Happy Pride Month, Yelpers! Each June, celebrations around the world commemorate the Stonewall riots of 1969, a pivotal moment in the fight for LGBTQ equality. Just as these events honor the struggles and advances of the gay rights movement, Yelp would like to celebrate how businesses with queer connections have shaped the cities that they call home. Follow along all month as we profile some of North America’s top LGBTQ small business owners, all Yelper approved.
The Shameful Tiki Room in Parkdale, Toronto is beloved on Yelp and is constantly appearing on every possible publication’s top five bars’ lists. This tropical dream is co-owned and managed by badass Alana Nogueda. For the first time ever, this week The Shameful Tiki room will host Hey Girl! Bingo!, which as you hoped is drag queen bingo, ran by the one and only Shelix.
Tell us about yourself, Alana. What’s the short version of your story that brought you to where you are today at The Shameful Tiki Room. I moved to Toronto from Las Vegas just under 10 year ago, and have been in this industry since I was 15 years old. I’ve always loved people and the hospitality side of this business and have worked my way up from bus girl, to pizza maker, to where I am now. I opened up the Shameful Tiki Room Toronto with my business partner Rod Moore in 2015. We’ve been bringing paradise to Parkdale ever since!
Why do you love Tiki and what’s your favourite cocktail? I love Tiki because it’s fun. I love the escapism it brings to everyday life, and that we can give Torontonians a vacation without having to pack a bag and dealing with the TSA! My favourite cocktail is a Mai Tai. I looooove Mai Tais.
Are you willing to share that cocktail recipe for amateur tiki-enthusiasts? Most definitely. Though there are different variations of this cocktail, we stay true to the Trader Vic recipe:
1oz Dark Jamaican Rum
1oz Martinique Rum
1oz fresh lime juice
¼ oz housemade orgeat
¼ oz simple syrup
Let’s talk about the LGTBQ scene outside of The Village, on Queen West and Parkdale specifically. Obviously, we all love The Beaver (they rule) and the regular happenings at The Gladstone (RuPaul forever), but how do you feel about the scene generally? From someone who grew up in Las Vegas with a VERY small gay community, I find Toronto absolutely amazing and involved. Places like The Gladstone and The Beaver makes me proud of the neighbourhood I live in.
Why did you think it was the right time to bring Hey Girl! Bingo! into the bar? Honestly, I met Felix outside one night of a RuPaul’s Drag Race screening at The Gladstone, and we briefly talked about the idea and I was in love with it right away. We’ve always been a very queer friendly/ positive bar and an event like this will be a great addition to what we’re doing.
Felix, AKA Shelix (@theshelix) is new to TO from SF. Welcome to Toronto! What can we expect to see at Hey Girl! Bingo! at The Shameful Tiki Room on Wednesday? Aside from excessive glamour and terrible puns, it’s a night of laughs, craft cocktails and approachable fun!
What else are you up to in your new ‘hood? Toronto is such a hot city, and Shelix is making a splash! I’ve been collaborating with some amazing artists, and am also spreading my bingo prowess 3rd Thursdays of every month at Northwood Bar.
If you have a pulse and trust your peers, we’ll see you soon for some tropical fun at The Shameful Tiki Room. Hopefully often, and definitely for Hey Girl! Bingo! this Wednesday at 7pm.