ve been lucky, but sometimes your number is just up. Crappy people happen, but we also have an awesome community who rallies around us. You try not to take it personally, but, you know, when you do so much for the community … this affects so many people, the people we help…”
Below is the original post in which Suppan alerted the community to what happened.
“Then there’s all the tips that were taken from our kids, our staff, our family,” she continued. “Thats their rent money, so, of course, we had to put that back for them ourselves. It was just disheartening.”
Lipstick employee Leah Epling took to Facebook yesterday reporting the bar owners’ generosity: “… our selfless owners went right to the bank [and] pulled money out of their own accounts to put back my and my coworkers money we earned. Even though they lost all their money too. It’s incredible the lengths these women go for us. I know we can’t just hand them the money back. But this week we can show up and out. Please go by the Lipstick and support this business!!!!!”
When asked what the community can do to support the bar, Suppan echoed, “We’re just telling everyone to come out and have some fun and spend a little money with us! It’s such an awesome community, and weve been blessed over these last fifteen years. We’ve gotten through a lot and we’ll get through this too.”
O&AN will update as MNPD provides more information.