It’s a sad day for the Davie Village.
The announcement of the closure of two of the West End’s top nightlife venues will be a loss for local LGBT communities.
Owner Jennifer Mickey announced on her websites and social media that the last day for her two social hotspots, XY nightclub and 1181 Lounge, will be on December 31.
“This is the most difficult message I’ve ever had to share,” she stated, adding that she is devastated and heartbroken. “The financial reality is that there is no other path forward: a lease renewal due in January, high commercial lease rates on Davie street, and increasing challenges in obtaining hospitality insurance were all factors in this decision.”
Mickey stated that both venues will close tonight (December 3) to give staff and performers a paid night off to absorb the news. However, both spots will reopen for the remainder of December.
“Eight years ago I was embraced by this community, and I have strived to give back to it whenever possible,” she said. “What I’ve been given in our time together goes far beyond business, and will stay with me for a lifetime. Together, we worked hard to make 1181 and XY spaces where LGBTQ2+ people feel welcome, celebrated and loved—and for that, you will forever have my gratitude.”
In 2011, Mickey took over 1181 Lounge, which originally opened in May 2006. The bar featured DJs, topless bartenders, cocktails, and drag shows in its smart and sleek rectangular space that incorporated minimalist and industrial design influences.
In a 2014 interview with Xtra, Mickey stated that although she is straight and didn’t have any gay friends when she took over the bar, drag queens gave her a bootcamp to teach her about LGBT communities.
Meanwhile XY opened up at 1216 Davie Street—perched above Jim Deva Plaza and the rainbow crosswalks in a second-floor space formerly inhabited by Jupiter Café, J Lounge, and Heaven’s Door—on June 25, 2015.
The neon-lit club featured a dance floor and performance space, a lounge, and an adjoining patio, each with DJ booths. A range of events held at the club included bingo fundraisers, karaoke, improv comedy, live piano and showtunes nights, and more.
A number of farewell parties, to be posted on 1181 and XY’s Facebook pages, will be held before both operations close down permanently.
The impending closure of the two estabishments further reduces the dwindling number of LGBT–specific nightlife venues in the city.
In other Davie Street closure news, the Elbow Room, an infamous LGBT brunch spot known for its sarcastic service, closed at the end of October at 560 Davie Street near Yaletown due to redevelopment of the property site.
However, a longrunning Davie Village eatery, Hamburger Mary’s, found new life when it was reincarnated as Mary’s on Davie and opened in July at 1202 Davie Street, situated across the Jim Deva Plaza from XY.