New York City’s very own Lisa Cannistraci, owner of Henrietta Hudson, made an appearance on last night’s episode of “Late Night with Seth Meyers” to talk about the state of lesbian bars in the United States.
In the 7-minute segment, filmed at the newly-revamped Henrietta’s, Cannistraci talks to show writer Jenny Hagel, an out lesbian, about the decline of lesbian bars, the best pick-up lines, and just how many break-ups have occurred at the bar in its 30 years of operation.
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Throughout the segment, Cannistraci matches Hagel joke for joke, playing easily with the light-hearted humor even as they discuss a serious topic. “Lesbians can assimilate much more easily into mainstream society. For example, they’re making out at Applebee’s,” she jokes when asked by Hagel why lesbian bars are disappearing. “They don’t have to come to the West Village anymore.”
Cannistraci also explains the concept of “nesting,” which she says is “bad for business” since nested couples prefer to stay in; by contrast, break-ups are good for business (“They drink every night!”). She also notes, however, that few actual break-ups have taken place at Henrietta’s, although she’s received “a lot of ‘Thank yous’ for relationships that started here.”
She also discusses the change in the bar’s label, from a “lesbian bar” to a “queer human bar built by lesbians” as a response to how our ideas about gender identity and sexuality are evolving (“That’s great,” Hagel responds, “because nothing is stronger than something built by lesbians.”)
The segment ends with Hagel offering to “help” Cannistraci by running by her the names for future lesbian bars, including LGBTGI Fridays (“You forgot the Q” Cannestraci tells her), “Flannelgans (good for “Park Slope”), and “Your Ex-Girlfriend Is Probably In There” (“I think that’s the name of this place.”)
Hagel also has suggestions for new drinks that Cannistraci can add to Henrietta’s cocktail list, including the Cartini — a martini served in a glass shaped like a Subaru — and the Tegan and Sara: two identical drinks.
“I love it,” Cannistraci says. “You get to ring up two drinks at once.”