The Vicious Poodle will be located on Johnson Street between Douglas and Blanshard streets. (Google Maps)

The Vicious Poodle will be located on Johnson Street between Douglas and Blanshard streets. (Google Maps)

New gay pub to open in Victoria in the new year

The Vicious Poodle will be relaxed setting and host drag shows as well

A new space for the LGBT+ community will soon open its doors in Victoria.

The Vicious Poodle, a gay pub in downtown Victoria, is set to open early in the new year.

Socrates Diamant, the owner of The Vicious Poodle, has been in the restaurant business for years and ran a couple of gay bars in New York City. Having grown up in Calgary, he made the move back to Canada and to Victoria eight years ago.

Diamant said he took note of the pub culture in Victoria and the love for local draft beers and relaxed settings. He decided to open a space for people to relax, enjoy a drink or have lunch or dinner.

“Victoria is a rapidly growing city with a vibrant queer community and very little infrastructure,” Diamant said. “I think the community here is underserved and we need a little bit more choice…to do something different than a nightclub.”

READ ALSO: PHOTOS: 50 years of LGBTQ pride showcased in protests, parades

Drag shows will also be hosted at the pub from time-to-time, according to Diamant who noted that the space will be complementary to Paparazzi Nightclub, an LGBTQ night club in Victoria’s downtown.

In September, Diamant signed a lease for the pub which will be located on Johnson Street between Blanshard and Douglas streets. A Facebook post announcing the soon-to-come space saw 165 comments and over 500 likes from people supporting Diamant’s endeavour. Diamant said seeing the reaction from the public had him “gobsmacked.”

Kelly Legge, director at large and chair of youth initiatives with the Victoria Pride Society, said she thinks the new pub will be a great thing for the queer community.

“Our community is very diverse and we have diverse interests,” Legge said. “We gather in different ways and pubs can be fantastic places to share food and meet one another.”

Having another business that is queer-owned and dedicated to the queer community is important as well, Legge said, noting that it can be a “beacon” for the queer community as a gathering place.

READ ALSO: Chilliwack homeowners get rainbow driveway after city rejects Pride crosswalk

Legge, who is also a member of the drag community in Victoria, said it is exciting to have another spot for people to enjoy shows.

“Drag has historically been showcased in bars and it hasn’t been accessible to everyone who is underage or who don’t go to bars so I love the idea of making queer art accessible,” Legge said.

The Vicious Poodle is currently in the remodelling stage and Diamant is waiting for appropriate approvals like a liquor licence to come through as well. He said he has received offers from several people to help out or be involved and is grateful for the support.

“Opening a business is not for the faint of heart,” Diamant said.

As someone who worked in a queer neighbourhood in New York City at a gay bar, Diamant considered himself lucky to experience being in an environment set up for the queer community.

“Part of my vision is to recreate that experience on a small scale and have a place where not just the community can come in and enjoy it, but to also be an employer,” Diamant said. “The people that work here and come here are going to create the culture of the space…It’ll be unique.”

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The Vicious Poodle will be located on Johnson Street between Douglas and Blanshard streets and is set to open early in the new year. (Socrates Diamant/Facebook)

The Vicious Poodle will be located on Johnson Street between Douglas and Blanshard streets and is set to open early in the new year. (Socrates Diamant/Facebook)

Just Posted

December and January, so far, have seen their share of rain. (Black Press Media file photo)
December and January tip the scales to wet in Greater Victoria

Winter is on the way, says Environment and Climate Change Canada

Rendering offers an overhead view of proposed tiny home community using repurposed shipping containers in the Caledonia/Vancouver street parking lot next to Royal Athletic Park. Council voted to allow Aryze Developments apply for a temporary use permit as part of the project. (Courtesy Aryze Developments)
Anonymous donor boosts shipping container housing project in Victoria

Donor promises to match further donations until $500,000 goal is met

Stair care in Colwood
Colwood Coun. Michael Baxter says Latoria Creek Park is now more enjoyable and safe to take a stroll through due to the latest upgrades completed on the staircase. Four long sets of nature stairs now include slip-proof metal steps. The elevated staircase also allows for better air flow to slow the rotting process, and metal handrails to prevent splinters. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Colwood unveils massive upgrade to popular park staircase

Upgrades include slip-proof metal steps, metal handrails and raised design

Staff and volunteers at the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea were disappointed by the theft of an educational porpoise skull likely taken on Jan. 8. (Courtesy of Tina Kelly)
Well-loved porpoise skull stolen from Sidney aquarium

Skull had been used for youth and visitor education and outreach for years

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

Egg producers in B.C. aren’t obligated to reveal their production sites. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Officials say there’s not enough Vancouver Island eggs to meet demand

BC Egg Marketing Board doesn’t regulate labelling, supply needed from off-Island

A Courtenay resident labours to remove the snow build-up from around her car in February 2019. The area may see snow throughout the coming weekend. Black Press file photo
Snow, winter might not be done with Vancouver Island quite yet

Flurries, snow and cold temps predicted for the weekend for mid-Island

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Most Read