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PROUD First LGBT bar opens in New Albany

A News and Tribune Publication

JULY 10, 2014 — Issue 22

TOP THREE Wine Walk and Shop


Hanover College students present traveling show


Q&A interview with Tyler Bliss

2 SoIn

July 10, 2014 P u b li s h e r Bill Hanson Editor Jason Thomas Design Claire Munn/Stephen Allen Photography Christopher Fryer


ON RACKS: We offer free copies of SoIn at numerous hotels and restaurants around Clark and Floyd counties. IN YOUR PAPER: Every Thursday in the News and Tribune ONLINE: /soin ON FACEBOOK: /YourSoInWeekly

On the Cover:

Owners Robyn Johnson, left, and Andrew Reynolds stand in front of The Warehouse in downtown New Albany. The establishment is the first LGBT bar to open in New Albany. Staff photo by Christopher Fryer


• See what to expect at this year's Forecastle Festival

Love and happiness in SoIn

Indiana’s ban on samesex marriage made national headlines two weeks when a federal judge struck down the law, citing its unconstitutionality. The issue heated up two days later, when a federal court issued an emergency order stopping gay marriages pending the outcome of Jason Thomas, Editor an appeal by Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller. Same-sex unions performed during that narrow window when the state’s ban was reversed are in limbo. People’s feelings are in limbo. A picture of a gay couple kissing graced the front page of the News and Tribune two weeks ago. A pastor’s wedding — her second, this one official in the eyes of the state at the time — followed on the front page the next day. The couples in the pictures beamed with happiness. Outright joy punctuated a day that they’ve

been anticipating for so long, just like it would for anyone — gay or straight. Same-sex marriage is a lightning-rod issue. Stripped down, after seeing the photos and reading the stories of the couples in our paper, it comes down to happiness. And love. Who are we to deny anyone those two things? While gay couples are forced to wait on the ruling of Zoeller’s appeal — which could take months — a new bar might give them some measure of comfort. The feature story in this issue of SoIn is about The Warehouse, possibly the first gay bar in New Albany, if not Southern Indiana. What’s interesting is that the owners, Robyn Johnson, 26, New Albany, and Andrew Reynolds, 31, Borden, are straight. They saw an underserved market and went for it. Anyone is welcome. Just like anyone should be allowed to marry the person he or she loves. Who are we to judge? — Jason Thomas is the editor of SoIn. He can be reached by phone at 812-206-2127 or email at jason. Follow him on Twitter: @ ScoopThomas.

Crossing Dimensions  What: ‘In Between’ exhibit

 Where: Carnegie Center for Art and History, 201 E. Spring St., New Albany  When: July 25 through Oct. 11 (opening reception at 6 p.m. July 25)

The Carnegie Center for Art and History presents “In Between,” on display July 25 through Oct. 11. The exhibition features paintings by Rebecca Norton and Nicolas Jorcino. The artists bring both modern aesthetics and timeless ideas to the centuriesold medium of painting. They test the spatial limits of twodimensional art through the feeling of depth that they infuse in their compositions. This illusion of depth often makes us feel as though we could walk into and physically explore the painted worlds that

they create and the scale of their paintings further accentuates the idea that their artworks are actually extensions of the space we inhabit. In addition to this interplay between two- and three-dimensional representa-

tions, their works cross the boundaries between painting and other disciplines — architecture, mathematics, music, urban planning and poetry. There will be an opening reception for this exhibit Friday, July 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. While exploring the galleries, visitors can enjoy refreshments, live jazz by the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Quartet, and the opportunity to meet Norton and Jorcino. This event is free and the public is invited to attend. The exhibit and opening reception are sponsored by the Carnegie Center, Inc. There will be several educational programs during this exhibit, including gallery talks with Norton and Jorcino, and a painting activity at Carnegie’s Aug.. 9 Family Fun Workshop. Programs are free and open to the public, but note those that require registration. Call 812-944-7336 or email dthomas@carnegiecenter. org to register.


July 10, 2014

3 To Go



Southern Indiana Home Builders Association Presents... What: Wine Walk and Shop

When: 6 p.m. Friday Where: Downtown Jeffersonville Cost: $15 advance; $20 day of; on sale at Choices Boutique, Schimpff's Confectionery and the Springs Salon and Spa. Enjoy wine tastings and appetizers, hear live music, and explore local shops. There will be five live music acts on the sidewalks, and special sales at locally owned shops. Several area wineries will be on hand to offer wine tastings and sell wine by the bottle.



