Welcome to Appetizers, OpenTable’s column that aims to uplift and motivate with a taste of the most inspiring food-world news of the moment. Discover the things that are making us laugh, cry, think, and just plain hungry for more.
Making us … support
In the 1980s, there were an estimated 200 lesbian bars around the United States — now there are just 21, according to The Lesbian Bar Project, an initiative to save those last 21. The ongoing fundraising in honor of Pride Month aims to raise $200K for the bars, with a documentary that chronicles their struggles and hopes. “We believe what makes a bar uniquely lesbian is its prioritization of creating space for people of marginalized genders; including women, non-binary folks, and trans men,” The Lesbian Bar Project says. To support those 21 bars, stop by your local lesbian bar, including Henrietta Hudson in New York City, Wildside West in San Francisco, and Pearl Bar in Houston.
Making us … appreciate
In a New York Times article exploring the importance of longstanding gay restaurants, several queer restaurateurs and diners talk about what gay restaurants mean to them. For many, they became a place of belonging, surrounded by people like themselves in a space that accepted them for who they are. Nan Seymour, a regular at Laziz’s Kitchen in Salt Lake City, who sometimes dines with her trans daughter said, “It’s essential for us to know that we can be at a restaurant and not worry about how it will go for my daughter when she goes to the bathroom.” In New York City, where gay restaurants have been thriving for decades, Elmo in Chelsea has served up two decades of lively unwavering friendliness to the community as a favorite neighborhood haunt. This Pride month, take a moment to consider supporting your local gay restaurant when choosing to dine out.
Making us … celebrate
May 26: You’ll Be Able to Keep Getting To-Go Cocktails From Restaurants in These 15 States
March 18: This Year’s St. Patrick’s Day Represented Hope for Many Restaurants
February 18: The Pandemic Is Reviving the Drive-In Restaurant