Thank you to all of our fabulous readers who voted for the first VOICE Your Choice Awards since 2002. We are very proud to announce that over 15,000 votes were cast in 30 days! Congratulations to all winners in both St. Louis and Kansas City!
Favorite Drag Queen: Krista Versace
Known for her big blonde hair and glamorous style, Krista Versace has been entertaining the St. Louis area for over 20 years and is a former Miss Gay Missouri America, Miss Illinois Continental, Miss Tri-States Continental and a Miss Missouri Continental. A frequent entertainer in the days of Novak’s, Versace most recently became a staple at the now-closed Hamburger Mary’s of St. Louis at the establishment’s wildly popular Dining with the Divas party. Versace was also the Show Director at both Novak’s and Hamburger Mary’s and claimed the Miss Gay Missouri title in 1997.
Favorite Gym: Club St. Louis
Club St. Louis is located between Downtown and Midtown, and offers various amenities to its members, including a circuit gym, a steam room, dry sauna, therapeutic whirlpool and heated seasonal outdoor pool. The Club also believes in promoting the well-being of the gay community through supporting various organizations that protect gay health and civil rights, including supporting the formation of Metropolitan Community Church and the National Gay Task Force and contributing to the Human Rights Campaign building in Washington, D.C. Visit The Club’s website at www.theclubs.com.
Favorite Brunch Spot: Luvy Duvy’s Café
Established in 2007, Luvy Duvy’s Café on Arsenal has quickly become a brunch hotspot. Owners Cassady Caldwell and Jackie Seal have fostered a very welcoming environment for the LGBT community. The couple even includes a section of their restaurant’s website dedicated to displaying pictures of their customers, welcoming people from all walks of life to submit photos. Luvy Duvy’s offers breakfast all day Saturday and Sunday and includes items like breakfast burritos, French toast and BLTs. Visit www.luvyduvys.com for menu information.
Favorite Theatre: The Fabulous Fox Theatre
A man named William Fox opened The Fabulous Fox Theatre of St. Louis in January of 1929. Since that date, The Fox has entertained St. Louis with myriad shows, concerts and productions. Big-time musicals, including The Book of Mormon and Wicked, have graced the Fox’s stage. In 1981, Leon and Mary Strauss first saw the Fox Theatre and quickly began a one-year, $2 million+ restoration program on the theatre. Visit www.fabulousfox.com for ticket and show info.
Favorite Gay Bar: Just John Nightclub
Branded as St. Louis’ premier gay and lesbian nightclub, Just John opened its doors on February 2009 in the space previously occupied by Freddies. Owners John Oberkramer and Jeromy Ruot offer weekly events as well as regular theme parties. Affectionately dubbed “JuJo” by the regulars, the bar has won accolades from various puclications around St. Louis, including Best Gay Bar, Best LGBT Hangout and Best Karaoke Bar. For more information on the club, visit their website at www.facebook.com/justjohnclub or contact the bar via phone at (314) 371-1333.
Favorite DJ: DJ Karma
DJ Karma got her start in St. Louis eight years ago. Her first regular gig was a monthly spot at Halo Bar in The Loop about four years ago. After that, Karma (Amber Staub) moved on to a weekly residency at Erney’s 32 Degrees, where she performed three nights a week. Karma has also had a residency at Fusion on The Landing and Rehab Bar and Grill in The Grove. Karma’s current home is at honey. in The Grove, where she DJs every Friday and Saturday night. Karma has also entertained for charity organizations, including HRC and Doorways.
Favorite Retail Spot: Cheap Trx
Cheap TRX on South Grand aims to please all your candle-needing, incense-craving, novelty-sex-toy desires with an all-in-one shop. You can buy gag birthday cards, novelty adult items and apparel. The store isn’t simply all novelty, however, and you can head to the adults-only downstairs area if you’re feeling extra naughty or adventurous. Michael Mahler has been serving the LGBT community with his shop for years. You can even head next door to TRX Tattoos and get a tat or a piercing after you’re done shopping.
Favorite Non-Profit Organization: Stray Rescue
Stray Rescue’s mission is to rescue stray animals in need of medical attention, restore them to health and place them in loving adoptive homes. Stray Rescue has been serving the St. Louis area and its pets for years and virtually every animal they have saved has been abused and neglected. Stray Rescue also works closely with the LGBT community and holds various fundraisers at gay and lesbian bars around the city. Stray Rescue is a no-kill organization and takes pride in giving abused and neglected pets a new lease on life. Visit them online at www.strayrescue.org.
Favorite Restaurant: CJ’s On The Hill
CJ’s on the Hill has brought a new venue to the Hill neighborhood. In late 2013, Rehab Bar and Grill owners Chad Fox and Jim Weckmann opened CJ’s on the corner of Southwest Avenue. and Dalton. The restaurant serves a wide array of southern fare food, from steaks to pasta and offers daily specials. CJ’s was able to incorporate an LGBT slant into the Hill neighborhood and has become a restaurant beacon for the LGBT community outside of The Grove. For menu information, visit www.cjsonthehill.com.
Favorite Activist: Todd Alan
Todd Alan is an activist that has been involved in multiple organizations over the years in St. Louis. As one of the loudest and proudest supporters of Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS), Alan is also known as the Founder and Chairman of Thirst for Life, and a founding Co-Chair of ChoiceArt. Alan also sits on the Board of Directors for Pride St. Louis as the Sponsorship Director and is an outspoken supporter of every organization he represents.
Favorite Performer: Gateway Men’s Chorus
Founded in April 1988, the Gateway Men’s Chorus has been performing in the St. Louis region since. The organization is dedicated to the freedom and message of music, and affirms and promotes gay culture and acceptance through music. The Chorus also takes a large role in community outreach, including raising money for local organizations such as St. Louis Effort for AIDS, CARE, Project ARK, Pride St. Louis and the LGBT Center of St. Louis. For more information on GMC, visit www.gmcstl.org.
Favorite Fundraising Event: Dining Out For Life
“Dine Out, Fight AIDS” at this annual fundraising event. Each year, Dining Out for Life takes place across the country and raises money to benefit HIV and AIDS research and vital services to those living with the disease. Participating restaurants offer at least 25 percent of each customer check to the cause, and in St. Louis, the money benefits St. Louis Effort for AIDS. With the option to dine out for breakfast, lunch or dinner, families and groups of people can eat any time of the day and raise money for a great cause. Visit www.diningoutforlife.com/stlouis for more info.
Favorite Party: Divas of the Grove @ Rehab
Divas of the Grove takes place every Saturday at Rehab Bar and Grill in The Grove. Owners Chad Fox and Jim Weckmann refer to it as “back-porch drag,” as they are the only bar that holds its shows outside from spring through fall. The party features regular cast members, as well as guest spots each week. The notorious Victoria Rose heads up their shows. She has no filter, loose morals and loves to get and keep the audience on their toes. Hit up Rehab this Saturday and check it out! Visit www.rehabstl.com for more information on the show.