Tag Archive | "Blake’s"

The Preeminent Reign of Princess Charles


Shannon Jenkins, Associate Writer, Lifestyle & Culture

Experiencing Atlanta’s gay nightlife isn’t complete until you’ve bumped into Princess Charles. The vivacious performer, whose real name is Charles Kollock, has hosted countless events around the city and runs his own signature show, the Sophisticated Ladies of Atlanta. Raised in Statesboro, Princess Charles moved to Atlanta in 1993 for gymnastics and dance and eventually made his way to Atlanta. While working at Blake’s, a manager asked him if he’d ever thought about doing drag. Charles said he wasn’t opposed to it, and the two of them created a show. The rest, Princess Charles said, was drag history.

Shannon: How did you get your start as a performer?
Charles: I’ve always entertained as long as I could remember—singing and dancing for my family. As a professional entertainer I first danced for a company called Peepshow Entertainment. Later on a guy saw me dancing at the Masquerade and they hired me dance. Then I met Romeo Cologne, who is known as the Best Funk DJ in Atlanta out one night, and he told me he was holding auditions for dancers for his spin night at a club formerly known as Kaya. I danced for him for four years.

Shannon: How would you describe your style of entertainment?
Charles: It’s joyful. I’m a trained dancer, so I live to incorporate the technique of dance and gymnastics into my performances. It’s high energy, if you will. I love to emcee and I bring elements of the old school shows like Sonny and Cher, the Rat Pack, Flip Wilson, and Carol Burnett to the composition of the show. I frequently watch these shows over and over again to learn how these stars engaged their audiences

Shannon: What inspires your style?
Charles: The 1920’s, old Hollywood and, of course, the 70’s. Oh how I love a bell bottom! In that era fashion was soooooo much fun, and everyone seemed to get it in their own unique way. It’s the glamour of it all, dahlllings!

Shannon: Who has influenced your work?
Charles: My all-time favorite entertainers here in Atlanta are the ones who paved the way, so people like me have a chance to become a bright light within the community … i.e.. Lena Lust! I call her Auntie; she is amazing! Her energy is so infectious. Charlie Brown: I use to watch her at Backstreet. I was memorized at her wit and her timing as an emcee. Shawnna Brooks: I think she is electrifying on stage. Shawnna walks into a room and commands it; that’s something that can’t be taught. Budda D., Heather Daniels, Niesha Dupree, Alicia Kelly, and Mary Edith are all the mothers from whom I’ve learn so much. I’ve also been influenced by Brent Star, EJ Aviance, Phoenix, Nicole Paige Brooks, Destiny Brooks and my lil’ sistah Jasmine Aviance. Also my mom and stepfather. I must give props to my family Bill Kaelin, Lisa Jordan, Wally Lee, Bobbette Vance, Marcus Jackson and Caliber Enterprises who all continue to influence my work by providing ongoing support, belief in me, unconditional love and for showing me to be above the rest.

Shannon: What are a few highlights from your career?
Charles: I have also been in several SCAD documentaries. I have danced at the Fox Theatre, the Atlanta Ballet, and Gotta Dance Studios. I have also worked with renowned choreographer Jimmy Locust, who danced for Janet Jackson. In fashion I have worked with model Cynthia Bailey commentating from the red carpet during a fashion event for the International Interior Design Association at the Botanical Gardens, which was televised on the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” last year.

Shannon: What do you do to psych yourself up for a performance?
Charles: Hmmm … champagne is nice. No, no I say a lil’ prayer, take a deep breath and just go for it!

Shannon: What are some of your upcoming gigs?
Charles: I just finished hosting the Fenuxe Fire Party, which was a smash! I will be the host for an amateur drag show with a panel of judges during Atlanta Pride weekend, and I’m hosting a birthday party in September at the W Hotel in Buckhead. The Sophisticated Ladies of Atlanta will perform for the GLAAD Hero Award Gala in October. We are holding auditions for an upcoming SLOA show. Auditions are scheduled to be completed by the end of September. The girls and I have an amazing show prepared for you this holiday season. It is unlike anything Atlanta has ever seen before and you will want to be there.

To keep up with Princess Charless, follow him on Twitter @ckollock93.

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Shawnna Brooks Presides Over Drag Family


Shannon Jenkins, Associate Writer, Culture & Lifestyle

You can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family. Depending on whom you ask, that saying may not ring entirely true, especially if that person belongs to the House of Brooks.

Several of Atlanta’s well-known performers make up the happy drag family, whose matriarch is none other than the legendary Shawnna Brooks. The origins of the Brooks clan began in 1989 in Fayetteville, North Carolina, when Shawnna performed drag for the first time in a talent show.

“That’s all it took,” she said of the birth of her drag career. “I’ve been working for more than 20 years. I’ve worked with the best, and I’m very grateful to still be working.”

It was Shawnna’s polished work that attracted the other performers who would become her family. Over the years Shawnna “begot” three children—Nicole Paige Brooks, Destiny Brooks, and Tara Nicole Brooks. Nicole and Destiny perform locally, while Tara Nicole works in North Carolina.

