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Don Quixote in Boyle Heights new home for El Place queer Latinx party

Don Quixote Boyle Heights El Place

Don Quixote in Boyle Heights will be the new home for El Place, the queer Latinx pizzieria formerly know as Noa Noa Place that closed last month. Don Quixote has been used as a banquet space in Boyle Heights more than 35 years, but has started hosting queer events. Photo: Don Quixote.

Don Quixote in Boyle Heights will be the new home for El Place, the queer Latinx pizzeria formerly know as Noa Noa Place that closed last month.

Don Quixote has been used as a banquet space in Boyle Heights more than 35 years, but has started hosting queer friendly events. Last week, Cumbiatoñ had its posada tropical at Don Quixote, which has an 800 capacity.

Instead of pizza, El Place will serve a monthly party called Noches de Exxxcandelo, which they describe as a quinceañera for the queer Latino community. The first party at Don Quixote is scheduled for Jan. 15.

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El Place announced Don Quixote as their new home on Instagram Tuesday.

Noches de Exxxcandelo

“A quinceañera is a coming of age party, but you can only do so much because family is there watching,” Luis Octavio, one of El Place’s three owners, told Q Voice News. “But for this party, whatever you couldn’t do because family was there, let’s do it here.

“That doesn’t mean, Let’s get naked. But let’s have a good time,” said Octavio, who identifies as queer.

Noches de Exxxcandelo will feature DJ GracyD; drag queen hosts; live entertainment to be announced, and go-go dancers who moonlight as OnlyFans content creators, aka porn models.

“Are we pushing the envelope? We are pushing, Be your true authentic self,” Octavio said.

“It’s about having a good time,” he said. “Some of these topics are taboo, but we are all about it. Who doesn’t watch porn? Most people do.

“These parties will be an overload of your senses,” Octavio said.

Very Important Puta

Presale tickets will be $19 through Friday. Then, prices will increase to $29.99.

VIP tickets are $59.99. But for El Place organizers, VIP has a different meaning.

“It means Very Important Puta,” Octavio said, with a chuckle. “With the word puta, there’s a lot of slut shaming. We are owning these narratives that were looked at in a negative way.”

Those VIP tickets will provide no waiting in line; access to the balcony that has its own bar; and a special gift of goodies from Puteria Box, the adult toy home delivery service.

Don Quixote

Octavio and his two business partners in El Place (Deysi Serrano, owner of Milpa Grill, and Spanish radio host Donaji Esparza) casually had looked at Don Quixote in the summer as a possible backup option for El Place if rental negotiations with the property owners located went sour.

When Octavio, Serrano, and Esparza decided to leave the Boyle Heights space, they had considered relocating to a mid Wilshire District.

But then Marty Sokol, owner of Chico and Club Cobra, read about El Place’s closing and contacted Octavio. Sokol is partnered with Steve and Mitch Edelson to bring events to such L.A. spaces as Catch One, El Cid, Los Globos, The Virgil and Don Quixote.

“Gay nightlife is an essential part of gay culture,” Sokol said. “The presence of safe gay spaces in L.A. is needed, particularly in neighborhoods outside of West Hollywood, where there is less representation and visibility for Latinos, people of color, and our trans sisters and brothers.”

Octavio added: “This is great. At the end of the day, our community is what is most important to us. We did not want to leave Boyle Heights.”

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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