What: New Albany Art Project Catalog Debut When: 6 p.m. Friday Where: Carnegie Center for Art & History, 201 E. Spring St., New Albany Cost: Suggested donation of $10 This full-color, 52-page catalog details the New Albany Public Art Project: Bicentennial Series, which presented temporary public art installations in downtown New Albany from 2010 to 2013. Attendees will also be the first to hear about the New Albany Public Art Project: Today and Tomorrow Series, which will bring public art to the community beginning in 2015


It’s a bird! It’s a plane!

The NEW Parade of Homes July 12-20 Tour over 21 New Construction Homes and Home Sites Times are 1-6pm on weekends and 5-8pm during the week.

VISIT US AT: www.SouthernIndia

for complete Parade of Homes details


What: UFOs in Indiana presentation When: 6 p.m. Tuesday Cost: Free Where: Strassweg Auditorium, New AlbanyFloyd County Public Library, 180 W. Spring St., New Albany The public is invited to join David Henniger, Field Investigator from Indiana’s Chapter of the Mutual UFO Network, as he discusses many of the strangest cases of ongoing UFO phenomena in the Hoosier State. Refreshments will be served.

Gotta Go: Interested in seeing your event in our 3 To Go?

Email SoIn Editor Jason Thomas at


A rainbow flag flies above the front entrance to T Warehouse in downtown New Albany. STAFF PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER FRYER



new albany bar makes historic statement by matt Koesters


EW ALBANY — It was mid-June, and The Warehouse Bar in New Albany was failing. Hard. The State Street establishment was bleeding money; on a recent Tuesday, the bar had taken in $12 the entire day. Something had to change. Owner Butch Wooten gave his bartenders, Andrew Reynolds and Robyn Johnson, a chance to become the majority partners in the business, but they had to turn the business around first. Reynolds and Johnson hatched a plan to save The Warehouse and pitched it to Wooten. Wooten was hesitant at first, but eventually came around to about 98 percent in favor. That was good enough for Reynolds, who took to Facebook to announce the news. “All I did was change the title of our bar on Facebook from being a regular bar to a gay bar,” Reynolds, 31, of Borden, recalled. “Then I put out rainbow flags out front and rainbow flags out back.”

soUthern IndIana’s FIrst Lgbt bar Reynolds and Johnson aren’t gay. They’re a couple, and Johnson, 26, of New Albany, is expecting with Reynolds’ child. But they had seen how their gay friends in committed relationships had been treated in other local drinking establishments just for showing a bit of affection toward one another, Reynolds said. “That was the point where I realized, it’s just not fair,” Reynolds said. “... They weren’t doing anything obscene, they’re weren’t doing anything rude, they weren’t doing anything insulting. All they were trying to do was try to show a little bit of affection to the person that they love and have been with for 10 years. So I decided, and I talked to [Johnson] about it, that we should really, really do this.” Reynolds’ bet paid off. Within a week of the June 15 announcement, bar revenues soared 700 percent over the previous week. Word spread like wildfire. The bar’s social media account exploded with new likes and shares, where there had been little activity before.

Owners Robyn Johnson, left, and Andrew Reynolds stand in front of The Warehouse in downto New Albany. The establishment is the first LGBT bar to open in New Albany. STAFF PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER FRYER “It was great,” Johnson said. “It was so great.” The timing couldn’t have been better, either. The announcement came in time for the run-up to the Kentuckiana Pride Festival, and the federal court ruling that struck down Indiana’s gay marriage ban came just 10 days later. The day after the court ruling came, The Warehouse was the site of a marriage between two men that brought with it 150 witnesses. Two days later, in lieu of a grand reopening night, The Warehouse held its “grand coming

out party.” It was a huge success, R said. “The sales that day broke bi-week the month before,” Reynolds said. “ been an amazing, amazing increase best thing is, that’s all revenue that’ ing over to Louisville[’s gay bars] fo Why would Indiana not want that h

an hIstorIC momen When Reynolds and Johnson turn Warehouse into Southern Indiana’s

July 10, 2014

Entertainment 5




kly sales “It’s just e, and the ’s been goor years. ... here?”

nt ned The first LGBT-

Singer-songwriter Stephen Powell, New Albany, performs during an open mic night at The Warehouse in downtown New Albany. STAFF PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER FRYER

friendly establishment, they didn’t just make a business decision, said New Albany resident Larry Summers. They made history. Summers, a gay man and the vice president of the gay rights group Indiana Equality Action, grew up in New Albany. He never thought he’d see the day when gay people would be openly accepted in his hometown. “It’s a new era for LGBT rights in the state of Indiana,” Summers said. “You just had a federal judge say that it’s unconstitutional for our state to discriminate against us, and now to be able to have an establishment that we can call our own and be able to be open with our relationships and not be afraid of public displays of affection with our partner without upsetting the crowd around us. “It’s so much more than just a bar. It’s validity to our lives.” Summers isn’t just a supporter of The Warehouse. He has the distinction of being the first customer to patronize the establishment after it declared itself LGBT friendly. “It made me very excited to know that I’m contributing to a business that believes in not only me and my family, but also the entire cause that I stand for,” he said. stICKIng to Its roots Though The Warehouse may be Southern Indiana’s first LGBT bar, Reynolds said the bar isn’t changing what it is at its core to fit some