“A child is like your apprentice,” explained Nicole Paige Brooks, a season two “RuPaul’s Drag Race” contestant. “As a mother, you help polish the younger drag queens. You teach them all the tricks of the trade.”

When she first moved to Atlanta in 1999, Nicole Paige said she was obsessed with Shawnna.

“Every time Shawnna came out she had this crazy amount of energy, even when she was not moving,” Nicole Paige said. “She makes you look at her. You cannot not watch Shawnna.”

After seeing Shawnna perform, Nicole Paige followed her new idol everywhere until she started performing about a year and a half after moving to Atlanta.

“I started working at Blake’s, and Shawnna took me under her wing,” she said. “I was just Nicole Paige then because I had done drag in Oklahoma. Shawnna helped me calm down a lot and introduced me to a lot of people.”

In 2001 Nicole Paige added “Brooks” to her name. Then she had children of her own—Phoenix and Angelica D’Paige. And the Brooks family continued to grow with such additions as Janelle Paige Brooks, Alissah Brooks and more.

“I don’t even know half the kids that have my last name,” Shawnna said. “I have a million grand kids. It’s very flattering.”

Although the family has gained several members over the years, not just anyone can join the House of Brooks.

“You have to be voted in by everybody,” Shawnna said. “You have to get along with everybody. You have to have a certain ‘it’ factor.”

When they’re not showing off their “it” factor for crowds at various clubs around the city, they’re doing what any other family does.

“We all have dinner together,” Shawnna said. “We all go shopping together. We watch movies. We really are a family.”

Aside from the good times, being a family also means watching out for one another.

“In this business you have a lot of people who blow smoke up your ass,” Nicole Paige said. “Your family is supposed to tell you the truth. And, anything you need you just call your sister or your mother.”

As the head of the Brooks family, Shawnna makes sure she’s there for her girls. But she’s not one to coddle. She embraces the concept of “tough love.”

“I’m very hard on them,” she said. “I’m always checking up to see what they’re doing, what they have on, if they look right. I think they respect that.”

“Shawnna has really high standards,” Nicole Paige confirmed. “She makes sure we’re making our own costumes and we’re acting right. You need someone that you respect and will hold you to a standard.”

As part of her high standards, Shawnna imposes two particular rules on her family.

“Always be nice to people,” she said. “And always be humble.”

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Best of Atlanta 2012


We asked for your favorite businesses and organizations in Atlanta, and you happily obliged. Below you’ll find the gay-owned and gay-friendly venues you picked as the 2012 Best of Atlanta.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Local Art Gallery
BILL LOWE GALLERY
“My gallery’s great passion has been to expose people in our wonderful city to art that reflects their highest aspirations; provides them with spiritual, emotional and intellectual stimulation; and contributes to cementing Atlanta’s status as a true cultural center. Atlanta’s gay community has been at the forefront of moving this conversation forward. It has provided much of the fuel for my gallery’s evolution.” –Bill Lowe
LoweGallery.com

Best Museum
HIGH MUSEUM
Oscar Wilde said, “No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.” So go see art by people who saw things as they really weren’t.
High.org

Best Chorus Line or Choir
ATLANTA GAY MEN’S CHORUS
“We are honored by this award, considering the tremendous contributions of all the nominees. The AGMC is proud to continue programming concerts that are not only of the highest musical quality, but are also socially relevant. Having just returned from presenting the closing performance of the festival of GALA Choruses, International, we are thrilled to be recognized by the Atlanta community in this way. Thanks to all who voted for us. We are your chorus, Atlanta!” Kevin Robison, AGMC Artistic Director
AGMChorus.org

Best Live Performing Arts
FOX THEATRE
“I love variety, ambiance at my entertainment venue and easy access to the locale of choice. The Fox Theatre delivers consistent quality in programming suitable for a night out with my husband or children. We are always able to enjoy easy parking, a great meal and friendly service when we attend a show at the Fox.” —Melody Baker, Fenuxe Sales Associate
FoxTheatre.org

Best Local Cinema
CINEBISTRO
You don’t need a sugar daddy to sit in the lap of luxury. You just need to by a movie ticket.
CobbCineBistro.com

Best Comedy Club
DAD’S GARAGE
These people will make you gay. “Gay” as in “happy.” Not “gay” as in “man-on-man action.” Although, the latter has happened on stage there on more than one occasion.
DadsGarage.com

AUTOMOTIVE

Best Oil Change
HAVOLINE XPRESS LUBE
We could make an inappropriate comment about a sweaty mechanic and lube, but we’re classy.
HavolineXpressLube.net

Best Car Repair Shop
ATLANTA CAR CARE
We can’t go to our gay events if our little gay cars don’t work. Thank the rainbow for mechanics!
AtlantaCarCareOnline.com

Best Car Dealership
NALLEY BMW
Buying a BMW from Nalley is just like wearing a kilt. You instantly look sexy, and guys wonder if you’re wearing underwear. Well, the two are mostly alike.
NalleyBMW.com

