When Freddie Lutz first opened Freddie’s Beach Bar and Restaurant on 23rd Street in Crystal City in 2001, he wasn’t looking to make a big splash.
This was the neighborhood he grew up in, the neighborhood where he was known as maître d’ and manager of a favorite Italian spot.
“Café Italia was very gay friendly. We did drag shows at Halloween and I had often talked to my boss about opening a gay bar,” Lutz says. “Finally, after 25 years, I told him I wanted to try something on my own. He was very supportive.”
Lutz opened up shop just down the street, advertising Freddie’s as a “straight-friendly gay bar” in Arlington. Lutz says there was no pushback from the neighborhood when the doors opened.
“I count myself lucky. I grew up in the neighborhood. People knew me, they knew I was gay,” Lutz says. “I had the support of the neighborhood, the police and the ABC department. We opened at the right moment.”
But there was another surprise. Located just a few…Read the full story from the Washington Business Journal.