The lesbian wine bar The Ruby Fruit is scheduled to open later this month in Silver Lake.
It will be the first full-time lesbian establishment in Los Angeles since 2017 when the Oxwood Inn in Van Nuys closed.
Husband-and-wife team Sabrina and Spencer Bezaire had opened Eszett in 2019 and stayed open through COVID-19 with takeout orders and outdoor service, but “we just couldn’t make the numbers work when it came down to it,” Spencer Bezaire tells the Times.
Mara Herbkersman, general manager of Eszett, and coworker Emily Bielagus plan to open the Ruby Fruit later in the month.
Herbkersman and Bielagus had hosted lesbian nights, Leszette, at Eszett on occasion.
“We know what we’re stepping into,” Bielagus tells the publication. “We are taking over a very beloved space (and) we’re very grateful to (the Bezaires), and we know that they’re big shoes to fill.
“We’re also very aware of the history of the lesbian bar as a concept, honoring the lineage of the people who’ve come before us,” she says.
The name is an homage to Rita Mae Brown’s famed 1973 lesbian novel “Rubyfruit Jungle.”
“We want to honor that history and also recognize the ways in which women and nonbinary people and gender-nonconforming and trans people fit into the lesbian umbrella,” Bielagus says. “We’re very conscious of wanting to honor the past and also be very aware of what’s happening now and our role in that journey.”
Herbkersman and Bielagus plan to serve food as well as drinks and host special events, such as DJ nights, tasting nights, and book discussions.
They envision Ruby Fruit being “like a ‘Cheers,’ but for lesbians,” Bielagus says.