Kelowna's first LGBTQ+ lounge opens today

Dorothy opens downtown

Click your heels and say "there's no place like home."

After a "soft open" Thursday night, Friends of Dorothy Lounge opens today in downtown Kelowna, bringing the first inclusive LGBTQ+ lounge to the city.

"What you can expect inside is probably not what you've seen in Kelowna before," says owner Rudy Tomazic. "I think it's actually making Kelowna into a bigger place and a more inclusive place, and I think it's just great for everyone to come together."

The name of the lounge has a long history, and not just in relation to The Wizard of Oz. 

"Prior to World War II, Friends of Dorothy was code for when you couldn't be out in public and you had to be secret about everything you did ... It was code to say 'hey, are you a friend of Dorothy's?' in other words, are you part of the LGBTQ community?" explains Tomazic. 

He describes the lounge atmosphere as "bougie but elegant."

With inspiration coming from the famous film starring Judy Garland, available cocktails include the Wicked Witch of the West and Not in Kansas Anymore. 

"My bartender came up with the names and the creations on the menu, so he's used seven colours of the rainbow and created seven house cocktails that accent those," says Tomazic. 

Friends of Dorothy Lounge will have live entertainment including drag shows and drag karaoke in the coming weeks. 

Open seven days a week from 3 p.m. to 12 a.m., Friends of Dorothy is located on the corner of Water Street and Lawrence Avenue.

For more information, click here.

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