This week, in response to Russia’s stance on gay issues, some gay bars in Chicago started eliminating Russian vodkas like Stoli from their shelves, although now there is some question about whether Stoli is even a Russian company. (Stoli’s CEO says no. Dan Savage cries BS on that claim.) Will gays in Philly stop drinking Russian vodkas as well?
Jeffrey Sotland, owner of gay bar Tabu on 13th Street in Philadelphia, says that he’s not going to be stocking any Russian liquors, including Stoli. “But then we’ve never carried Stoli at Tabu,” admits Sotland. “So this is really just a sign of solidarity.”
I called other Gayborhood bars to see who else is jumping on board the boycott. Here are the responses I’ve gotten so far:
Westbury: General manager Jerry Wehr says they will be boycotting Russian liquors. “We are horrified by Russia’s human-race violations, and [eliminating Russian vodkas] is the only [protest] we can make right now.”
Woody’s: On Wed., July 31, the Gayborhood mainstay hosted a Stoli Dumping Party, where it poured all its Stolichaya vodka down the drain. More here.
iCandy: Promotions and Events Director Scott McFerren says iCandy will be serving Russian liquors, because of Stoli’s support for the LGBT community.
Venture Inn: General Manager Henry Brinton says, “I will not be joining the boycott. Venture is standing behind Stoli. They’ve done a lot for Venture Inn and the gay community over the years.” And as for other Russian liquors? “That’s a decision I have to make by Tuesday.”
Tavern On Camac: Stephen Carlino says the TOC group has not come to a final decision but they will more than likely serve Stoli, because “Stoli has been extremely supportive of our community.” But he says he will consider boycotting other Russian liquors.
Stay tuned for firstname.lastname@example.org.