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Naval and Family to remain a gay venue

Mon 4 Oct 2010 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

The rainbow flag will keep flying above the Naval and Family Despite the many rumours flying to the contrary, K' Rd bastion Naval and Family is to remain a gay venue. It may have lost a number of central staff members; however the bar reopened with a new stage and new lighting this weekend, after the first stage of ongoing refurbishments. Naval and Family is now being managed by Adam Baughan, with support from a tight-knit team, with James “Chocks” Laverty and Buckwheat helping plan a new event calendar. Buckwheat stepped in after former hostess Tess Tickle decided to part ways with the venue, after 19 months of working tirelessly running an incredible array of successful shows and fundraisers. Tess was unhappy with the direction being taken at the Naval and Family, but Laverty and Baughan hope there are no lingering hard feelings, saying they have plenty of respect for the drag diva and would love her to return and perform in the future. Naval and Family also had to let DJ James Leuii go, but Laverty and Baughan say it was a purely financial decision, which the longtime Auckland DJ understands. Laverty says there is a team of dedicated people, many of whom live in the rooms on the top floor of the iconic building, who are determined to make sure Naval and Family is successful. “It remains a gay venue as long as we support it,” Laverty says. Gay and lesbian people still run the venue and the owners support it remaining gay.” “We have been very lucky and blessed that the community has stuck with us – and the bar will stay gay as long as that keeps happening.” The upcoming entertainment line-up includes “Friday Night Fever”, with drag diva Buckwheat as the host, supported by Venus Mantrapp. There will be a happy hour and DJ Starli will play. Saturday nights will feature a “Drag for Dollars” contest, with cash prizes to encourage amateur drag artists to get up on stage and have a go. Steven Oates will continue to DJ. Sunday Blues will return, with a Big Gay Bingo Night fundraiser hosted by Miss Ribena is being planned for the NZAF in November. Laverty says Miss Ribena, Wayne Clark and the crew from Family Bar across the road have been wonderfully supportive – as they also want to see the Naval and Family succeed, especially Clark, who oversaw its initial refurbishment and establishment as a gay watering hole. What's happening upstairs? Candy Bar in the space upstairs was packed solid for most of its closing weekend. That level will now be closed for a number of weeks for a makeover, with the venue's management team promising “something big” for the space. The new bar will be run by Candy Bar manager Emily Patrick. The monthly Dykes on Mics night which has been held at Candy Bar will move to Kamo, further down K' Rd, from November.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Monday, 4th October 2010 - 4:57pm

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