‘What Happens at The Abbey’: Watch owner David Cooley discuss the new reality series

WEST HOLLYWOOD — The Abbey is ready for its closeup.

The Abbey Food & Bar has been in business 26 years, from its humble beginnings as an 1,100-square-foot coffee shop with one espresso machine to a 16,000-square-foot mega bar and restaurant with multiple spaces and a dancefloor.

Glitterati such as Elton John and Christina Aguilera, among others, have passed through The Abbey’s iron gates, and now the West Hollywood watering hole is getting the Hollywood treatment.

RELATED: ‘What Happens at The Abbey’ reality series to debut in May’

Debuting tonight and airing six consecutive Sundays on E!, ‘What Happens at The Abbey’ follows the shenanigans that take place before, during and after last call at the bar. What to expect? Melodrama and musical mattresses seem to take the spotlight among the frisky, outrageous and dramatic staff.

In an interview with Q Voice News, David Cooley, 57, the founder and CEO of the Abbey, talks about why he agreed to a reality series, how much of the show is real and why, after years of saying everyone is VIP and he would never charge a cover, he has VIP bottle service and a charges a cover on some nights. Watch some excerpts.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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