North Texas Daily

Q’s Cafe serves as inclusive haven for Denton locals

Q’s Cafe serves as inclusive haven for Denton locals

Q’s Cafe serves as inclusive haven for Denton locals
September 28
10:00 2018

Tucked away on the Square is an establishment that is a supporter of the LGBTQ community — they also happen to have breakfast tacos.

Q’s Cafe in downtown Denton is a LGBTQ-friendly restaurant that is open 24/7 as a place for anyone from any background to come and enjoy company, be entertained with one of their many events or simply feel welcomed somewhere.

“We knew that we didn’t want a place that was just strictly a gay bar because [with] the whole LGBT community, all you have to hang out at is bars,” Q’s Cafe co-owner Stephanie Davis said. “We don’t care if we end up serving beer and wine here, that’s not a big deal. But we want to have food, we want to have coffee, we wanted to do things that kids could be at and we wanted a hangout for everyone.”

Davis and co-owner Lillian Williams opened Q’s Cafe on June 25 this year and said they experienced an increase of business since classes have started.

“This month, we’ve seen incredible gain since college has [started],” Davis said. “We were counting down the days for college to open because we can’t survive without y’all. Y’all are as important to us as coffee is to [college students].”

Since its opening, Q’s Cafe has begun hosting a multitude of events that aim to unite members in the community. Some events are more common, such as improv and open mic nights, while others are themed and benefit a specific movement, like Queer Craft Market, Transgender Swap Meet and Movement Nights.

“It’s based on whatever movement [that is going on] online,” Davis said. “We did a ‘keep families together’ [event], and all that money went to a charity helping them with that. That was pretty powerful.”

One recent event was a benefit show for Denton County Trans Assistance and Resources, featuring art for sale from transgender artists in the area and a variety burlesque show. The show also featured a “Silent Hill”-themed striptease, a guitar player and a person in a T-Rex costume twerking.

The cafe is also open to event suggestions from the public and is willing to help host them. There is an event for everyone every day of the week.

“It’s a safe space, and Lill and Stephanie love putting on shows, [especially] benefits,” Denton County Trans Assistance and Resources founder Nyx Armstrong said. “It’s all-ages, which is really nice since you don’t really get many all-ages shows too often.”

 Armstrong’s event was one of many at Q’s Cafe that aims to raise money for a cause. The goal for this event was to raise funds and awareness for a transgender clinic in Denton that gives easier medical access for transgender people to receive medical attention.

“I really like helping people, and I feel like it’s a community that needs more help,” Armstrong said.

Being very focused on benefiting the community, the cafe has been recognized as a safe space by many. Not only is it a safe space for those who walk in the door, but it also does the same for those who work in it.

“I’ve experienced quite a bit of discrimination in the workplace since coming out three years ago, and I think it’s just really important that we have a place where not only queer employees come and not be afraid to be themselves,” Q’s Cafe manager Rex Davis said. “Our clientele is super important to us. Keeping the community alive is very important to us. Working here is not only just a job but something I look forward to each day because I get to help give people a safe space and basically let people know that they’re not alone here.”

A big part of Q’s is being inclusive to everyone and anyone that comes in. However, another important part is the food they dish out on a daily basis. Davis and Williams aim for a homestyle menu that also meets the palates of their diverse Denton crowd.

“We have this grilled cheese called the ‘Baby Cheesus,’” Davis said. “People are down to eat that all the time. You can put bacon and cool things on that. It’s like a fancy grilled cheese. It’s a college town [and] college kids kind of have a grown-up kid appetite sometimes.”

There is a wide variety at the cafe that is suitable for everyone. Vegan chili fries, flat french fries and chili loaded with beans and a savory sauce. Jalapeños and cheese are optional, and sweet potato fries can be a substitute.

Sandwiches are offered as well. “The King” features banana slices, tart blackberry jam and powder sugar complimenting savory peanut butter and salty bacon in between two slices of Texas Toast fried in butter. “The ABC” has thick-cut brown sugar bacon, cheddar cheese, a tomato aioli and green apple slices on white toast, all served with a pickle spear and a bag of Lays chips.

“Can’t say that everything here is super cheap, but drip coffee is only $1.50, and it’s bottomless drip coffee,” Davis said. “That was kind of a thing [where] we just wanted people to have a place to study [and] you don’t have to spend a ton of cash.”

Q’s Cafe has provided the Denton area with a safe place to be who one is. It provides that comfort and bridge with food and a friendly staff.

“I’ve been shocked at how accepting our community is and how happy people are for us to be here,” Davis said. “I’m not meaning that to be vain, but people genuinely will come in here and tell us ‘thank you’ for opening. That’s a really weird thing as an owner of a business, but it makes me happy.”

Featured Image: Q’s Cafe is a LGBTQ-friendly restaurant in downtown Denton. Trevor Seibert

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Spencer James Nelson

Spencer James Nelson

Food... I like Food... Like... Alot

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