Here at Homorazzi.com, we cover a lot of stuff going on in the big gay world of ours… pop culture, reality TV, sex, hot men, music, etc. If it wasn’t for America’s Next Top Model, I wouldn’t write much at all. But, I’m gonna change that. I am going to write more about people I know, places I like, and things I think you should know more about. To kick off the new me (don’t worry, ANTM rants will continue as long as Tyrant stays bat shit crazy), meet Yannick Desautels.
I first met him years ago when he was working the door at one of Victoria’s AMAZING (cough cough) gay bars. He probably wouldn’t remember me back then. I was twinkier, beardless, and travelled in a large gay pack. I didn’t really get to know much about him until he met Chadd – a friend I’ve known since we were dorm-living closet-cases in rural England back in 1997. Random, I know. Many years later, they met, fell in love, and got married (so no… Yannick is not available). And now Yannick, much to his own surprise, is back in the club business managing Oasis – Vancouver’s new (but actually old) gay hot spot.
Regular Homorazzi readers will know Oasis from an article Patrick wrote back in October. After a renovation to open the space up, Oasis launched a new night – “Fag Fridays”. Love it or hate it, the alliterative title stirred up a crap load of debate and attention. The launch was a huge success, but it’s still a sore spot for some folks around town. And, the controversy still has the potential to take attention away from other cool things going on at Oasis. Time will tell how it all shakes out.
To their credit, Yannick and the folks at Oasis are reaching out to the community. I sat down with Yannick a couple weeks ago to talk about his plans and his belief that the *new* Oasis is much more than one night and some controversy. They’ve also got Social Sundays (cheap beer!), Live Wednesdays (awesome local acts!), Spin on Thursdays (hot local DJs), and Strapped on Saturdays (let’s hear it for the GIRLS!). Each night offers something different for scene-craving-yet-intensely-picky gay Vancouverites.
Oasis stepped up at the right moment. Vancouver’s infamous Odyssey nightclub had recently closed. I cried a little. 1181, a lounge full of hot men, tight spaces, and smart cocktails was shut down for some repairs (it’s open again). A cried a little more. A lot of gays were looking for a new place to knock a few drinks back, schmooze, cruise, and dance. Enter Oasis.
Yannick went from bartender for the first big Friday night to manager in four shifts. That’s quite the leap. But, by day 15, Oasis was a “whole new bar”. Yannick credits the right people, the right networks, and the right timing for its success. The mandatory shirts-off-hot-bartender policy probably didn’t hurt.
“I don’t want Oasis to be just another bar,” said Yannick. “I want it to become a home for the community”. It’s a lofty goal and I can tell they are serious about it. On any given night, you will see Yannick working the crowd and a fierce Drag Queen or two hitting revellers up for donations to local charities like Out In Schools.
Part of Yannick’s strategy for expanding Oasis’ role and presence in the community is to build and maintain a culture of openness. That’s why there are no cover charges (unless it is a special event or fundraiser) and no guest lists. Sorry A-Gays. It’s first come first serve. And rightly so! Get your shit together like everybody else and show up early.
Before I get yelled at… mea culpa. Yes… I have skipped a line or two in my days, but it is refreshing to see a hard line against preferred access. I hope they stick to it and resist the social pressure they will undoubtedly get from friends and others.
I’ve been out for a few Fridays already and had a great time each night. DJ Adam Dreaddy is always having a blast working the decks to keep the crowd dancing. One of the great things is that they have a covered patio out back. It’s a perfect spot when you want to have a quieter conversation or dodge that hook-up you really didn’t want to run into. I know Homorazzi’s Adam has been hitting Oasis up for Social Sundays… What say you Adam?
So what about the competition? Is there enough interest to sustain multiple venues? Yannick’s not worried about it. He thinks there are enough people to go around as long as establishments are meeting the needs of their customers and offering up something to support. In other words, “choice is a good thing”.
Check it out for yourself. Go to http://oasisondavie.com to see what’s going on and more hot photos of the hot bartenders.
Got a story idea about something YVRish? Send me an email… firstname.lastname@example.org