(Close Second)
DWIGHT HARRISON VOLKSWAGEN
DwightHarrison.com

BAR SCENE

Best Gay Bar, Best Patio & Best Overall Value
BURKHART’S
The people have spoken, and Burkhart’s Pub is Atlanta’s gay mecca. Crowds come for the drag shows, reasonably priced food and cocktails, special events, and man hunting. Simply put, Burkhart’s has it all!
Burkharts.com

Best Drag Show & Best Weekly Event
ARMORETTES (Burkhart’s)
Best Themed Event
ARMORETTES EASTER DRAG RACES
For over 33 years, we’ve just tried to put on a good show to raise money in the fight against HIV and AIDS. But the real credit should go to the people that come out and support the show and the charities we work with. One dollar can make a difference! —Ally Yankadic, Armorette
Facebook.com/Groups/TheArmorettes

Best Trivia & Best Sports Bar
WOOFS
Sports-loving beefy, hairy fellas with brains—now, that’s a complete package. Teehee.
WoofsAtlanta.com

Best Karaoke
MARY’S
No other venue works those vocal cords harder than this East Atlanta Village bar.
MarysAtlanta.com

Best Drink Special
AMSTERDAM
“Despite rumors of me being a total lightweight, I assure you I can handle my alcohol. I can easily drink one … maybe two … fishbowls at Amsterdam before I start making out with a barstool.” —Shannon Jenkins, Fenuxe Writer
AmsterdamAtlanta.com

Best Bar Inside a Hotel
ELEVEN (Loews)
The most incredible hotel bar in Atlanta is somewhere in between ten and twelve. Get it? Get it?
LoewsHotels.com

Best Place to Dance
JUNGLE
Keep on dancing till the world ends. Listen to Britney. She knows what she’s talking about.
JungleClubAtlanta.com

Best Bar with Stiffest Cocktails
SWINGING RICHARDS
Strong drinks mixed with naked hunks—sounds like a good time is about to slap you in the face.
SwingingRichards.com

Best Place to Meet Women
MY SISTER’S ROOM
“We are very excited to win this award and we are very honored to be the longest running lesbian bar in the southeast! Thank you Atlanta for supporting MSR for 16 years!” –Jen and Jami, Owners
MySistersRoom.com

Best Place to Meet Men & Best Bartenders
BLAKE’S
Is there a coincidence that Atlanta’s finest bachelors and popular bartenders can be found in the same place? It’s time to investigate for ourselves.
BlakesOnTheParkAtlanta.com

BEAUTY

Best Facial
SPA SYDELL
Pamper your face. Otherwise guys will never check out your Grindr profile.
SpaSydell.com

Best Botex/Fillers
DR. DOUGLAS GURLEY
Many local guys know where to find the fountain of youth. Luckily those fellas can’t keep a secret.
TDouglasGurleyMD.com

Best Place to Get a Haircut
HELMET
“We’re honored that Atlantans look to us when collaborating on their personal style. You are what you do, and we want to make sure you look good doing it!” –Randy Addison, Helmet Founder
HelmetHairWorx.com

Best Dentist
CHIP HILL
“Few people enjoy having dental work done, but we try to make the experience as pleasant as possible. The key is my team that works together like family. I have amazing people that help me include our patients in the decisions about their treatment rather than simply telling them what to do. By knowing each patient as a friend, we take the time to earn their trust and with that our family grows.” –Chip Hill
ChipHillDDS.com

Best Dermatologist
DERMATOLOGY CONSULTANTS
“For more than 75 years, Dermatology Consultants, P.C. has been advancing the practice of dermatology in the metro Atlanta area. Our full-service practice encompasses the full array of medical, surgical and cosmetic dermatology services. Led by eight board-certified dermatologists, our experienced team is dedicated to serving Atlanta area patients and their families.” –Dr. Anna Pare
DermatologyConsultants.org

Best Place to Get Your Nails Done
ROOSTERS MEN’S GROOMING CENTER
A refined gentleman takes care of his appearance, and that includes shaping his nails. Otherwise he’s just a caveman.
RoostersMGC.com

Best Overall Gym
GRAVITY
“I am a fitness fanatic, and I love this gym. It is in a great convenient location and has plenty of great amenities. I love group fitness and they offer some great fitness classes. The staff is friendly and I feel like they have something for everyone there.” –Nicholas Jacobs, Fenuxe Sales Associate
GravityATL.com

Best Tanning Salon
HOLLYWOOD TANS MIDTOWN
There’s nothing wrong with being pale. But when you take your shirt off and blind a pilot flying a jet overhead, it may be time for some help.
HollywoodTansAtlanta.com

Best Plastic Surgeon
MORGAN COSMETIC SURGERY
“It is a privilege for me as a physician to serve the LGBT community in Atlanta. I take pride in having a practice where all patients are treated with respect, dignity, and kindness.” –Dr. Elizabeth Morgan
DrElizabethMorgan.com

