Even in small California desert towns famous for “a dry heat,” a longtime Hollywood legacy and global gay tourism, change happens. Gents: the Palm Springs gay video bar formerly known as Spurline is now…QuadZ.
What’s the name mean?
“That’s the million-dollar question,” Eric Stahl, 47, one of the managers of the bar said via phone.
Owners Michael McCartney and Jim Osterberger, who opened Spurline more than ten years ago also own the original QuadZ in Las Vegas, a bar with a website homepage stating that they have “some of the best and strongest drinks at some of the lowest prices Gay Vegas has to offer.”
Why did they revamp and rename? “It’s part of the transformation of Arenas Road,” Stahl said.
Indeed, competition for customers is intense. Tourism has grown by leaps and bounds as the region has recovered from the Great Recession, and today’s (often younger) patrons from markets such as LA, San Diego and San Francisco demand ever more upscale environments.
In the past couple of years new arrivals to Palm Springs’ gayest avenue include Chill Bar, right next door to QuadZ, and Blackbook, half a block away. Across the road, Hunters invested in an extensive renovation about a year or so ago, installing a new DJ booth and world class sound system.
QuadZ’s arrival can be seen as a continuation of the gay desert revival that began about five years ago, when Ron deHarte took the helm at Palm Springs Pride. It was deHarte who lobbied city hall to close off Arenas Road between Indian Canyon and Calle Encillia for all-day outdoor entertainment during Pride weekend, annually held on the first weekend in November.
For Instinct readers who travel to Palm Springs, you may remember how Spurline was famous for its beloved show tunes and musical theatre nights on Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays. Patrons would sing along to videos of musical numbers from classics like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes to newer films like Chicago and many numbers recorded from the annually broadcast TONY awards.
“We haven’t changed those,” Stahl said. And Sundays will continue to have karaoke, hosted by “none other than Jeff Bosco,” a longtime Spurline employee.
Will anything new be happening? “We’re looking to liven up a couple of the other nights,” is all Stahl would say regarding programming on the remaining nights of the week.
Now that the bar has a fresh look inside, “We will be looking to reach out to the gay community more,” Stahl added. He means event and group business. LGBTQ enthusiast and athletic organizations like the International Gay Rodeo Association that come to Palm Springs, or that may have local chapters, are prime business targets.
What has the customer response been? Stahl said both regulars and newbies to QuadZ have given him positive reviews. And if you check out their Facebook page, you can read supportive comments from local fans.
QuadZ opened in early October, prior to Halloween and the annual Leather Pride and Palm Springs Pride weekends. High season in the Coachella Valley, where Palm Springs is, officially started November 1 and, depending upon whom you ask, generally goes until March/April. That’s when that world-renowned “dry heat” descends and QuadZ will be serving the locals. Happy hour pricing, anyone?
Below: an example of the kind of video patrons will see on QuadZ's popular show tune evenings.