Opening of new LGBTQ bar in Lafayette hits a snag

News 18 spoke with the owner of The Fox's Den Performance Club and the property owner about the decision to end the lease.

Posted: Oct 12, 2020 8:48 PM
Updated: Oct 13, 2020 9:05 AM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -- The opening of a new bar in Lafayette has hit a snag, and the owner believes it's because the bar is LGBTQ friendly.

"We had a two-year lease signed, said Alford. "We had the deposit, the rent and everything put down as well."

Colin Alford is opening The Fox's Den Performance Club. The new LGBTQ Bar and Drag Club will be open to anyone 18 and older. It was supposed to open at a Fourth Street location on Halloween, but that all changed after a local newspaper posted an article about the bar.

"What he said is that we misrepresented ourselves, but his main reason when he called me was that he saw our article and he didn't feel comfortable with how we were running our business," Alford explained.

Alford said he never told him what kind of bar, but believes it's tied to being LGBTQ friendly.

"He never really fully gave me that reason," Alford said. "So, just going off of the assumption that's kind of why we were made to leave the space."

We reached out to the property owner, Jim Schrader. He sent us the lease which states it was to be operated as an art gallery.

Alford said he agreed to those terms, but he said Schrader knew about the intent to open the bar and have live performances.

"We told you how we were using the space, even though we didn't mention it was a gay bar/LGBTQ friendly space," added Alford.

Alford said Schrader told him it would have to be marketed as an art gallery due to zoning restrictions.

Schrader declined an on-camera interview but told News 18 he never agreed to it being a bar and was under the impression they would only be serving alcohol and having live shows occasionally.

Schrader said a bar increases liability, and added the lease allows him to deny it being used that way.

Schrader denied the decision had anything to do with the location being for the LGBTQ Community.

After finding out they would not be able to operate it the way they intended, Alford and his business partner agreed to rescind the lease.

Schrader refunded any lost expenses.

"As unfair as it is that our lease was breached between the two just due to him not understanding what we were using the space for, he was fair in regards as far as giving our money back," said Alford.

Alford said a new location is in the works.

Alford said The Fox's Den Performance Club will have karaoke and trivia on Thursday nights and drag performances on Friday and Saturday's. Brunch is also in the plans for the club.

News 18 plans to be there when the club opens in the new location.

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