Best Place for Massage
MASSAGE ENVY
Your boyfriend likes to pretend he’s a masseur but those knots in your back prove otherwise. Send him on a wild goose chase and go to the people who know what they’re doing.
MassageEnvy.com

(Close Second)
HEAVENLY FOOT MASSAGE
Heavenly-FootMassage.com

Best Spa for Men
RYAN’S CALIFORNIA THERAPIES
Between your ex-boyfriend and the city’s horrific traffic, it’s no wonder you’re so stressed. Relax before end up in a padded room.
RyansCaliforniaTherapies.com

Best Bathhouse
FLEX
Bath towel hanging dangerously low on the hips? Check. Cruising the hot guy in the sauna? Check. Local guys voted Flex as the best place to fill out their sexy checklists.
FlexSpas.com

COMMUNITY

Best Outdoor Event
ATLANTA PRIDE
“I think Atlanta Pride resonates with people because many have a personal connection to the event. Most LGBTQ folks remember their first Pride and, whether it was in Atlanta or somewhere else, it had an impact on them. For some LGBTQ people, attending Pride is one of the few times of the year where they can truly be themselves without any worry about how they are perceived. Our festival provides them an oasis, if you will, to express who they are and live an authentic life, at least for the weekend.” –Buck Cooke, Atlanta Pride Managing Director
AtlantaPride.org

Best Drag Pageant/Series
AID ATLANTA COTILLION
“I think the Atlanta Cotillion deserves this because it’s not really about the dresses in our event. It’s about raising awareness and much-needed funds for AID Atlanta. Don’t get me wrong. It’s fun to dress up but it’s awesome to help a great non-profit organization.” –Ronnie Mallette, Chair of the Atlanta Cotillion
AtlantaCotillion.com

Best Benefit
TOY PARTY
As one of the most anticipated events of the year, For the Kid’s annual toy fundraiser draws thousands of guests.
ForTheKid.org

Best Gay Sports Team
ATLANTA BUCKS
“The Bucks are very proud to win Best Sports Team again this year. We work hard to be first-class athletes and competitors, and we do our best to make the Atlanta community proud. It’s great to get recognized for our efforts.” —Max Alvarado, Former Bucks President
AtlantaBucksRugby.org

Best House of Worship/Spiritual Center
SAINT MARK UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
Maybe it’s the spectacular stained-glass windows people like so much about this Midtown landmark. Perhaps it’s the welcoming atmosphere and genuine goodness of its members. Who knows?!
StMarkUMC.org

Best Local Non-Profit LGBT Organization
AID ATLANTA
“AID Atlanta has been at the center of Atlanta’s LGBT response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and we continue to lead the way in caring for people living with HIV/AIDS and stopping this epidemic through HIV testing and prevention efforts.” –Jon Santos, AID Atlanta Development Director
AIDAtlanta.org

Best Law Firm
KITCHENS NEW CLEGHORN
“Our law firm fights for LGBT people and their families in courtrooms across the State of Georgia because we take issues of fairness and equality personally.” –Jeff Cleghorn, Esq.
KNCLawFirm.com

Best Lawyer
RANDY E. FRY
“Growing up, I watched my parents not just ‘talk the talk’ but ‘walk the walk’ in helping people taken advantage of by others, or not as blessed, as we were as a family. Their daily example inspired and excited me then, as it does today. As a trial attorney/personal injury, I often make a real difference in people’s lives when they are seriously hurt, and lives affected through others’ wrong-doing.” –Randy Fry
TheFryLawFirm.com

Best Realtor
CHRIS HOUGH
“I love serving Atlanta’s LGBT real estate needs. I was born in East Point, went to school in Atlanta, left a thriving Real Estate Brokerage in Cobb County around 1995 during the ‘Olympics-out-of-Cobb’ movement, and that risky move gave me a unique perspective, appreciation, and pride for us all equally. The community supported me then, and I continue to serve and support it now. I have seen and participated in the progress, and have enjoyed the friendships that I have made along the way of doing business. Life is good.” –Chris Hough
ChrisLHough.com

Best Insurance Group
KELLERMAN & ASSOCIATES
Cocktails may soothe your nerves but they won’t give you peace of mind. That’s what insurance is for.
Nationwide.com

(Close Second)
CLEO MEYER
CleoMeyer.com

Best Counselor
BRETT ROZEN
“I feel so lucky to be able to get up each day and do something that gives me such deep personal fulfillment. Helping people has always been part of my make-up, ever since I was a little kid. I believe that therapy is something everyone should try. It’s such a wonderful opportunity to get to know yourself better and to grow as a person. I’m fortunate, in that I can be present and help my clients go forward with their exciting journey of self-exploration.” –Brett Rozen
BrettRozenTherapy.com

FASHION/RETAIL

Best Local Boutique & Best Place to Get Sexy Underwear
BOY NEXT DOOR
Besides the whole man-on-man lovin’ the only thing that separates us gay men from our straight counterparts is our passion for sexy skivvies.
BoyNextDoor.biz

