When starting a new business, there’s a first big question — what do you call it? Do you make it a pun? An ethos statement? Someone’s name? No answer is wrong, but for the three co-owners of D.C.’s newest queer bar, their answer was to be as matter-of-fact as possible.
“I’d say we probably went through 10,000 names and this was the first thing we said,” says Benjamin Gander. “We’re like, ‘It’s just a cute Little Gay Pub!’”
Gander says this space will offer a “low-key” and “chill” vibe with 70 seats inside and about 75 outside. This new neighborhood jaunt sits under an apartment building at 11th and P Streets NW and fills a void in Northwest D.C.’s gay scene. For one, it provides a queer bar currently absent in the heart of Logan Circle.
Additionally, The Little Gay Pub will be less focused on clubbing and more as a community gathering spot, even late at night. It’s a place for cordials and cordial conversation.
“You can walk in, you can hear somebody when you’re talking to them,” Martinez says. “You’re not screaming across the bar and there’s always a place to sit.” Martinez adds they’re also planning to serve food all night.
“At the end of the night, you’re hungry,” he says. “You’re a little tipsy. You’re like, ‘This place is so close. Why don’t I just come here and have some tater tots or something easy?’ We want it to be different. We want to offer something the community is looking for.”
And signs point to the excitement for The Little Gay Pub’s opening. Their Instagram account has gathered over 3,000 followers since their announcement and Gander says neighbors are excited to see the space filled after sitting vacant for over three years.
“It’s such a cute spot that people like, ‘Why is nothing there?’” Gander says. “We’re like, ‘You’re absolutely right.’”
The three men are no strangers in the D.C. bar circle with their combined 30-plus years of experience. They’ve worked at bars like Number Nine, Trade and the bar underneath Floriana, Dito’s — named after Sevilla himself. Sevilla says they chose to work together on opening The Little Gay Pub together because they “would have hired each other.”
The trio is aiming for a soft open sometime next March. When asked whether it would be early, mid or late March, Sevilla responds: “Yes.”
“There are many balls in the air,” he says. “There’s nothing on the horizon that it seems would delay us more than a few days.”
When asked about how he feels about The Little Gay Pub nearing the finish line, Sevilla says they’re “very grateful” for all the support.
“There’s a great deal of ego attached with putting yourself out there and seeing what the approval is from the community,” he says. “Ultimately, we have spared no expense either financially or emotionally to put something out there that we hope people will absolutely love and it’s what we would have done for ourselves.”
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