Best of 2012: Place to Meet Men
Best of 2012: Gay Bar
"Come out and let us prove that nobody parties like Club Q." This is the challenge the club puts forth, so the least you could do is get off your ass and give it a shot. Game nights, live DJs, amazing happy-hour specials, drag shows, karaoke and plenty more events await you at Club Q, which offers a unique theme or activity every night, Tuesday through Sunday. But this 18-and-up bar/club really gets bumping on Saturday nights, when you can find an amazing happy hour — $6 total for five drinks of your choice. Whether you're "gay, straight, white, black, young or old," co-owner Tim Fernandez says, at Club Q you'll find the safest club in the city. — Kiki Lenihan
Best Of 2012: Bartender: Tim Fernandez
Tim Fernandez sounds surprised upon learning that he's a finalist for Best Bartender. "I can't really wrap my head around that," he says. "There are so many good bartenders in town."
So we ask him: In his opinion, how would a good bartender become the best bartender?
"Any good bartender has to have speed, consistency and accuracy when pouring drinks," Fernandez says. "But it's about a lot more than that. Fun and friendly matters as much as fast and accurate. And really, it's about the people; knowing their names is as important as knowing how they like their drinks. I introduce people, if they're all sitting along the bar, and get the conversation going. I like to keep people happy.
"It's also about trust," he continues. "I like to build a rapport so the customers trust me. And if they've had too much to drink, they know I'm not going to serve them. I'll take their keys and call a cab."
Fernandez, a 32-year-old who's been bartending for six years, takes that responsibility seriously. He says he doesn't drink when he's working (unlike many bartenders) because he wants to "stay attentive and focused," and wants to make sure people feel safe at Club Q.
The Academy Boulevard stalwart is known primarily as a gay bar, and has been since before Fernandez and his wife Sue bought it in 2006. And the couple are content to market it that way; at the top of clubqonline.com, you'll see a banner proclaiming Club Q the city's premier gay and lesbian nightlife destination.
But Fernandez notes that on a Friday or Saturday night it's more of a mixed crowd.
"From 18 to 80, gay, straight, everything in between, all different types and styles of people come here," he says.
Sometimes, Fernandez continues, they ask him and Sue if they own the place. "We always answer, 'No, you own the place. We work for you.'" — Kendall Kullman