CINCINNATI – The end of Pride Month doesn’t necessarily mean the end of celebrating and supporting the LGBTQIA + community in Greater Cincinnati.
People like Justin DeJohn and Nigel Cottrell respectively run the E | 19 and Below Zero Lounge clubs which provide popular havens and gathering places for the LGBTQIA + community and their allies.
“We like to say that we are gay owned, we are exploited by gay people and we are straight,” said DeJohn, who opened the bar alongside owners Richard Cooke and Martin Wagner. “We primarily serve the LGBTQ + community and their allies, but really everyone is welcome here. “
Cottrell said that was also the mission of Below Zero, which opened 15 years ago, and his other LGBTQIA + friendly bar Tillie’s in Northside.
“We started 15 years ago, one of our goals was to identify ourselves as an open minded bar operated by open minded people where diversity is celebrated,” Cottrell said. “And it’s just exploded over the years. And now we have a really cool audience in all of the communities. Not just LGBTQ +, but everyone. And that’s what we really wanted.”
Of course, bars and lounges aren’t the only LGBTQIA + friendly or owned businesses worth supporting and celebrating in the Queen City.
There are places such as & Sundries, owned and operated by John Meyer in East Walnut Hills. Meyer began making soap and other items in her home before making it the successful showcase it is today.
Meyer said being a gay business owner isn’t much different from being a straight or cisgender person.
It’s no different being a gay business owner compared to any other type of business owner, ”he said.“ I think what’s really great about being a business owner is ‘gay business and our business, in particular, is our motto was a’ Sparkling Good Time. ‘ We absolutely love what we do. And we’ve just made it into a business. “
Learn more about e | 19, Below Zero Lounge, & Sundries and six other LGBTQIA + owned or allied businesses below.
e | 19, 1905 Elm Street, on the Rhine
e | 19 is a cocktail lounge and nightclub operated by Richard Cooke that offers great music and exceptional customer service to create a fun and welcoming experience where the LGBTQ + community and its allies can socialize, dance and drink in beautiful surroundings . For more information, visit www.e19bar.com.
Below Zero, 1120 Walnut Street, on the Rhine
Below Zero is one of the longest operating lounges and bars in Cincinnati to serve the LGBTQ + community as a gathering place. Below Zero, operated by Nigel Cottrell, regularly hosts cabarets and other events as well as regular evenings of dance and music. For more information, visit belowzerolounge.com. Cottrell also operates an LGBTQ +-friendly Tillie’s at 4042 Hamilton Ave. at Northside. For more information on this location, visit tillieslounge.com.
Creative House of Art and Design, 609 Main Street, Covington
Creative House of Art and Design, known simply as CHAD, is owned and operated by Chad Turner and his wife, Chuck Beatty. The couple opened CHAD in November 2020 as a place dedicated to competent and professional art education, in a friendly, safe and pleasant environment. CHAD adapts its experience to the needs of the students. For more information, visit www.creativehousead.com.
& Miscellaneous, 2807 Woodburn Ave., East Walnut Hills
John Meyer, owner of & Sundries started making soap at home in 2017 before launching his boutique and online ordering business in 2019. Meyer now makes over 200 products with simple ingredients and offers a holistic approach to its products and customer service, including a line of Pride Month products sold in June. For more information, visit andsundries.com.
Lil’s Bagels, 308 Greenup St., Covington
Julia Keister got tired of looking for good bagels after moving from New York. She began making her own and selling them in pop-up shops, before opening a brick and mortar store in Roebling Point in 2018. The walk-in window and interior space – coming soon – sells bagels and sandwiches every day. But Lil’s focuses on community and fundraising, largely focusing on LGBTQ-related causes. For more information, visit www.lilsbagels.com.
Crump and Gracey, online
Add some glitter to your life with Crump and Gracey, a custom home decor and accessories store specializing in items like tumblers, key chains and more. Amanda Huber currently operates her business solely online. For more information, visit Crump and Gracey on Facebook.
Not Your Middle Class “Paint and Sip”, 1310 Pendleton St # 400A, Pendleton
James Reynolds is leading this one-of-a-kind experience of an elevated “paint and sip” course in his studio located inside the Pendleton Art Center. Reynolds offers classes seven days a week by appointment. His studio is open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. during each event on Final Friday in the art studio. For more information, visit notyouaveragepaintandsipclass.net.
Originalitees, 2809 Woodburn Ave., East Walnut Hills
Khisha Asubuhi created the Originalitees clothing line to empower people to change their city, state, neighborhood, identity and more in a positive and creative way. Originalitees fashion design wants to bring people and communities together, according to Asubuhi. This includes shirt designs that celebrate Cincinnati’s LBTQ + community. For more information, visit originalitees.com.
Smartcat Marketing Solutions, 7012 Harrison Ave. # 4, Green Township
Owners Kelly Mullen and Erin Wainscott offer an inclusive and comprehensive approach to creatively promote Greater Cincinnati businesses and brands. For more information about the company, visit www.smartcat.guru.