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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Out on the scene: Napa's latin queens in all their glory for last(?) night

Photo slideshow of the Drag Show embedded on blog site

August 29th might have been Napa Billiards last big night under it's current ownership, and with that, maybe the last night for it's famous underground drag shows. The Valley's Other Fruit was there:

Friday started off slow--most of the crowd didn't show up until after 10:30p, but it was a really fun night. Maybe just because it was my first time "bartending"...maybe because not many in attendance new that a change of ownership most likely was coming very soon...maybe the ladies had an extremely good energy...and maybe it was because more than a handful of my friends showed up. I'm sure it was a mix of all of the above.

The show was fabulous, the costumes more extravagant than usual (surprise ending with Santi as "La Cher"--pic is in the slideshow, above), the room wasn't as packed as their winter shows (maybe 75+ people?) but they were good people (if not a little inebriated) and most everyone had a great time. About 9 of the 12 pool tables were full and the usual mix and spread (gays near the bar, straights towards the back wall and the curious somewhere in the middle) filling the hall with talk, singing and dancing. This time the stage wasn't up high, just on the floor level, but a disco ball streamed flickering glamour around the curtains and floor near the bar. Yours truly was behind bartending--or as my friends mocked: serving beers. I think I did a pretty good job. Dish your reviews in the comments section if necessary.

In spite of my apprehensions (mentioned in one of my very first "reviews") when I first walked in their double glass doors, I've grown to love hanging out at the Billiards. I've met friends there that I never would have come across in my normal, semi-boring "Napa" life. If Napa Billiards is sold soon, I hope that the new owners keep building on the great community that has been enjoying the place for the past couple of years. Older, soccer-watching mexican men, younger guys looking for some attractive women, pretty latin girls, drag queens, gay guys, bi-curious guys that would never admit a thing (the ladies call them mayates in Spanish), and even a handful of white folk looking to meet some new people or for an inexpensive (free even, lately) table of pool. And, most of the time, its a mix of all of the above.

In the beginning I might have called it an "awkward" mix of people, and at times it can be. But it does work, and I'm going to miss it--and the great people--if it goes away.

I'll keep you posted on any updates I hear.

Comments about your experiences at Napa Billiards? Any other great gay-friendly latin places in the Valley (or nearby) that we should know about? Use the comments, or as always, our tipline.


  1. I enjoyed a lot that night. It was great to see you and bartending with you, it was our first time btw lol. Hopefully the place will be lgbt-friendly under new ownership.

  2. No puedo ver las fotos de la noche.