Booty on the high seas

Regular Booty goers will know by now that the popular weekly queer pirate-core extravaganza is moving from the home it has loved so well for 2 years on N Lombard. What they may not know, is that there has been a little drama surrounding the change in venue. It’s come to me in bits and pieces so I’ll be careful to separate the fact from the rumor mill. So let me start with own own, gossipy, befuddled path to the truth.

A couple weeks ago I learned that Porky’s Pub was changing owners. Now change can be sad but as it billed itself as queerly bought and intentioned I was content. It wasn’t long, however, that disgruntled queerbies wanted to tell it like it really was. One boy told me that the new owner Pat Lanagan (who also owns adult oriented stores aptly named Fat Cobra) was more intent on creating a gay male space than a radical (gender)queer club. In a town known for its lesbian and queer populations above and beyond its gay ones, yet still having several male only spaces, this sounded unfair. And it could only serve to antagonize and infuriate Porky’s Nopo neighborhood patrons. (Ah but then again, sometimes I underestimate my gay brethren. They seem to be able to support so many more establishments. Don’t ask me how.) And then, all of a sudden, Booty, Porky’s flagship event night, raised anchor.

Turns out, Booty was already planning on moving due to the considerable space limitations at Porky’s. It’s just sort of unfortunate how it all went down. Right amidst the change a man pulled a gun on Puppet, one of Booty’s main organizers, and some other booty-goers, and it became apparent that some form of security was necessary. Through Lanagan’s GM Puppet communicated the necessity of security and when none were hired for the next week, hired her own the following week, requesting to split the cost with Lanagan. It seems at this point, neither was particularly excited to continue their arranged marriage. So Booty began moving venues until it could settle into its new home at Acme (SE 8th and Main).

Forgetting the abruptness, and the saddening rumors of gay male elitism, this move could be a positive one. Many friends I have taken to the, now famous, night, have hampered their own good times by complaining that the space was too small, too smoky or too far away. Now I mostly enjoyed the press of dancing bodies (though it was sometimes frustrating to try to finagle your pitcher of beer through the sweaty throng to your non-existent seat) but Acme’s spacious booths and back patio filled with benches does sound particularly inviting on a warm summer night. And yet while ACME seems a smart move, good food, more space, closer in, some of these pluses may also serve to take away some of Booty’s greatest joys. While the space is much larger on the whole, the dance floor is much the same, and certainly not the focal point it was at Porky’s. The option of foodstuffs that have made mainstream mention is enticing but I loved getting rid of my usual microbrew pretense and being able to buy a whole pitcher with 4 little bills. But most intensely felt might be the migration south. The location, while central, takes a main event out of a neighborhood where many queer folks have situated themselves. We all have trucked down to Holocene for their pricier drinks and bigger space when they host queer nights but Booty was our own, in our own neighborhood. The Whatever Lounge and the Jockey Club has been lost to us for years. A brief stint of queer frolicking at Alberta Street’s The Know, was a welcome addition to N/NE Portland’s queer landscape but it just didn’t have Booty’s staying power. Now we’re again left without a corner bar. And that loss will be felt.

Booty is on tonight at the magnificently spacious Wonder Ballroom (128 NE Russell). Set sail at party time and for information on where the next nights will be held visit

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