Speakeasy Says Goodbye by Cody McGraw

After a year and half of drinks, movies and dirty dancing Margret (2952 Dundas St. W.) has hosted its final Speakeasy. Created by the beautiful Jen Neales, it quickly became THE place for the queer community and allies to come and party in The Junction the first Friday of every month.

“We didn’t want it to be a typical, ordinary Church Street party,” explains Neales of her 1930s prohibition style night. “It’s for people who come out to events whose only expectation is to grab a drink, have a dance and do some mingling.” She says she set out to create a more laid back night by playing funk, soul, disco and classics care of her friend DJ Cozmic Cat.

After a chance meeting with Cozmic Cat on the “lovely Junction Bus”, Neales contacted the in demand DJ about starting a queer event in The Junction instead of always going downtown. Margret, a favourite of Cozmic, seemed like the natural choice since its rec room-esque decor, gorgeous bartenders and queer friendly attitude was the atmosphere they were looking for. “We wanted to provide a safe, welcoming place where you’re allowed to just come and be yourself and you’re allowed to kiss your girlfriend, dance with your best friend and have no one blink and eye because it’s normal.” And on the first Friday of every month they provided just that. However, like every good thing, Speakeasy too must come to an end.

“With both of us getting more and more busy with things going on in our lives, we just thought the best way to go out is with a bang,” confidently states Neales. “We didn’t want to be one of those monthly events that fizzle out to nothing and only have negative memories. So we decided to make our holiday party our last big hurrah.”

Don’t fret, though, she asserts this isn’t the last we’ll be hearing from her and Cozmic as they are planning to hone their skills in the new year and work on creating new events for the queer community at Margret.

“I hope there is a huge level of importance for the queer community to have every mini group, every subculture represented with nights geared towards the different facets the queer community umbrella encompasses,” she concludes. “I want to see more events that cater to the people who are a little bit odd, who love theme nights, who love parties and love to dress up or dress down without being concerned with looking a part, and instead be exactly who they are.”

Photos: Stephanie Busuttil

Cody McGraw is many things but the thing you can actually call him to his face is the Managing Editor of The Little Red Umbrella. See more posts from him here or follow him on Twitter (@cody_mcgraw).


Post a Comment