This week we caught up with The City of Quebec’s manager Alan Stuart about his big plans on becoming a community hub and being a totally inclusive venue, with a huge range of new events and celebrations for their 75th anniversary!
Here’s what he had to say:
GLL: Hey Alan, it’s so great to chat with you, and were so happy you are back at The Quebec, It’s been a tough time for all venues over lockdown, what have you been doing over that time at The Quebec?
AS: Hi there, good to hear from you and very excited to see a brand-new publication for London’s growing LGBTQIA+ community
GLL: Thank you so much, we;ve had such a great response, its wonderful to be able to support you.
AS: We have been busy over lockdown giving the venue a little lick of paint, opening the space as we continue to adapt to the many changes and restrictions we have faced over the last year. Being a late-night venue, our decor was a little on the dark side.
We are looking to utilise the space during the day as a great space for people from the community who want a break from working from home and to enjoy one of our freshly baked pizzas. It is a little homage/nod to First Out Cafe. This year we celebrate 75 years as London’s oldest LGBTQ+ venue, so we are celebrating not just our history, but that of Gay London of yesteryear.
GLL: We’ve heard about some exciting additions to The Quebec and it becoming a community Hub, tell us more about that?
AS: Yes Steve, that is correct. We are currently working with LGBTQ+ social groups who are meeting in bubbles of 6 within the venue. We began this back in April when we re-opened outside as for some lockdown has been tough on mental health and loneliness so to be able to offer a space for people to come together and meet new people has been great.
The London scene as amazing as it still feels segregated, our aim is for our space to be used by everyone in the LGBTQIA+ community both young and old, and aspiring to offer something similar to RVT but in the West End of London. I know the Quebec has a reputation as the Elephant’s graveyard but I am here to change that and to create a community hub for kings, queens, and everyone in between.
We also have a large alfresco terrace for summer months a so great stop-off point if shopping in Oxford St and Selfridges for catch-ups over a bottle of wine or a cocktail
GLL: We can see you’ve also got lots of new entertainment and events coming up, tell us more?
AS: We have some great events coming up over the next couple of months, something The Quebec has never seen before. This week we launched Candy which was fully booked and is a space for LGBTQ+ women to meet and socialise in a safe space. The event is held in our main bar area and outside terrace. Each week we will be showcasing Drag Kings and Queer performers on stage at 9 pm. Karaoke has returned to Tuesday nights.
We are launching Funnyboyz this weekend which has sold out in Brighton, Liverpool, Blackpool. We have Drag Race Holland, Canada, UK, and US stars booked in throughout the year. Funnyboyz is the place to be if you want to catch Britain’s Next Drag Superstar before the series airs in October.
We also have a host of 90’s & 00’s dance stars performing throughout the year
August bank holiday we are hosting an under the sea ball for Mermaids charity as well as brave the shave for Mcmillian
Our downstairs bar has been given a revamp and will be a bar/club once again once restrictions lift. It is a little nod to Madame JoJo’s scandalous Weds nights every Thurs Sat & Sun
We also have Cabaret every Saturday & Sunday and Saucy Sophie’s big camp quiz every Thursday from 9 pm. As restrictions lift we are continually looking at bringing something fresh to the scene in London so watch this space…..
GLL: What’s been your favorite part of getting back to work and what have you missed over the lockdown?
AS: Being back in the thick of things the excitement and sometimes stresses of running a venue. Having our outside space helped open us up to new clientele whilst other bars were still closed. All the planning and work put in over this last lockdown all coming to fruition, the fresh look to the venue, the team new and old. But most importantly the customers especially the regulars.
GLL: Once you open and are allowed to drink inside.. what’s your favorite drink? and which one would you recommend to your new and returning customers?
AS: My favourite drink we currently sell is Hoxton grapefruit and coconut gin, so refreshing in the heat this week and goes a treat with lemonade. Also, our new pink gin martini tastes just like strawberry frubes and is incredibly moreish. I think over the last 2 years since being at the Quebec I have tried every type of gin we have and we sell over 50.
The City of Quebec is located just by Marble Arch.
12 Old Quebec Street. London. W1H 7AF.
Be Sure to pop down!