The City of West Hollywood welcomes a new gay bar. OR Bar WeHo, located at 8228 Santa Monica Blvd., is having a soft opening this week on Thursday, December 15, 2022, from 6pm-12pm. Co-owner Stephanie Schestag, tells WEHO TIMES there has been no press release announcing their opening and that they may stay open later “depending on how the night goes.”
The highly anticipated reincarnation of the former Gold Coast Bar space had a soft opening earlier this week. On Wednesday night, the owners hosted a special preview for friends and family who had a first hand experience of the space.
Fashion Police co-host George Kotsiopoulos teamed up with Circus of Books owner Rob Novinger and Fire Hot Yoga founder Schestag, to open the new gay bar that literally means “Gold” in French–a nod to the beloved Gold Coast space which closed for good in September 2020 after serving the community for 39 years.
According to Novinger, they were hoping to open in early September, but there were engineering and supply chain issues that delayed their opening by roughly three months. “Believe it or not, we’re not waiting on anything from the city,” Rob Novinger said back in August. “In West Hollywood, they’ve been really good with working with us. They want new business. They welcome new business. They roll out the red carpet. In LA, it’s like three or four months to get approved. West Hollywood had everything approved within two weeks.”
He said equipment that was ordered in January of this year had been held back even though they were manufactured in the U.S. He hoped the bar would open by Labor Day, but instead, they are opening in time for the holidays and the upcoming New Year’s Eve celebration.
The new West Hollywood bar has been completely revamped and hopes to cater to a more upscale clientele. It is being billed as a gay bar by the owners who have acknowledged the history of the space and are not shying away from the cruisy reputation of the infamous Vaseline Alley located in their backyard.
“We don’t want gay bars to become obsolete,” Kotsiopoulos told Variety when he announced his latest endeavor last year. “We’re passionate about making sure we still have safe places for community.”
“It’s going to be fun,” Novinger told WEHO TIMES this past summer. “It’s not going to be what it was, but it’s not going to be snooty. It’s going to be cool, 70s, 80s, trashy, cocaine chic. It will be funny.”