When one door closes, another one opens. Last year we sadly said goodbye to tiki temple LuWow, which in its time on Johnston Street saw countless glasses of Dark and Stormies empty and shapes thrown on the dancefloor. Keen-eyed locals will have noticed that work seems to be happening in the space, and with some digging around, we found that the former Hawaiian dancehall is being turned into a drag cabaret restaurant called Vau d'vile.
According to the Vau d'vile website, the venue will be "bringing Melbourne most talented drag artists under one sparkling roof" through a combination of "drag, vaudeville, and burlesque". Five Melbourne drag artists under the banner of The Vixens will be strutting their stuff as they while you sit at the bar or at the restaurant over a three-course meal. There's a few familiar queens in the Vixens line-up: Vau d'vile owner Bumpa Love performed in Auto Bio Queen at Midsumma this year, while Art Simone did a festive drive down Chapel Street last Christmas.
News of Fitzroy's newest queer venue will come as good news to those who mourned the closing down of the legendary Greyhound Hotel in St Kilda in January. Also known as the GH Hotel, the venue was one of Melbourne's best venues for drag performers and its closure was a blow to Melbourne's LGBTIQ culture and night life. While it'll be hard to fill GH Hotel's shoes, we're glad that there is now a new venue the city's queens can show off their talent.
Vau d'vile is opening in the first week of March.