When Kressley and his man weren't in Virginia Beach, or holed up in their room at The Jefferson, they could be spotted downtown sipping Jack 'n' Diet Coke cocktails in Godfrey's and Barcode on East Grace Street.
Despite his reputation for flamboyance, Carson kept things pretty low-key.
After he stopped in at Godfrey's, some revelers invited Carson and his boyfriend to join them later at Barcode. It was a pretty chill evening, says Mark Collins, a Godfrey's bartender who drank with the couple at Barcode. "Carson seemed a little tired, but Richmond was a little tired too," he says.
No fashion advice from Kressley, but the celebrity did divulge that a Queer Eye makeover takes 13 people three days to complete, Collins says.
"I asked him where Kyan, the hot one, was. He got a little bitter," jokes Collins, referring to Kyan Douglas, the show's hair and skin specialist.
For Barret Wertz, a marketing student at Virginia Commonwealth University (and a Style Weekly fashion quarterly intern), Kressley's coming wasn't just a celebrity sighting, but a chance to catch up. Wertz's boyfriend has known Jai Rodriguez, the show's cultural consultant, for years and has performed with him more than once in various off-Broadway productions around New York City.
"They're just like they are on TV," Wertz says. "Carson is ... hysterical, and Kyan is a little quieter, very fluent." Wertz first met the "Queer Eye" gang during the closing night of the review "Zana, Don't."
"He didn't make a spectacle. He just came in. Did his thing. Had two drinks and left," says Matt Butler, who was checking IDs at Barcode the night Carson came in. "Nothing too fabulous, he was very unassuming."
So unassuming, he says, that he didn't recognize him until he checked his ID.
After he had spent about 20 minutes at Barcode, the rest of the bar started noticing him, at which point Kressley's corner became very crowded.
"On his way out," Butler says, "I told him I tried to keep him from feeling like a fish in a barrel. He was really cool and just said, 'It happens.'" Amy Biegelsen
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