Grand Rapids artist and drag performer Bux Dhyne (they/them) is embarking on a new creative venture: opening the city’s first LGBTQ dry bar and nightclub.
Joule’s Molly House is intended to be a sober space where queer youth, the LGBTQ community and those in recovery can partake in nightlife, dancing, performances, game nights and open mic nights, all sans alcohol.
Rallying against Grand Rapids’ “Beer City” culture, Dhyne is motivated to create a sober space by the high rates of alcohol addiction within the LGBTQ community.
“If you want to perform, you have to be in spaces with alcohol,” they said. “If you are in recovery, as many of us are, you are constantly putting yourself at risk to fall off the wagon. As a dry venue, (Joule’s Molly House) can also provide a safe space for those community members that are in recovery or struggling with addiction and a dance floor without the pressures of alcohol and the widely accepted drinking culture in both the queer and straight communities.”
Joule’s Molly House plans to open in 2022 and will operate from 3 p.m.-3 a.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Before 9 p.m., the space will function as a coffee house environment where queer youth can study or play games and recovery groups can meet. After 9 p.m., the dry bar and nightclub will be restricted to 18-plus and feature a variety of entertainment and DJ dancing for adults. The rotation of performances will include drag shows, burlesque, pole dancing, spoken word, storytelling and more.
Joule’s Molly House will serve a variety of nonalcoholic drinks, including espresso, coffee, tea, mocktails, bottled drinks and sodas, along with some snack foods.
Dhyne is crowd-funding donations at Patronicity with a goal of $35,000 that will go towards securing a lease agreement and location.
The club is actively seeking sustainability-focused BIPOC, female, LQBTQ and/or Michigan-owned vendors.