COLUMBIA — Columbia's oldest alternative bar and club* for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community will be moving to a new home downtown this September.
"We're very excited to bring SoCo Club to Columbia's prime business district," club owner and general manager Marty Newman said in a recent press release.
SoCo Club will relocate to the former home of the Forge and Vine restaurant on 119 S. Seventh St., according to the club's press release. SoCo first opened its doors at its current location, 128 E. Nifong Blvd., on Dec. 30, 1999, and celebrated its 12th anniversary last year.
The club's new location will include a dance floor with a stage, a lounge area, a main stage room, a large outdoor patio area and multiple bars, including an outdoor bar. According to the club's website, the current location is limited to two bars, a lounge and a dance floor. The lounge was added in 2009, Newman said.
"Having these distinct, separate areas will give patrons the opportunity to enjoy multiple experiences, including multiple entertainment options, all within the same venue," Newman said in the press release.
Newman plans to take advantage of the new location by introducing new events and scheduling options.
The 18-and-over club is most known for "Divas by Design," a Thursday night drag show hosted by longtime hostess Aieta Buffet. SoCo Club offers three other drag shows — "Babes in Boyland" on Saturdays, "Cabaret Mondays" on the first and third Mondays of the month and, most recently, "New Beginnings" on the first and fourth Fridays.
Other club events include karaoke, Smarty Pants Trivia, Ladies' Night, Columbia Industrial Night and an underwear party the last Friday of every month.
SoCo Club hosted Miss Gay Missouri, America, an official preliminary to the prestigious Miss Gay America pageant, for the first time in Columbia in 2011 and again this spring.
The clubs hours are Monday through Friday, 5 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., and Saturday from 6:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
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