By GLAAD | May 19, 2022 By: Contributing Writers, Kenneth Courtney & Chris Rengifo
Charles Hughes and Richard Solomon, the creators of Lambda Vodka and owners of Lambda Lounge, Harlem’s hip, upscale LGBTQ+ bar, lit up the streets of Brooklyn on Thursday, May 5th with the black-tie grand opening of Club Lambda BK, their second Lambda location. The private guest list featured a “who’s who” of black queer society from the likes of Jussie Smollet, to Ryan Jamaal Swain, to Jerrie Johnson of new hit TV show Harlem.
It’s well-known that a driving factor in Hughes and Solomon’s decision to begin the Lambda franchise was their experience of a New York City DJ shouting “men don’t dance with men.” At Club Lambda, the men were dancing with each other, loving on one another, complimenting each other’s black tie looks, smiling and living freely. DJ Poison Ivy kept the vibes dance floor ready, while DJ Max Damian kept the house rocking on the lower level of the two floor establishment. Every inch of the 5,000 square foot space had something to offer attendees.
Performances by R&B artist Tony ForresTT, drag star Miss Bambi, and an aerialist kept the crowd of 300+ entertained, gagged, and buzzing about. Guests looked and felt like celebrities while taking photos in front of the Lambda themed step and repeat and while walking the hot red carpet. Everyone partied, networked, made connections with individuals in the community, and enjoyed being among the first at Brooklyn’s only Black-owned LGBTQ+ bar.
Thanks to funding partner TD Bank, the event offered a timed open bar that early arrivals were able to take advantage of. Native Son, GLAAD, and Surface Level Podcast all served as community partners engaging members online to support the black tie and public opening of the club.
The evening ended with attendees leaving with a Courtney Creative PR and Club Lambda branded gift bag, with items sponsored by Scotch Porter, Alder New York, Pierre Skin, The Phluid Project, 3 Candle Company, and the House of Saint Vegan.
Club Lambda offered not only a night full of dancing, strutting, and connecting, but a space where members of the LGBTQ+ community, and specifically LGBTQ+ people of color, could gather freely and happily, without judgement and away from harm. Lambda Lounge and Club Lambda will continue to serve as safe havens for the community for many joyfully queer nights to come.