Drag artist plans to open dry nightclub in the heart of Beer City

Bux Dhyne is a drag artist, who has noticed that many places available to other artists and performers are alcoholic environments. They want to change that.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich – When Bux Dhyne takes the stage, they transform into Star Buxom.

“Being able to fully express yourself and be fully authentic,” said Dhyne, “is one of the most liberating and amazing feelings.”

Dhyne is a drag artist and artist in Grand Rapids. They usually entertain in the same few bars and nightclubs. However, they noticed something in the venues that had shows.

“A lot of the spaces that we’re kind of pushed into are alcoholic environments,” Dhyne said.

So, they decided to open their own dry nightclub right in the middle of Beer City.

“We’re such a concentrated city and have standardized alcohol so much,” Dhyne said. “It goes hand in hand with having a place where people can go and not drink, and having all these great places that we already have, to drink.”

The place will be called Joule’s Molly House. Dhyne continues to fundraise and is working to secure his lease for the location, although the goal is to be in the Heartside and Arena neighborhood. The opening is scheduled for spring 2022.

“The point of the bar is to open up a place that parties, but no alcohol,” Dhyne said. “So it’s really inclusive and a place for everyone.”

Dhyne is not very sober himself. However, they said many people in the LGBTQ + community struggle with addiction or have other reasons for not drinking.

“It’s not necessarily bad,” Dhyne said of alcohol use, “but for people who are trying to be healthier or recovering, being in these environments is a trigger.”

Not only could Grand Rapids use a space without the pressure of alcohol, but Dhyne said she wants to create a place that is inclusive and supportive of the LGBTQ + community. Their aim is to open in the afternoon, to be a meeting place for young people, sober activists to rent space and other supportive measures.

“In the 90s we had six gay bars, and now we have two,” Dhyne said. “So the community is getting bigger and stronger, and the bar scene is shrinking.”

Joule’s Molly House will have a “Victorian and retro cinema inspired” theme.

“Dr. Frankenstein’s lab and get started in a disco ball.”

Dhyne said in his name, Joule’s represents a measure of energy, while a Molly House was a Victorian gay bar.

Dhyne hosts several fundraisers and also raises funds on Patronicity. They wish to contribute to the financing of the project with the support of the community before contracting a loan.

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Jerry C. Greiner