(D.T.M.) is a new gay bar in Tel Aviv for those who are fed up with apps.
Nir Noy wants you to lift your eyes from those damn phones and start talking, so he opened a new gay bar designed to encourage personal interaction. The thirty-three-year-old bar owner, who lived for six years between Toronto and New York, (his longing for Israel grew too strong, plus the cold), decided to come back and open Don’t Tell Mom (D.T.M.) in Florentine, arguably the proudest neighborhood in Tel Aviv. “I realized that I wanted to go for an old dream and open the bar I always wanted. The situation today is problematic; either people go out in groups and do not mix with anyone else, or go to a party, and at best, speak the day after. There are gay bars in the city, but the audience needs more alternatives, and people do not want to go to the same place all the time. We need to create more diversity.”
Enter D.T.M. – open all week and running four differently themed party lines. The official opening attracted 500 people, which Noy says obviously indicates the need for a new place. When asked what the difference is between the gay bars Noy saw abroad and the Tel Aviv spots, he is clear about the dichotomy: “Abroad there are so-called ‘gay bars’, which are kind of dance bars with large spaces that enable both a relatively solid drink and a dance space, and in Tel Aviv there is simply nothing. “At parties we do drugs, and, at best, we start talking the morning after. The interaction here is difficult, there is something very inaccessible. I wanted to create a space where one can sit, have fun and, on the other hand, dance – a kind of middle ground.”
The design of the place influences the content and the interaction: The entrance floor includes a large 16-meter square bar with thirty seats, where most of the mingling takes place. There is no place to sit in large groups, and the audience finds itself forced to connect. The design is fun, fun and more fun, with colorful, lively graffiti that gives the feeling of an inviting, open space, and square bar chairs in a variety of animal textures, from flamingo to zebra. “There’s a good vibe here. Even if you come in a group, you’ll somehow get mixed on,” he promises. “We do not have waiters, only bartenders, which is also a decision born out of the desire to encourage interaction. With all the apps spawning inter-personal communication in the world, our city needs more queer places to provide the right platform for dating and interesting encounters.” Noy says he got the name of the bar from other spots in the world: “There are some gay bars called D.T.M. and I just thought it was the right vibe. After all, the really fun things you usually don’t tell your mother.”