I have been living in South Florida for a little over 20 years, but about a year before I left New York City a restaurant opened in the West Village called “Lips.” I remember going there with friends quite a few times and loving the campy drag atmosphere. You can only imagine how excited I was a little over a decade ago when I heard Lips was going to open a location here in Fort Lauderdale. Fast forward to now and we are on the cusp of Lips celebrating their 10th anniversary. For this momentous occasion I thought it appropriate to sit down with the Grand Dame, Founder and Queen Mother of the Lips empire, Yvonne Lame’ for this exclusive Hotspots interview.
How did you decide to open the first Lips, and what made NYC the perfect choice?
I was living in New York, and basically my partner owned a bar called Rome and we were doing a once a week drag night that became very successful and then the opportunity popped up to present to business partners who had a restaurant that was failing. The concept was the hard rock café of drag. Then we opened and there was an article in New York magazine about us and it took off like crazy. We have never looked back since.
At what point did you realize you had a successful business model?
Probably after we opened Lips San Diego and that became a success. We then realized we have something that can work in the larger cosmopolitan cities.
What made you open in Fort Lauderdale?
My partners lived in Fort Lauderdale and that was the driving force for it to be the next location.
How did you/do you choose your cast members?
We usually have queens audition, but we also look for the best of the best. I go out to the clubs and look.
What exciting plans do you have for the 10 year anniversary of the Fort Lauderdale location?
We are going to have new shows, new outfits, more glitter, more glam and more fun!
What does the future hold for the Lips Corporation?
Next year is very exciting for us as we are opening in Chicago, and it will be our grandest location. The location is Motor Row. We are actually in the old Ford Dealership showroom.
Lips is open 6 days a week from Tuesday through Sundays with different shows themes every night. For more information or to make a reservation call them at 954-567-0987. You can check out their website at: LipsUSA.com.