Patrons hang out inside The Warehouse in downtown New Albany. STAFF PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER FRYER

kind of stereotype of what a gay bar should be. Instead of a dark space with colored lights and loud house music, The Warehouse is sticking to the warm, well-lit, friendly — and by comparison, quiet — bar it always was. It’s just the clientele that’s different. And that’s a good thing, said regular Brian Easton, 44, New Albany. Easton’s been a regular at The Warehouse for six months, and sometimes its only paying customer on a given day. He’s also straight, but he’s happy to see his favorite bar succeeding with its new business model. “It’s gotten a lot bigger. I’m seeing a lot more people,” Easton said. “When I was first coming here, it was me by myself and that was it. Now I’m seeing a lot more people here. A good dozen, 15 people, and I’m here early. I can only imagine what it’s like later in the evening.” The bar still has open mic nights and acoustic entertainment, and Sunday is karaoke night these days. Friday’s now for burlesque and drag shows, but that’s as far as it goes, Reynolds said. And about half of the bar’s clientele is straight, he said. “At the end of the day, it was about making a place where everybody can feel safe, whether they’re straight or gay,” Reynolds said. “Even though you call yourself an LGBT-friendly bar or a gay bar, that doesn’t mean that you have to be gay to come in. All that means is that gay people feel comfortable there as well.”

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6 Entertainment

July 10, 2014



July 11

July 15

é “Dawn of the Planet of the


 “And So It Goes”  “Life Itself”

books: July 15

é “Yes!” by Jason Mraz

é “The Mockingbird Next


 “Factory Man” by Beth Macy  “Wayfaring Stranger” by

 “No Fools, No Fun” by Puss n

 “Mandatory Fun” by “Weird Al” Yankovic


Door” by Marja Mills

James Lee Burke

on stage

Q&A interview with

TYLER BLISS Daily Lunch Buffet

11-1:30 with drink




949 S. Indiana Ave., Sellersburg, IN 812-248-7000 •


Now playing: "Mary Poppins" at Derby Dinner; through Aug. 16; tickets: visit derbydinner. com or call 812-288-8281 Hometown/Current residence/Current role: Born and raised in New Albany. I play Mr. Banks in “Mary Poppins.” What is your educational background? I graduated from Indiana University Southeast with a bachelor’s of science in marketing and business management. How did you get interested in acting? I graduated from New Albany High School, where I was very involved in the theater department. I was able to learn a great deal from the experiences I gained through that department. What are your favorite types of roles? I love classic “musical comedy” roles. Characters where I get to sing, dance and make people laugh are the most fun for me. What do you enjoy about performing? I so enjoy the opportunity to give an audience the gift of entertainment. I think it’s one of the most personal and memorable experiences we can take part in. I remember practically every show I was taken to as a child and the special family members or friends that shared in that moment with me. It’s a real joy to be able to create new memories for new audience members every night. What are your goals? My goals are to continue to be able to do what I love. I have a wonderful

Bliss, far right, from a publicity photo for “Boeing, Boeing.” SUBMITTED PHOTO

and fulfilling full time job as executive director of the New Albany Floyd County Education Foundation, I have a beautiful wife and daughter, and I am very fortunate to be able to continually participate in my love for theater and the arts in this community. I am thankful every day.

July 10, 2014

Entertainment 7

Pictured: Cast, crew and playwrights: Gray Schierholdt, Kayla Snabl, Brandon Derk, Kimberly Reeves, KorbyQuan Reed, Shawn Franklin, Elizabeth Tock, Emily Bumgardner, Tessa McShane, and Chyna Cheaney. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Local SoIn Happenings Feeling left out? Send your establishment’s and/ or organization’s upcoming events/new features/entertainment information to SoIn Editor Jason Thomas at

 Night out New Albany

When: 5 p.m. Friday, downtown New Albany Night Out New Albany is a night for local retailers, restaurants, galleries and shops to showcase their business. The event is a night for local customers as well as tourists to enjoy an evening of art, entertainment, food, drink and shopping.

