Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) carved out time during a hectic work week on Capitol Hill to make an impromptu appearance at Logan Circle’s hot new hangout Little Gay Pub.
The LGBTQ+ advocate stopped by the bar on Tuesday, September 26 around 8:15 p.m., staying for around 45 minutes before having to return for more key voting as a congressional standoff threatens to trigger a partial U.S. government shutdown.
The 83-year-old politician, who doesn’t drink, opted for a sparkling club soda. “Saratoga [spring water] is what I got her, with two fresh limes,” co-founder Dito Sevilla tells Eater. “She’s a delight and she’s consistent.”
As for food, she went with the bar’s crowd-pleasing chicken empanadas. Served with a vibrant chimichurri, Sevilla says the in-house order relies on an old family recipe his father learned about while he was ambassador to Argentina.
“When offered, Mrs. Pelosi said ‘I’m always hungry’ and we packed some up to go for staff and security,” says Sevilla.
The cute D.C. corner, formerly home to the Commodore, got a new life in March as a stylish gay bar outfitted with leather seating, eclectic decor, and an elegant marble bar serving a selection of snacks and cocktails. A gilded bathroom dressed to the nines has quickly become a social media star with its own handle (@Royal_Fiush_LGP) that documents guests’ selfies. Pelosi made a point to do one, too.
Little Gay Pub founders Sevilla, Benjamin Gander, and Dusty Martinez, who have a combined 30-year hospitality career working at places like Number Nine, Trade, and the bar under Floriana, always hoped Pelosi would swing their bar by one day.
“She was the perfect guest because she embodies the hard fought battle for equality and inclusion the LGBTQ+ community has waged for decades — and many of its successes,” says Sevilla.
They blasted a Pelosi-is-coming alert out on social media just five minutes before her arrival, causing the small bar to balloon to 80 guests. But the visit was a “total surprise” to most, says Sevilla, aside from some close friends and family they told.
Pelosi already has a permanent place at Little Gay Pub. Its artistic ceiling, which traces the history of the gay rights movement, includes several nods to the first-ever female Speaker from San Francisco.
Next up on the bar’s celebrity guest wish list? “Maybe Hillary,” he says.