Ayr’s first LGBTI bar, The Rusty Nail, officially opens tonight, Saturday 27 September, with a big launch party and everyone’s invited.
The launch party will be hosted by extraordinary drag act Barbie Buckfast. Since finding fame on Britain’s Got Talent three years ago, Barbie has starred in “Big Night Out” and is widely recognised as a talented comedienne and entertainer. Barbie will be accompanied by singer Moira Stephenson and DJ Steph McDonald. The entertainment, featuring fun, games and a lot of singing, will kick off at 8.30pm.
Bar manager Kim Andreucci has been running The Rusty Nail for the last eighteen months, but it is only in the last two months it has become an LGBTI bar. She decided to make the leap when the business was struggling, and hasn’t looked back. “People are surprised by how big the LGBTI community is in Ayr”, she said. “And there were no local bars or clubs for them – why should they have to go to Glasgow or Edinburgh? We were struggling as an ordinary bar but we had some gay clientèle anyway. It’s working so far, but we’re always looking at improving it.”
Kim hopes the launch night will help put The Rusty Nail on the map. “We’re looking for a bigger clientèle and tonight people are coming from Glasgow, Kilmarnock and Manchester. We’re hoping it goes well and that people come back. We’re seeing new faces in here every week.”
Kim has also been working with the NHS and local LGBTI organisations to provide information and offer support to the LGBTI community.
Asked whether she had encountered any opposition from local people, Kim mentioned a couple of incidents in which people had expressed disapproval but stated that the majority of public opinion has been hugely supportive. “So often people say things like ‘I take my hat off to you for what you’re doing’ because they see it as a big thing.” The local media have been particularly encouraging.
Kim and her team are determined to see their vision work. The first LGBTI bar in Ayr will surely be a success if the LGBTI community can get behind it and it continues to dare to be different.
The Rusty Nail can be found at 9-13 South Harbour Street, Ayr. KA7 1HZ Telephone: 01292 738454