Former Rainbow Lounge manager and owner of Randy’s Club Cherries, Randy Norman has made his big move in Fort Worth. He is reportedly the new owner of the Rainbow Lounge, Best Friends Club and Percussions Lounge all in Cowtown. This comes from the Dallas Gay Bars website. We spoke with Norman this afternoon and his sights are set on getting Fort Worth clubs to a high standard. Sensing some decline in the clubs’ upkeep, Norman took action.
“The Fort Worth gay clubs had always had a reputation of being quite clean and well-kept and I wanted to keep that up. At first, I didn’t have all three clubs in mind to acquire, but it was decided by other folks in Fort Worth that I should take over,” he said.
Which keeps Norman a busier man than usual lately. His first step is to start implementing repairs where needed and giving a new face to each venue. The goal is to make the strip there a presentable and safe place. Plans also include having two off-duty officers at the Rainbow Lounge and one at Best Friends Club. But will all this upkeep take him away from his bustling club here?
“It really is a challenge to do both cities, but it’s also something that I love. Cherries has been wonderful and I’m very proud of it, but Fort Worth has given me a warm welcome back. I’m lucky to have two homes,” he said.
Tom Anable of Fairness Fort Worth was pleased with Norman’s approach to not only purchasing the clubs, but his willingness to comply with the positive image LGBT community leaders are striving for.
“We have an obligation to our community and it would appear that we and the TABC, FWPD and Randy are all on the same page. Randy’s insistent about it. So when he had that opportunity, I knew it would be a step in the right direction. We think there will be a more transparency in his management,” Anable said.
He mentioned that issues with minors and alcohol, fights and numerous police reports were hurting what they were striving for, which could simply be classified as PRLR — post-Rainbow-Lounge-raid.
“This isn’t easy because of the raid, so if people are gonna comply, then they are welcome here. We’re very sensitive about the progress we’ve made and I think this is part of that,” he added.
Norman’s bigger picture is to eventually have a similar neighborhood cluster that Dallas does with more bars and retails on the street, but also to improve the overall cohesiveness that Anable and Fairness Fort Worth desire as well.
“Randy’s very big on giving back to community which is a good way to grow the community. Past owners haven’t been supportive, but Randy sounds ready to participate,” Anable said.
“My ultimate vision is to really jump in and join all the community events and make the gay community here much better,” Norman said.