The Founder behind La Camionera and the era of a lesbian bar above ground

After the news broke last week that the opening of a new lesbian bar caused Broadway Market to fill up with hundreds of Lesbians, we were despo to know who was behind this brand new bar. Lucky for us they had a lovely little chat with us. Meet the founder, and read all about the inspiration behind this new lesbian hangout, and what they have planned for us next in our interview below.

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Meet the Founders of La Camionera:

Founded by Alex Loveless and inspired by their Spanish girlfriend, Clara, La Camionera aimed to infuse the lively bar culture of Madrid into the heart of East London.

Founder of La Camionera Alex Loveless

When asked about the inspiration behind La Camionera, Alex credits their frequent visits to Clara’s family near Madrid. Immersed in the vibrant bar culture of Spain, they enjoyed the energy and warmth of the scene. Wanting to share this experience with their community back home, the idea for La Camionera was born.

“La Camionera,” which translates to “female truck driver” in Spanish, holds a special meaning. Beyond its literal translation, it’s also slang for butch lesbians.

For Alex, East London felt like the natural choice as they have always lived East, worked in the area and have a deep-rooted connection there. Everything seemed to fall into place, including securing the venue, thanks in part to a stroke of luck and the support of friends like Liv, who was working behind the bar at the time.

Scenes at the opening night…

Alongside wanting to know who this viral TikTok video was about, we had questions about to who it was in their blurry Instagram posts that have got everyone talking! So naturally, we asked (obvs)… According to Alex, they rounded up willing friends—often featuring their girlfriend and best friend—for impromptu photoshoot sessions. Before the bar even opened its doors, Alex transformed their bedroom into a makeshift studio, complete with fake tables, drinks and snacks slated for the opening night, capturing the essence of La Camionera’s vibrant spirit. Smart.

As this bar opening completely passed us by (where the F were we?), we reached out to someone who attended on the night, and according to Ami “The bar possibly underestimated the strength of the east London sapphic community… coz we turned UP. It was impossible to get a drink inside or hear the music or see anyone as the basement (audacious yet predictable destination for a ‘lesbian’ night) was in almost total darkness…. which could’ve been cute for a candlelit dinner but this was not that. Outside however felt like a carnival, the vibes were perfect 👌🏻 Well done to everyone who showed up, we turned Broadway Market very queer for the night and it felt GORGEOUS”.

So What’s next for La Camionera and therefore us?

When asked about their aspirations for La Camionera, Alex keeps it refreshingly candid, expressing a desire to maintain a steady stream of patrons long after the initial excitement settles—and most excitingly.

Since then, they’ve announced their Kickstarter to help contribute to a bar above the ground (if you’re a lesbian in London, you’ll know that all Lesbian bars are in the basement …sigh).

According to Instagram, here’s what they had to say…

“Last Thursday was a dream, so naturally we took out tens of thousands of pounds in loans to buy a bar.. above ground..

We launched La Camionera as a residency in the basement of a bar on Broadway Market, London less than one week ago. Something initially intended as a lowkey tapas bar for 25 covers that ran Sunday to Thursday had soon turned into hundreds of people hanging out outside trying to get in. We had a good night, we went viral on TikTok – in no small part thanks to superstar musician @lleoworld , and we read every one of the comments – good and bad – online and thought…

Why *are* we always in the basement?

Clara and I have managed to scrape together about 70% of what we need in personal loans and gov start-up loans, and are perpetually looking for more avenues of funding. We’re turning to you lot to see if you’d pay for a coffee, pint, or cocktail in advance to help us get up and running as quick as possible – we get the keys on March 1st. There are also a few more fun options on there you can take a look at, including tickets to a very, very special party.

I hope this post, and the revealing of who’s behind the bar, is a testament to the fact that anyone who feels like the bar is a space for them, is. As time moves on, this will become increasingly apparent through our programming and imagery. As a trans person, I can’t help but feel othered when spaces tack on whether I am / am not welcome. Let’s not let a minutiae of people control the dialogue – we’re stronger without them.

Please check out the link in the bio for the full story, and I hope everyone who is interested or who I’ve ever made a drink for can wildly comment and share to boost this post.

Lots of love 💋”

As La Camionera continues to carve its niche in the London scene, one thing’s for certain— It’s about goddamn time we got a lesbian bar, and they brought it to us.

If you’d like to help out with the opening of the new above-ground bar, then head to their Kickstarter.

We love happy endings,

Nonchalant Magazine x

Last Updated on 22nd February 2024 by Nonchalant Magazine

Nonchalant Magazine
Nonchalant Magazine

This article was written by one of our creative team writers here at Nonchalant Magazine.

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