Lotus on Locust closed a few months ago, though the cover-charging Pepper Lounge is still open next door. Come April, Lotus -- located at 2001 Locust -- will become WeHo (short for West Hollywood), a new gay bar.
Manager JoJo Zahner ran hot spots like Galaxy in the '90s before heading to California to play poker professionally. Family circumstances brought him back to St. Louis; he's friends with the landlord at 2001 Locust and jumped at the chance to run a bar downtown again.
Zahner says WeHo will shoot for a mixed crowd during happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m., as well as Wednesday and Friday nights. He calls WeHo a "video bar" -- meaning there will be music videos on all the television screens instead of sports. On Fridays and Saturdays there will even be a VJ.
"There are no gay bars downtown," Zahner says. "The way it's decorated, it's really fabulous." The building boasts antique tin ceilings, chandeliers, ornate wall tiles and leather booths. "It's a work of art. This place is one of a kind," he says.
The grand opening is April 4, but there will be a sneak peek on Wednesday, April 2, with dollar bottles and other specials. Keep an eye out for themed weeknights, like karaoke, show tunes and ladies' night.