Best Gifts & Novelties Store
BRUSHSTROKES/CAPULETS
Whether you need a copy of “The Big Penis Book” or lube, everyone knows this is the place to go. They also have a ton of other stuff that has nothing to do with male genitalia. If you’re into that.
BrushstrokesAtlanta.com

Best Florist
TWELVE
How dark and dank the world would be without flowers. (Kind of like a world without Ben Cohen).
TwelveAtlanta.net

Best Bookstore
CHARIS
Would you rather have a virtual lover or a flesh-and-blood person? Sometimes you might feel the same way about a book. For the best place to find books with actual binding and paper, Atlantans have chosen Charis.
CharisBooksAndMore.com

Best Jewelry Store
WORTHMORE JEWELERS
Sorry, Jessie J. Sometimes it is all about the ba-bling, ba-bling.
WorthmoreJewelers.com

(Close Second)
MIDTOWN JEWELERS
MidtownJewelers.net

Best Liquor Store
TOWER
When you’ve had a hard week nothing soothes your nerves better than meandering through Tower’s rows of alcohol and running your fingers over all the bottles as anticipate a weekend of drinking. Or maybe that’s just us.
TowerWineSpirits.com

Best Place to Shop Till You Drop
ATLANTIC STATION
Forget your aching feet and blurry vision. If your shopping trip doesn’t end with you collapsing, you can’t really call yourself a power purchaser.
AtlanticStation.com

Best Thrift/Secondhand Store
SACK’S THRIFT AVENUE
Exploring 45,000 square feet of showroom space full of bargains and antiques would make any thrifty shopper’s head spin.
Facebook.com/Sacksthrift.Antiques

Best Shopping Mall
LENOX SQUARE
If malls were drag queens, Lenox Square would be RuPaul. You better work it!
LenoxSquare.com

Best Eye Wear Provider
ANSLEY EYE CARE
Since 2008 Ansley Eye Care has been providing Atlanta men with stylish eyewear so they can properly check out other guys.
AnsleyEyeCare.com

Best Quality Furniture
ROOM & BOARD
If it weren’t for this high-end furniture gallery, all the loft owners in Atlanta would be sitting on milk crates. That would just be cruel.
RoomAndBoard.com

Best Trendsetting/Modern Furniture
INTAGLIA HOME COLLECTION
Just like women need Vogue to tell them what to wear, Atlantans look to Intaglia for guidance in furnishing a modern home.
IntagliaHome.com

FOOD

Best Gay-Owned Restaurant & Best Mexican Food
NO MAS CANTINA
Oh, Castleberry Hill. You’d still be a great neighborhood without No Mas, but you’d definitely lose some of your awesome factor.
NoMasCantina.com

Best Brunch
RADIAL CAFE
Who doesn’t love a good brunch? But if you desire a euphoric brunch that will curl your toes and send your eyes rolling to the back of your head…well…now you know where to go.
Radial.us

Best Bloody Mary
EINSTEIN’S
It doesn’t take a genius to find Atlanta’s best cure for a hangover. But just in case, here’s a hint: it’s located at the intersection of 12th and Juniper.
MetroCafes.com

Best Coffee House
OCTANE WEST MIDTOWN
We suspect this place grounds its coffee beans with “artsy” and “hip” because all the cool people sip here.
OctaneCoffee.com

Best Yummy Desserts
CAFE INTERMEZZO
Fight those urges to strip naked and grind your body against the dessert display. Apparently it’s illegal. We wished someone had warned us, but, you know, live and learn.
CafeIntermezzo.com

Best Italian Food
ALFREDO’S
The only thing that could make this Cheshire Bridge eatery better is receiving a complimentary Italian stud with every authentic meal. They do that in Rome, right?
AlfredosAtlanta.com

Best Ethnic Food
CAFE AGORA
We love a tasty kebab, especially when chunks of juicy meat are involved. Goodness, Mediterranean cuisine is hot.
CafeAgora.com

Best Bakery
HIGHLAND BAKERY
No human could ever make jalapeno focaccia bread or cupcakes this delicious. There’s some supernatural hocus pocus going down in the Old Fourth Ward.
HighlandBakery.com

Best Margarita
FROGS CANTINA
After a pitcher of their tequila-based cocktails you may feel the need to express your uncontrollable attraction to one of the cute waiters and maybe potentially stalk him after his shift. We’re just guessing.
FrogsMidtown.com

Best Burger
VORTEX
A bad-ass burger requires more thought than just slapping some hunk of meat between two buns. Luckily for Atlanta, the Vortex chefs know how to handle their beef.
TheVortexBarAndGrill.com

Best Pizza Joint
VARASANO’S PIZZERIA
“I got into pizza when I first moved to Atlanta. I just craved all of the foods that I had in New York—the cannoli, the bagels, the hot dogs. But the one I couldn’t live without was the pizza. I was determined to try and make it at home. I didn’t realize it would take six years to make one decent slice.” –Jeff Varasano
Varasanos.com

Best Gay-Friendly Restaurant
ROXX
The day this Cheshire Bridge staple isn’t full of homosexuals will be the day Fred Phelps self-combusts in an explosion of rainbow sprinkles.
RoxxFanClub.com

