New St. Louis LGBTQ Bar Finds Home in the Grove, Opens in Early 2022

click to enlarge Four individuals are opening a new LGBTQ bar in the Grove.  From left to right: Matthew Connell, Michael Klataske, Jack Abernathy and Sean Abernathy. - Courtesy Prism STL
Courtesy Prism STL
Four individuals are opening a new LGBTQ bar in the Grove. From left to right: Matthew Connell, Michael Klataske, Jack Abernathy and Sean Abernathy.

Prominent St. Louis gay bars, like Attitudes Nightclub, have closed over the past year, but four people are hoping to create a new space for the LGBTQ community when Prism STL opens in early 2022.

The newest LGBTQ bar in St. Louis will take residence in the Monocle’s former building at 4510 Manchester Avenue. Divided up into three sections, Prism will have a cocktail lounge, outdoor patio and a cabaret stage that will feature regular drag shows.

Sean and Jack Abernathy, Michael Klataske and Matthew Connell announced their plans in a press release Monday morning, saying they hope Prism will become “another anchor in the Grove for the queer community to call home.” Sean and Jack Abernathy, a husband-and-husband duo, will become the bar managers, with the former acting as the bar’s compliance officer. Klataske — who performed in the local drag scene for 25 years by the name of Jade Sinclair — will take the role of cabaret manager and organize events for the cabaret stage in the back of the building, and Connell is the bar’s accountant.

Sean Abernathy said in a press release that a bar concept like Prism will keep the Grove a welcoming, diverse neighborhood and gives “people a place to step away from their problems, even for a night.”

“My husband and I have worked in the St. Louis bar industry for years, and we’ve seen how the closings of places like Attitudes, JJ’s Clubhouse, and Novak’s impacted the people in our community,” Sean Abernathy adds in the press release. “Each time, we lose another safe space for us to gather and freely express ourselves — an occurrence that isn’t just happening in St. Louis but across the country.”

Prism is also revamping their building’s look with a decision to ditch the Monocle’s dark color palette for a brighter, yet still comfortable, appearance, interior designer Nathan Bleidt says. Bleidt also adds the cabaret room, named “The Jade Room,” will have an “old school glamour” feel. A floor-to-ceiling mural dedicated to a burlesque performer will remain, however, as well as the overall layout of the bar. An expansion to the downstairs prep room for entertainers and drag queens is also in the works.

Klataske says after 25 successful years in drag, opening the bar and cabaret room is “an opportunity to serve the community that has embraced me by helping to mentor the next generation of drag queens and show directors.”

Expected hours for Prism are 3 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. daily. Drag shows will take place on Friday and Saturday nights beginning at 10 p.m., featuring a variety of performers and show directors, and the owners “fully expect” to be able to expand the schedule and include weekday drag shows, eventually aiming for daily drag events. Signature cocktails named after bar staff and entertainers, as well as daily drink specials, will also be available.

Follow Jenna on Twitter at @writesjenna. Email the author at [email protected]
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About The Author

Jenna Jones

Jenna Jones is one of the digital content editors at the Riverfront Times. She would love to talk to you about Harry Styles.
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