The Starlight Saloon

The Starlight Saloon is a progressive LGBTQ+ art bar, social lounge, and intimate venue offering affordable, affirming, transitional housing for low-income individuals above its establishment. Opening fall of 2021 - Lancaster, City, Pennsylvania.

Team Members

Ryan Gabriel Davis

The Problem

In 2021, Lancaster City will lose their only two queer nightlife infrastructures existing, as we already lack dedicated arts & nightlife cultural spaces outside of food and beverage industries, especially those representing LGBTQ+ & BIPOC populations. As an anti-discrimination-protected city, we still have major unequal representations of inclusion, power dynamics in social infrastructures, and employment. We're existing in a time where 13,900 residents are without work but actively seeking jobs in Lancaster neighborhoods. We are also in the middle of a housing crisis shortage both locally and nationally with a lack of accommodations as gentrification alters our communities. 40% of the homeless youth served by agencies identify as LGBTQ+ according to Williams Institute.

The Solution

The Starlight Saloon protects and preserves a threatened historic 40+year-old LGBTQ+ establishment from closing by transforming it into a progressive, vibrant, inclusive LGBTQ+ art bar, social lounge, and intimate venue. Pursuing an intersectional approach, creating important shifts in the social consciousness, expands the circle of inclusivity, evolves, exceeds the expectations of nightlife, and offers 3 FT, 9 PT, and 2,000+ gig working positions a year in equal employment opportunities.

While making creative use of functional space and affordable housing solutions, this valuable endeavor presents affordable housing to LGBTQ+ in crisis situations above its establishment known as the HEART program in partnership with The Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition. Together, they create a safe and secure place for individuals to gain support in overcoming the obstacles presented by housing insecurities and be a part of a welcoming environment.

What makes us the right fit?

My intention to expose a conservative community to a rich cultural experience and address housing scarcity with unique approaches. This vision came to me at the age of 13 while standing in the crowd at a local concert due to the lack of inclusivity I saw in artist line-ups. I spent the next decade committing myself to the arts & nightlife of Lancaster, transcending the local scene, and forming a reputable production company known as Animal House Productions. My work is most known for creating platforms with artists that consist of womxn, people of color, and the LGBTQ+ community on line-ups. I’ve spent the past five years learning the fundamentals of business, letting go of my social life, and taking the necessary steps to have this project be a reality. From writing business proposals, understanding financial statements, touring real-estate, networking with investors, meeting with banks, lawyers, accountants, and expanding my network. This is my life’s work, a leap that I’ve been training for – for over a decade and I’m not afraid to give it everything I have while I revitalize the city I call home.