In terms of landmark LGBTQ locales in New York City, Lips stands squarely on its own (albeit in a slick stiletto of course). As “New York City’s ultimate drag palace restaurant and dining experience” prepares to celebrate 25 raucous years, they have a stunning lip sync extravaganza planned for Wednesday October 20th. The legendary DJ Lady Bunny will preside over the festivities, with performances by Twiggy Malone, Ginger Snap, All Beef Patty, Morgan Royel & a host of all-star dolls, many of which started their careers at Lips. Legendary drag dynamo Jesse Volt (another Lips favorite) anticipates the evening to be “an extravagant affair” going on to say “guests are encouraged to dress to impress or simply wear a dress”. “We are so excited to welcome back many of the ladies who have graced the Lips stage over the years,” says Lips’ co-founder Edward LaFaye. “They will be presenting lots of the showstopping numbers that made them famous, or in some cases, infamous.”
Direct from the New York City era of other legendary spaces like Limelight, Palladium, and Area, co-owner Yvonne Lame’ clearly saw something buzzing in the Village scene of that era.“The Village was booming with a freeness of expression,” recalls Ms. Lame’. “It became a breeding ground where drag queens were recognized, accepted and celebrated as a true art form.” The interactive hybrid experience of fab food, potent cocktails and and the showgirl-inspired entertainment took hold. Lips moved their flagship location to East 56th Street and the brand exploded; Lips branches opened everywhere from Chicago to Atlanta to San Diego to Fort Lauderdale, redefining the drag scenes that they landed in. Forbes Magazine recently called Lips “the nation’s largest cabaret chain”.
A big reason for the success of Lips is that the heterosexual community has embraced Lips and sees the fabulosity of Lips that firmly makes it the place to celebrate monumental events like birthdays, anniversaries, bachelorette and retirement parties. “We’re a place to celebrate life, glamour and fierce self-expression!” says Lame.
The October 20 celebration is an invitation-only affair and will be following strict safety protocols. Seating capacity will be limited, tables will be socially distanced, and all staff will wear masks. The evening will include homage to Lips favorites, with special tributes paid to both to Lips co-owner Paul Galluccio (who passed away in March 2021) and bartender Frankie Fioravonti, known as Frankie Cocktail (who passed away from cancer in February 2019).
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