 Bicentennial Park Concert Series

When: 6 p.m. Friday Where: Bicentennial Park, Pearl and Spring streets, New Albany Black Cadillacs with Violet Knives

 Live music at Roadhouse

When: 8 p.m. to midnight Where: New Albany Roadhouse, 1706 Graybrook Lane Friday: Tattoo You Unplugged

Huber Road, Starlight Saturday: Josh and Holly; Sunday: Corey and Stacey []

 BB&J Weekend (Blackberries, BBQ and Jazz)

Where: Huber’s Orchard, Winery & Vineyards, 19816 Huber Road, Starlight When: July 19, 20 Live Jazz music on the patio this weekend featuring various local musicians. Saturday: Tyrone Cotton, 1 to 2:50 p.m.; Billy Goat Strut 3:10 to 5 p.m.; The Dean Heckel Band 5:15 to 7 p.m.; Sunday: Big Poppa Stampley, 1 to 2:50 p.m.; Small Town Napoleon 3:10 to 5 p.m.

 Farmers Market

When: 8 a.m. Saturday (ongoing) Where: New Albany Farmers Market, 202 E. Market St. The Downtown New Albany Farmer’s market is a managed by Develop New Albany with help from volunteers in the New Albany community.

 Farmers Market

Saturday: 9 a.m. to noon (May 31 through Oct. 25) Downtown Jeffersonville at the corner of Chestnut and Locust streets (on the Wall Street United Methodist Church lot). Tuesdays: 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. (June 3 through Oct. 28) At the 10th Street entrance to Jeffersonville High School

 Rose Island Playhouse auditions

What: Auditions for “You Have the Right to Remain Dead” When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday Where: Charlestown Public Library, 51 Clark St., Charlestown Information: Call 502-379-1180 or visit 812-404-6251. The cast consists of five men ages late 20s to 50s and five women ages late 20s to 50s. The audition will be a cold reading. “You Have the Right to Remain Dead” is an audience-participation mystery/comedy.

 Live on State at Wick’s

Where: Wick’s Pizza Parlor, 225 State St., New Albany When: Friday and Saturday Friday: 10 p.m., No Problem; Saturday: 10 p.m., The Jackson Way []

 Music at Huber Winery

When: 1 to 5 p.m. on weekends Where: Huber’s Orchard, Winery & Vineyards, 19816

 Bastille Day meal

When: 5:30 p.m. Monday Where: La Coop: Bistro à Vins, 732 E. Market St., Louisville Cost: $40 Traditional French dishes, with chef Bobby Benjamin’s signature Southern twists, fill the menu including niçoise salad with local tomatoes and farm egg; duck confit with seasonal vegetables; and sweet corn bisque with strawberry salsa. Hand-picked French wine pairings for each course are available for an additional $30 per person. []

the traveling show The Rivers Institute at Hanover College presents a touring program of one-act plays written, directed and performed by Hanover students. The plays vary in tone from wistful to dramatic to gently comedic, to appeal to a broad audience. Mystery writer Rex Stout appears in “Rex Stout Rings Again” and solves a case where he is the accused. Two other plays feature Sidney D. Crosier, the impressionist painter from Corydon, and Marilyn Miller, a Broadway and film star from Evansville who died tragically young. The Carnegie Center presented the exhibit Sidney D. Crosier: Hoosier Art Pioneer in 2008. Participants can bring a lunch, drinks are provided. “Ghost Light” by Chyna Cheaney

A young boy conquers the fear that keeps him from pursuing his dreams with the help of two great Hoosier performers from the heyday of vaudeville. This play features Marilyn Miller, star of the Vaudeville stage and Hollywood screen, from Evansville. She came to prominence in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1918 singing the music of Irving Berlin. “Rex Stout Rings Again” by James Wylder

Indiana author Rex Stout finds himself caught in a mystery straight out of one of his novels. How will he solve the case and clear his name? Author of the Nero Wolfe novels, Stout was born in Noblesville. He wrote in a wide variety of forms in addition to detective novels, including the short story, the novel, science fiction, and a political thriller, “The President Vanishes” (1934). “Crosier in Arcadia” by Tom Evans

As a young man, Sidney Crosier abandoned a promising art career in Cincinnati and the opportunity to study in Europe to take care of his aging mother in Corydon, but he continued painting until his death in 1930. This excerpt from a longer play by long-time Hanover College theater professor Tom Evans shows Crosier's creativity extending to his materials as well as his techniques.that’s perfect for the entire family.

 What: Rivers Institute Traveling Theatre  When: Noon Tuesday  Where: Carnegie Center for Art and History, 210 Spring St., New Albany

 Cost: Free, but registration is required; call 812-944-7336 or email

SoIn 07102014  
SoIn 07102014  

So In - July 10, 2014 issue featuring the first LGBT bar opening in New Albany, IN