The downtown Spokane nightclub Stray and its 509 Ultra Lounge are no more.
The gay/alternative lifestyle bar at 415 W. Sprague launching last February, moving into the space formerly occupied by one of the city's most legendary nightspots, the gay bar Irv's.
Stray, adjacent to the Satellite Diner & Lounge, was known for its drag shows, DJs, karaoke and dance parties — it made the top three among area dance clubs, as voted upon by Inlander readers earlier this year — as well as a dress code that generally left it up to bartenders what they wore at work: usually, that resulted in the bar staff wearing only underwear; bras and booty shorts for female bartenders, and boxer shorts for the bare-chested males.
While Stray catered to Spokane's LGBTQ community, its clientele certainly was not exclusively gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered, and it was known as a place where anyone who respected other patrons was welcome. A big draw was the thrice-weekly drag shows featuring the ensemble Le Gurlz, led by Spokane's best-known drag queen, Nova Kaine (aka Jason Johnson).
The following statement, which appeared on Nova Kaine's Facebook page earlier this week, was shared on the pages of both Stray and the 509 Ultra Lounge, which opened last June:
"It is with great sadness that I have to confirm the closure of Stray Nightclub. After pouring blood, sweat, and tears into that Building for the last 12+ years I had to pack my wigs, dresses, and shoes out of a dressing room we built. Turning off the lights for the last time was hard. But I have been here before. The closure of Dempsey's, Hollyrock, Spotlight, and 412, Le Gurlz has survived them all. Just another closed chapter of this Epic Adventure. Time to open a new Chapter."
In addition, Stray posted this short message on its Facebook page:
"It is with regret we must announce that Stray/509 Ultra Lounge is now closed. We want to thank all you who have supported us and enjoyed our shows and hope that you have a great Summer!" — Stray/509 Management
Calls to Stray's telephone number (624-4450) were not answered. Co-owners Brenton Holland and Tyler Newman, who ran the business and own two similar bars in Everett, were not available for comment.