Best Sushi
RU SAN’S
The every friendly staff at Ru San’s knows how to rock some rolls.
RuSans.com

Best Thai
TOP SPICE
“Top Spice’s spring salad rolls with peanut sauce are dreamy. The coconut soup and pad thai are tasty, and I would sell my mother into a ring of Russian prostitutes if need be to get the curry panang chicken. Portions are good sized while not making a huge dent in your wallet (or man purse).” –Jim Balarillo, Fenuxe Sales Associate
TopSpiceAtlanta.com

Best New Restaurant
STK
For the past few months Atlanta’s diners have three letters on the tips of their tongues, and they’re not talking about PB&J.
STKHouse.com

MEDICAL

Best Chiropractic Center
LIVE WELL CHIROPRACTIC
Kinks have a time and a place, but not when it comes to your back.
LiveWellChiropractic.com

Best Hospital
PIEDMONT HOSPITAL
Unless you’re scouting for a handsome doctor husband, you most likely don’t want to visit a hospital. But when life throws you a curve ball, it’s helpful to know locals prefer Piedmont. Hopefully your physician is cute and single.
PiedmontHospital.org

 

Best HIV/AIDS Care & Treatment Facility
ABSOLUTE CARE
Compassion and professionalism mean a lot when infectious disease health care is concerned, and Atlantans know exactly where to find those qualities.
AbsoluteCareHealth.com

PLACES

Best Place for a Blind Date
FIFTH IVORY
“Fifth Ivory is a great place to meet family and friends. It’s a cool neighborhood spot where everybody is welcome!” –Aaron Born, Owner
TheFifthIvory.com

Best Neighborhood to Live
EAST ATLANTA
How can a neighborhood that houses both Mary’s and My Sister’s Room not be cool?
Facebook.com/EastAtlantaVillage

Best Hotel
LOEWS
Generic hotels are a dime a dozen in Atlanta. But when it comes to luxury accommodations, Loews sets the standard.
LoewsHotels.com

Best Apartment Community
PARK DISTRICT
Who would want to live in a beautiful apartment conveniently located near Atlantic Station with easy access to Atlanta’s major roadways? Duh, a lot of people do.
LiveAtParkDistrict.com

Best Townhouse Community
ANSLEY PARKSIDE
Not only does living on Monroe Drive in a fabulous townhome mean Piedmont Park and other favorite gay locations are nearby, but it also guarantees you that your Scruff account will always be busy.
AnsleyParkside.com

Best Hidden Gem
KUDZU ANTIQUES
The gays have explored the city for undiscovered treasures and they have deemed Kudzu Antiques as the holy grail of vintage finds.
KudzuAntiques.com

PETS

Best Dog Day Care
PIEDMONT BARK
“The gay community has supported us from day one for the past ten years, and our business wouldn’t be what it is today without them.” –William Campbell, Piedmont Bark Owner
PiedmontBark.com

Best Pet Groomers
THE PET SET
Even the Real Housewives don’t get pampered as well as the feline and canine clients of The Pet Set’s grooming spa.
ThePetSet.com

Best Pet Supply
HIGHLAND PET SUPPLY
If you don’t buy your pets pretty things, they’ll poop in your shoes.
HighlandPet.com

Best Veterinary Care
VILLAGE VETS
“The great staff at Village Vets saved my dog Bucky’s life, and they calmed me down without vodka. I love them.” –Candace Hunziker, Fenuxe Assistant to the Publisher
TheVillageVets.com

 

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Hey Girl Hey


Just got back from the second week of Brain Freeze Trivia and all I can say is WOW! We had such a great turnout and so much fun. Bill Berdeaux rocks as our trivia master! If you haven’t checked it out yet, I’m hosting trivia every Monday night at Blake’s from 11-12:30, and we give away $250 CASH as well as prizes for each of the round winners, too. (Sponsored by Fenuxe Magazine). If you’d like to be a sponsor, contact me at [email protected]

Saturday night I was excited to attend the HRC dinner for the first time. I got to meet Congressman John Lewis for a second time and was pleased he remembered our first meeting at the Fenuxe 50 celebration. Gee, do I make an impression? Congressman Lewis really is an impressive man—he stared at me intently and gave me the feeling I was the only person in the room. I forgot for a moment I was in full regalia and just enjoyed our one-on-one interaction. He is such a compelling man full of wisdom and perseverance.

Highlights of the evening for me included Frenchie Davis who tore the house down with a couple of music selections, Sean Hayes who received an award, HRC President Joe Solmonese who is leaving HRC to work on Obama’s re-election campaign and Tammy Baldwin who is running for the senate in Wisconsin.

The event was held at the Hyatt downtown, and I must say it was pretty swanky. My favorite comical moment was when the inevitable bathroom break was needed, and I traipsed into the men’s room to relieve my bladder. The attendant wasn’t quite sure if he should call security or follow me into a stall. The greetings from the men at the urinals must have squelched his concerns because as I exited, he smiled and said, “Have a nice evening.”

