Of Gay Bar Food and Good Times 

What's been written about the “alternative lifestyle” bars in our city is very misleading. I'm a straight male who's been to all of the bars mentioned in “Scared Straight” review by Robey Martin (Food & Drink, Oct. 6). Besides simply visiting these establishments, I've eaten at three of the places and never been disappointed. What Martin fails to mention is that these are primarily bars, not fine-dining establishments. When I'm out at a club and order food, I know the wings are from the freezer, but they serve their purpose.

Babes: Obviously, no one needs to stick up for Babes. It's been around forever and will thrive. Its bartenders have always been very courteous and my food has never come out wrong, let alone had anything rotten on it. Along with having Babes' tasty burgers come out right every time, I've never sat at a sticky or dirty table.

Barcode: I wouldn't compare this establishment to a dirty, untidy woman. Along with great service, the food's great. In fact, most places would charge more for what you get at Barcode. I'd like to ask Martin, how is it possible to have a bun that is simultaneously soggy and stale?

Godfrey's: I've been to drag brunch on more than one occasion, and never been disappointed. As far as the “service bordering on pathetic,” you're warned before you go in that it's an absolute madhouse. I know for a fact every plate from the kitchen is made to order (my quesadilla was excellent). In regards to drag queens fighting over money, I have never seen nor heard of this.

Nations: Although I've merely been to Nations to hang out and drink, I say this; if you want your sandwich on a freshly baked bun, go to Panera Bread.

In closing, I have been greeted with more customer appreciation and felt more welcome at these places than most bars in Richmond. When you go out to a bar and decide to eat, know that you're ordering bar food. Remember, after a certain hour most places in Virginia serve food simply because they have to. That's basic ABC law. We all know that most of it's nothing to write home about, so there's no reason to bash gay bars in Richmond just because they don't serve gourmet food all the time. Support your gay community, and the bars that have given you great times you'll never forget.

Jason Kane


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