The Gateway City has a long history of women identified bars from Pat's Palace and Genesis to the early decades of Attitudes and most recently, Novak's (which left St. Louis without a predominately lesbian bar when it closed in 2013.)  So it is with a keen sense of history and community that Kristen Goodman and Elizabeth Fuchs plan to fill the vacuum with Lilly's Music and Social House and to that, we say #Boom!  
Goodman, a St. Louis event planner, musician and bartender had always dreamed of opening her own place one day. But late last year she decided to make the dream a reality when she learned that the lesbian owned Luvy Duvy's Cafe at 2321 Arsenal in historic Benton Park was up for rent. 
"There are tons of places that you can go in the city, especially if you are coupled up," explained Goodman of the nightlife options for the lesbian community. "There's tons of places you can go and be welcome and have a great time. But if you're single and you're trying to meet someone it's hard. That's what I'm hearing from people - they don't know where to meet other potential girlfriends or friends because it's difficult sometimes to break into those clicks."
In fact, there's a dearth of options for the discerning lesbian in the city says Goodman.
"Ladies in their 30s, 40s, 50s or older - they just want a nice spot where they can have a glass of wine, a draft beer or specialty cocktail or something and just have a great conversation," said Goodman.
"Everyone's welcome - so far on our preview nights we've had a full range of gender and ages," Goodman added. " I'm not interested in being exclusive. It's just a matter that we're going to be focused on women and celebrating women."
It's the latter that Goodman is especially excited about and plans are underway to tell the stories of local bisexual and lesbian women, and transwomen through photography, art and the sharing of stories throughout Lilly's and its food and drink menus.
"As a lesbian in my 30s, I feel it's super important for me to help bridge the gap between the generation that came before us to the generation that is coming out now," Goodman explained, sharing the story of a St. Louis nurse in the early 1980s who was among the first to sit with and care for HIV positive men and challenge the need for protective gear. 
"I want to feature stories about people like her and people like Betty Neeley who has seen so much change in this community," added Goodman. "I picture a really awesome photo of her on her motorcycle when she was 20 years old or something? If I was her I'd be arrested for what I'm wearing right now and she was arrested all the time for what she was wearing. I think it's important not to let that history be forgotten."
Lilly's will be working with The St. Louis LGBT History Project to pull images and stories for the tributes. Featured displays will be rotated throughout the establishment. 
Goodman describes Lilly's (which is the childhood name of her partner in life and now business, Elizabeth) as having a casual vibe but elevated in terms of the food menu and specialty cocktails they'll be known for. Live music will be offered a few nights a week, as will myriad events - all at a chill space nestled within a fun mid-century meets turn of the century decor. 
With a few key investors and her own skin in the game, Goodman recently spearheaded a Kickstarter Campaign prior to opening and has been amazed at the community's response. 
"The Kickstarter Campaign helped us raise much needed funds to get the business open," she said. "I've been humbled and grateful for the response that the Kickstarter has had... we exceded our goal of $11,000!" 

INstrgram circle Facebookcircle twittercirlce2 tubblrcircle3 youtubecircle3VimeocirclePinterest Circle Icon