Thought of the week: “Give up your limiting beliefs about what you can or cannot do, about what is possible or impossible.” Years ago my therapist shared with me the notion that the world was a place of abundance yet so many people operate from a scarcity mentality. Guess what? There is enough to go around—we don’t have to throw someone under the bus to get what we want. When we stop allowing limiting beliefs to keep us stuck, we begin to see the abundance life has to offer.

Love and lashes,
MEP
Send your questions or feedback to me at [email protected]

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Hey Girl Hey


Holler Poodles. I’m so excited to announce that Blake’s on the Park has asked me to host “Brain Freeze Trivia” every Monday night at 11. We’re giving away $250 to the winning team, so come early and sign up your team! Prizes will also be awarded to the winner of each of four rounds. You don’t want to miss out on this! It’s gonna be so much fun with all the hot boys and trivia and girls and hot boys and prizes and hot boys and liquor and hot boys. Plus they’re gonna have hot boys and great prizes. I hope you’ll come out to support us.

BTW, what are your summer travel plans? So many places to go, so many sights to see, and so many men to do meet. Since I have to stay out of the sun and maintain my Robert Pattinson moon glow, sunny beach destinations rarely show up on my travel radar. However, I must admit, my favorite summer travel trips have often included cruise ships.

I’ve been on about six or seven cruises, and I have to say it’s about the most relaxing vacation I can think of taking. There’s always something going on but you can do things when you want to or don’t want to. Food is always available and is included in your ticket price—girls did you hear that? —it’s FREE!!! Most cruise lines also have nicer restaurants on board that you can pay a little extra to get a gourmet meal. We went to an Italian restaurant and were served a 15-course meal. No kidding. We waddled back to our cabins, and I’m sure the boat was tipping all the way.

The best part about cruising to me is your destination comes to you. You leave San Juan one day, and the next day you’re in an exotic locale. Fabulous! No packing/re-packing suitcases and all that mess.

And then there are the men! When I got on the ship in San Juan, I thought I had entered gay heaven—gay men as far as the eye can see. Or at least that’s what I thought. No one bothered to tell me that straight men in San Juan enjoy waxing their eyebrows within an inch of their life! Everywhere I looked their eyebrows were staring back at me. Daddies were holding their children and embracing their wives yet still giving me that “look.” Boy was I confused. Only after a conversation with a local woman was I informed of the cultural grooming habits of these hot men. Damn! I looked more masculine than they did! [Well, in all honesty, I didn’t but it's a fantasy I’m holding on to!] I will say this, Puerto Rican steak is much more tender and flavorful than I expected. Mmmmmmmmm.

Happy cruising y’all!

Love and lashes,
MEP

Please send your questions and feedback to me at [email protected]

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Wanna be a zero?



Let’s face it, it’s way too easy to pack in over one thousand calories on any given night out. One drink, two drink, and before you know it those five cosmos have given you a spare tire. We know, it’s a cruel world. Can there be another way? We dug deeper into the delights of self-indulgence and found one can have a fabulous night out, without adding any calories. Follow our lead.

Note: All calories counted and burned are merely estimates based on a person weighing 170 calories using general resources. We recommend using a smart phone application to customize your own calorie activities based on your height, weight, gender and exercise history.

 

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Pretty/Active



Since John Sullivan opened Boy Next Door in 1980 at the same Piedmont Avenue location where it sits today the store has had an impact on the community around them. While making all the 80s gays look, oh so, pretty they were also making a positive impact on the community as a whole. The owner became very active in the Midtown/LGBT community by getting involved in things like early versions of Atlanta Pride and other civic activities.

Since John Sullivan opened Boy Next Door in 1980 on Piedmont Avenue the store has had a positive impact on the surrounding community. In the 80s, they were making us gays look oh so pretty while also having a wonderful impact on the community as a whole by getting involved in Atlanta Pride and other civic activities.

John passed away in 1994, but the store has remained at the original location and in the family ever since. First his mother, Pauline, made sure the store stayed relevant and active. Now, the shop is owned by John’s uncle, Jim Smith, who took over in 2008. Jim has brought in Richard Shadix to revamp the store while still staying true to styles that have graced their racks since its inception.

Richard says his main goal is to, “Make the store more unique with the same style and a mix of prices that are a little more accessible.” He is bringing in new, hot designers like Smith’s Sunglasses, Park & Ronen, and United Kingdom of Luke, but don’t worry, he is maintaining many of your favorite brands. The good news is there will now be something for every budget.

In addition to the new brands be on the lookout for new additions, remodels and updates which will make shopping for those sexy bathing suits even more fun. And for you boys who don’t have time to get out and shop they will be launching an e-commerce site in the very near future.

One of their main goals is to continue to support the community by holding more fashion shows at places like Blake’s, being more active in Atlanta Pride, and sponsoring charitable events with sexy boys prancing around in designer clothes. (Who doesn’t love that?!)

