The geyser capital of the world will soon have a gay bar on one of its main streets. Bar manager Ric Mitchell says Shampers will open with an invited VIP party on Friday 12 December. Drag shows and other entertainment are planned for opening weekend. "We want the bar to provide a place for gay people in the area – with a dance area and a plush, chic appearance," he explains. Shampers will take over 1207 Eruera Street in central Rotorua – formally trading as Thirst bar. Rotorua's gay bar, as it appears on Google Streetview this morning as 'Thirst' Mitchell is hoping people will come from around the Bay of Plenty to visit the new venue. To his knowledge there has never before been a gay bar in the area – and the closest bars at the moment are Hamilton's Shine nightclub to the north, and Palmerston North's Club Q to the south. "We know there are a lot of gay people here – but there's never been anywhere for them to meet," says Mitchell. The bar will particularly welcome LGBT people, but is also there for the general public to enjoy. Mitchell initially wants to open the bar for early afternoon trade from 4pm, with Friday and Saturday night closing time around 2:30 – 3am. Following the opening weekend events, Christmas and New Years parties are being planned. Mitchell would like to hear from up-and-coming DJs in the area who would like to join the bar's staff – contact via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News Staff
First published: Tuesday, 2nd December 2008 - 11:38am
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