David Nieves, pictured, might look familiar. He was the swarthy Dallas contestant who competed in VH1’s “Strip Search,” the male-burlesque reality series that aired earlier this year. On the show, Nieves’ occupation was listed as “bartender.” But he looked just like and had the same tattoo on his right shoulder as Tristin, one of the hotties who regularly performed at the Male Boxx.
From the reality show, we learned that Nieves, 23, has two daughters: a three year old and a newborn. He’s also divorced and dates women. Nieves says for now he’s hanging up his G-string to operate a new nightclub in Oak Lawn: The Rocket Bar, a gay lounge that will occupy the two-story building on Lemmon Avenue that was formerly Mother Pearl’s Seafood House and Oyster Bar.
If you guessed that The Rocket Bar is a stripper bar, you guessed wrong. The beefcake staff will be shirtless, and for Friday’s grand opening, Nieves says a few of his “Strip Search” buddies will make an appearance. But since the Rocket Bar isn’t licensed for dancers, exotic entertainers won’t be featured.
So why is this seemingly straight dude opening a gay club? Earlier this week, we tried to find out.
Where did you grow up?
San Juan, Puerto Rico. I’ve been living in Dallas for 12 years now.
How has being a reality TV star affected you?
“Strip Search” has enhanced and hindered my life. One good thing is that it has opened doors and people know who I am. But the negative part is that people have this image of a stripper, which can be hard to shake off.
Are your days as an exotic dancer completely over?
Not yet. I have some ideas maybe starting a male revue enterprise in the future.
What’s the Rocket Bar concept all about?
Being tasteful. It will a classy bar with a very good-looking staff. I think people will enjoy it more than a male strip joint. It’s a lounge that will appeal to sports fans, nightclub folks, those looking for a laid-back place with lots of eye-candy and an after-work drink.
What’s your sexual identity?
That depends how drunk I get. Seriously, I’m very comfortable with my sexuality and whomever I want to date.
Daniel A. Kusner
The Rocket Bar, 3903 Lemmon Ave. Grand opening Oct. 14. 469-855-8937. RocketBarDallas.com.