The Café at OutLoud!, 1707 Church Street, has closed its doors, making it the second time a gay coffee shop has closed in the same location.
A press release sent out Feb. 8, says that the Café is “is in the process of restructuring their business in order to better serve the Nashville community.”
Coffee, soft drinks and some prepared foods and desserts are now available at OutLoud! Books and Gifts. The couches and tables that were once in the Café have been relocated to the lounge area of the bookstore, and wireless Internet will remain available.
Ted Jensen and Kevin Medley are the owners of both businesses. It was on Nov. 11, 1996, that Outloud! Books and Gifts opened its doors.
“Unfortunately, a combination of a bad economy and slow business worked together to make keeping the venue going in it’s present incarnation difficult despite recent high-profile events that were held there including ‘Mary Gauthier and Friends,’ which raised almost $4,000 for OutCentral,” the news release stated.
John Wade, president of Nashville’s GLBT Chamber of Commerce said it was important for businesses to grow and thrive in the area that is known as Nashville’s “gay district” (the Church Street corridor just before downtown).
“The Chamber is disappointed to see another establishment in the community close. While we understand this to be a temporary closing, we also understand that business must be profitable,” Wade said. “It is our hope the owners can find a way to either manage a profitable café business or another one with consumer demand that would make it a worthwhile venture for them. The presence of vibrant businesses on Church Street is good for the community as well as the city. We hope the right formula for a business at this storefront will be found."
Events that have been scheduled for February in the Café space will still be held, though its not entirely clear what will happen past that point.
“The owners and management of OutLoud! Books and Gifts and Café OutLoud! are looking into ideas for restructuring the Café space in order to keep it as a performance and event space as well as other uses which are currently being researched,” the news release stated. “In the meanwhile, all events thus scheduled and advertised for Café OutLoud! for month of February will go on as scheduled with the exception of Sunday brunch.”
Those events include two art openings, "Read Our Lips," an original theatrical presentation of monologues in the tradition of Eve Ensler’s classic "The Vagina Monologues," and a night of music from Tasha Valentine featuring Kat Hunter. Thursday movie nights are still being held through the end of February as well.