“It’s like a gay Cheers,” says manager Kyle Peralta.
“It’s like a gay Cheers,” says manager Kyle Peralta. Before becoming manager in April, Peralta was a member and performer at the club, and is still known on the stage as Raquel Del Rio. He notes the efforts made by the club’s last manager to change the reputation of the Soch from “a smoky, old man’s club,” to one appealing to many clienteles. To attract new groups, former manager Wes Haggard (current manager of Social Club “sister bar” Effex) established regular drag and ladies nights, and refurbished the old space with new paint and lighting. A glimpse of the club reveals a classic bar stocked with numerous liquors and a larger dark space and stage pleasantly aglow with blue and green lights.
The membership aspect of the club ($15 for a year) contributes greatly to this friendly and familiar environment. By purchasing a membership, one has access to reasonably priced drinks, a variety of shows and theme nights, and the enthusiastic management and staff. “Every manager brings their own skills and works with everyone; the current managers are doing a lot of new things and considering new ideas,” notes Zachowski.
The club continues to provide a vital space for LGBTQ Albuquerque with its variety of offerings and commitment to welcoming all patrons. Zachowski remembers a recent evening when a woman new to the club entered. “We ended up sitting and talked for a good hour, she was someone off the street who didn’t know a soul, someone who just lost a partner of many decades, and she immediately felt comfortable,” he remembers.