There is no way John Sullivan knew that his store would still be thriving in 2011, but it just goes to show that when retail establishments support the community who support them, everything is possible. So, the next time you’re looking for that new summer look, check out Boy Next Door, cruise the new styles available, and say hello to Richard for us!

 



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Bar Food Finds


Some might think eating food at a gay bar is about as common as a drag queen in overalls.  But a surprising number of our local watering holes offer up delicious grub.  Is it the typical bar fare experience or is it done with a flourish like a gay establishment should?  Does the food come with those festive pom-pom sticks Cowtippers puts in their burgers?  Do dishes have suggestive names like “Ribs: for his pleasure?”  Fenuxe took a peak inside the kitchens of your favorite night spots.

 

Amsterdam

The Lowdown: The largest menu filled with burgers, sandwiches, wraps, salads and a Southwestern menu.  Check out the pimento cheese three egg scramble at their Sunday brunch.

Bonus Points: Unlikely pub fare options like mahi mahi and tilapia.

The Gay Touch: “The P-Town Burger” topped with guacamole, carmelized onions and pepper jack cheese.

Woofs

The Lowdown: A ton of burgers, sandwiches and salads sure to suit any hungry sports fan.  They also offer wedgies – a sandwich on a pizza crust.

Bonus Points: Sports-related names for different courses, like “Pre-Game Warm-Up” for appetizers and “On the Green” for salads.

The Gay Touch: The ever popular “More Meat Than You Can Handle” pizza.

Blake’s

The Lowdown: Burgers, sandwiches, wraps and apps.  The little-known breakfast menu (or “The Morning After” menu as Blake’s calls it) is a must see.

Bonus Points: The Blue Plate Special’s price is listed as “Cheap.  Just Like Your Favorite Man.”

The Gay Touch: The design of the menu is gayer than a frosted tips convention hosted by Lance Bass.

Burkhart’s

The Lowdown: A select group of menu items all done well.  Salads, sandwiches, wings, burgers and seafood.

Bonus Points: Their New York strip is a community favorite.  Also they’re the only gay bar with surf and turf on the menu.

The Gay Touch: Their cheesecake comes with a fruit topping…okay it’s a stretch, get off our backs.

Mixx

The Lowdown: Mixx puts their own spin on it with popular dishes like rosemary infused potato chips and pulled pork egg rolls.  Their Southwestern and gourmet sliders menu is full of hearty choices to peruse.

Bonus Points: The only one on this list where you can eat in a smoke-free environment.

 

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Take 5 With Fenuxe Featuring Chris Bess


Chris Bess was named president of For the Kid in All of Us last month after four years of involvement with the non-profit organization. He works as a nurse in the Medical Affairs Department at UCB.

What is your favorite thing about Atlanta?

I love being outdoors, and my favorite destination is Piedmont Park.

Do you have any nicknames?

Crispy. It is an almagamation of sorts with my first name and last initial. Chris B. became Crispy.

What’s the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?

A nice estate overlooking an incredible beach somewhere and first class airfare for my friends.

What music artist makes you want to dance?

Katy Perry always seems to get my foot tapping.

What would your drag name be?

I make one ugly woman so thankfully I doubt I will ever have to hear this name being introduced at Blake’s. That being said, I guess I have to stick with the old formula of your childhood pet and the street you grew up on. Smokey Burke. Dreadful I know.

 

Learn about another member of our community in next Tuesday’s installment of Take 5 With Fenuxe!

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NFFLA Boys Drink It Up At Zocalo Before Season Kickoff


The gay jocks in the National Flag Football League of Atlanta are toasting for a little luck of the Irish at Zocalo before kicking off the new season. The league is holding an all you can drink St. Patrick’s Day margarita bust tonight at the popular Midtown spot to help raise money for the league.

$15 gets you all the margaritas you can handle in three hours. And while the Facebook invite says the event is “brought to you by the NFFLA, Zocalo and the letters D-R-U-N-K-M-E-S-S,” they advise eating something so you don’t fall out early. We do too, people!

Thursday night’s festivities lead up to the beginning of the new season, starting this Saturday March 19 at Candler Park. Squads from popular gay retailers and eateries are up for action including Blake’s, Boy Next Door, F.R.O.G.S. and Woofs.

RSVP on the Facebook invite HERE, see the NFFLA 2011 Schedule below and check out a game!

NFFLA Margarita Bust

Thursday, March 17th

6PM-9PM

Zocalo

NFFLA 2011 Schedule

Game day 1
Saturday, March 26th
10:15 AM – 3 PM @ Candler Park

Game day 2
Saturday, March 26th
10:15 AM – 3 PM @ Candler Park

Game day 3
Saturday, April 2nd
10:15 AM – 3 PM @ Candler Park

Game day 4
Saturday, April 9th
10:15 AM – 3 PM @ Candler Park

Game day 5
Saturday, April 16th
10:15 AM – 3 PM @ Benteen Park

Game day 6
Saturday, April 30th
10:15 AM – 3 PM @ Candler Park

Game day 7
Saturday, May 14th
10:15 AM – 3 PM @ Candler Park

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