Every Friday and Saturday at midnight, the DJ at Club Geminis plays “the shot song” and everybody lines up at the bar for a shot of tequila. If you’re not in line, the bartender will come to you with a spray gun to squirt a shot into your mouth.
“It’s what made us famous,” says owner Joann “Michy” Garcia. “It’s just a lot of crazy fun, and we’re known for our $3 shots now.”
The club is also known for its social-media presence complete with fun-loving TikTok videos and Instagram photos. (You might recognize Garcia from her occasional music video appearances.)
Just opened in May, Club Geminis is one of the city’s newest Latin LGBTQ clubs that brings the cool kids to the Southeast side for those $3 shots, fireballs, Mexican beers, hot DJs, and even hotter bartenders. The interior pulses with neon signs and a huge dance floor, and the club often hosts live music. The club caters to the queer crowd, but all are welcome.
Garcia, a 33-year-old single mother of three, is also a part-owner of two other clubs. She actually started out as a welder before getting into the bar business.
“When my eldest, now five, was born, I wanted to quit my welding job to spend more time with the baby,” she says. “And the man who used to do my taxes said I could make as much money bartending. I made $700 in tips my first night.”
That was five years ago, and she hasn’t looked back since.
“Then I was offered a management position at a local icehouse, but after about a year they lost their liquor license. I offered to put the bar in my name [and become] an equal part owner, since I was solely running it,” Garcia explains.
“Within six months, we opened another location in the Pasadena area. But then COVID hit and we had to sell our original bar and close down our second location. After the shutdown ended, we thrived at our next location, making close to $30 thousand a month. I had the extra license from our original location, so I opened Club Geminis. And this is where I am now.
“Although it’s been a struggle getting accepted by the community and finding the right staff, I feel like we’re finally getting there. As a pansexual woman growing up in the Southeast area, it’s always been a struggle to be accepted by my peers and family members who are mostly machista. I wanted a place where the LGBTQ community could come hang out and feel at home, close to home.”
Garcia also has plans in the works to further develop the club here. “It’s a 4,000-foot space. I want to divide it into a Latin dance club on one side, and a hip hop club on the other.”
With her three clubs, a day job as general manager of a TitleMax and, of course, raising her three children under the age of 6, Garcia has little time for anything else.
“I don’t sleep at all,” she admits. “I live off of Red Bull. I’m in my 30s, so I’ll sleep in my 40s or 50s. Right now, I’m building an empire for my children.”
What: Club Geminis
When: Tuesdays through Sundays,8p.m.to2a.m.