For those lamenting the loss of lesbian and queer women’s bars, there is new reason to rejoice: Nobody’s Darling, a cocktail bar for queer women, has opened in Chicago.
Nobody’s Darling, which had previously operated as the lesbian wine bar Joie De Vine, opened this May in the Windy City’s Andersonville neighborhood. New owners Renauda Riddle and Angela Barnes purchased the bar last year.
“We put our love into this bar, and people feel it,” Riddle told NBC News. “The energy as soon as you walk in the door, people say they feel that energy. It’s a beautiful space.”
The name was inspired, Barnes told NBC, by Alice Walker’s poem, “Be Nobody’s Darling.” The cocktail menu features drinks inspired by famous Black activists, writers, and artists, including the J. Kincaid Daiquiri, the A. Walker Summer Martini, and the Jos Baker Manhattan.
Nobody’s Darling is one of a few new lesbian or queer women-focused bars that have either opened or are in the process of opening, joining As You Are Bar — scheduled to open in D.C. sometime in the next year — and Dave’s Lesbian Bar in Queens.
Only around 20 lesbian and queer women’s bars are known to exist across the United States according to the Lesbian Bar Project, an initiative started last year by Erica Rose and Elina Street to save the country’s remaining lesbian bars. Nobody’s Darling is one of only two such bars that is also Black-owned; the other is Herz in Mobile, Alabama.
“There’s something very bold about what we’re trying to do as two African American queer women,” Barnes told NBC, adding, “there’s something kind of going off of maybe a path that people think might be set for us.”