LUSH, a popular LGBTQ+ bar and restaurant in Minneapolis, is reopening under new ownership in December.
LUSH Lounge & Theater is set to reopen before the end of the year, a news release says. The northeast Minneapolis spot that was known for its drag shows and bottomless mimosa-filled brunches closed abruptly in June, saying it hoped to open with owners who better represent the community it serves, Eater said.
Now the popular spot has those new owners. Andrew Rausch and Jared Lawrence have partnered with Betty and Earl's co-owners Jason Matheson, also of FOX 9, and Jennifer Lueck.
They bought LUSH and the 11,000-square-foot building at 990 Central Ave. NE in Northeast Minneapolis for $2.6 million. They plan to open the revived LUSH sometime in December, though an exact date hasn't been released.
Rausch and Lawrence will oversee the operations and programming of all entertainment. They bring with them plenty of experience: Rausch has 20 years in the hospitality industry and 12 years performing as Crystal Belle, while Lawrence owns and manages multiple businesses and has performed as Nikki Vixxen on stage for 13 years.
"I am so excited to see the revival of this bar that has changed lives and brought so many together. To be able to open our doors and welcome a community to experience top-notch entertainment in a truly premier space is a dream come true,” Rausch said in a statement. “As a previous employee, I am thrilled to share the growth of LUSH.
"We have been working hard to create a new atmosphere filled with new and exciting experiences for everyone and I can't wait to share it with the Twin Cities," Rausch added.
Meanwhile, Betty and Earl's will handle kitchen operations and create a "fun and casual bar menu" that includes the restaurant's signature biscuits in a variety of sandwiches and sweets, as well as other offerings.
Lueck says the menu will "go beyond" biscuits for a "new experience" for Betty and Earl's, as well as LUSH.
“This project combines so many dreams of mine that I’m overwhelmed with gratitude,” Matheson said in a statement. “Not only do I own a restaurant centered around my papaw’s name and biscuits but having that restaurant inside of a venue that I’m a co-owner of is beyond exciting.
"As a member of the LGBTQ community, I’m thrilled to work with great people like Andrew and Jared to create a space that not only reflects our community but invites everyone to a space where all are welcome,” Matheson said.
When LUSH does open, it will be open Wednesday-Sunday. The menu and entertainment lineup will be released on the lounge's website here.