Fan Girl Cafe aims to bring something special and unique to the neighborhood. West Hollywood is the gay mecca in Southern California. Santa Monica Blvd is bustling with bars and clubs as far as the eye can see. But one thing that has always blown our minds is the lack of three things:
1. Venues that cater specifically towards women in the arts.
2. A relaxing environment that can foster and grow a true sense of community, without all the craziness of the party scene. And...
3. A more diverse music scene. Sure, Weho bars are always pumping the best dance tracks and pop jams, but where's the support for the indie artists, the rockers, the girl bands, the singer songwriters, the rebel queers, the revolutionaries? Okay, yes there are weekly and monthly events for people who crave these environments throughout LA, and Sunset Blvd has the rock club scene, but why not have a space that is dedicated to uplifting and showcasing inspirational women, seven days a week? A place to connect with like minded humans, all while listening to the best music from all generations, surrounded by inspiring art and enjoying delicious coffee and tasty bites! And perhaps a glass of wine! Oh yes, did we mention? There will be wine!
So what can you expect when you walk into Fan Girl Cafe? Nothing but good vibes of course but to be more specific...
Music videos will be played, pretty much all day long and like we said before, we want to showcase ALL kinds of women in music. We will make sure are playlists are super diverse so you may see Beyonce playing followed by Bikini Kill, followed by Phoebe Bridgers, followed by Lizzo, etc. The cool part about our focus on music videos (we think) is that many people may walk into our cafe and discover new artists or finally be able to put a face to a song they love or view a video they may had never seen before. Also, quite simply, WE MISS THE RELEVANCE OF MUSIC VIDEOS!!
Being an 80's baby, 90's grown kid, MTV was a huge part of my (Betsy's) life and videos are art! They give artists a chance to express their creativity and bring visuals and interpretations of their songs to life! They deserve to be shown more often! Bands, artists, directors, and film crew work hard to produce music videos, so we promise to do our best to showcase as many different generations and genres as possible.
What else will you see in our cafe besides videos? ART! We will have lots of art! Music/women centric photography and artwork will adorn the walls. We plan to dedicate one wall as a space for rotating residencies and small art shows. There will also be an area where we will not only sell our own Fan Girl merchandise, but also products from other woman owned businesses.
We are also honored to feature a mural by our good friend and crazy talented artist, Michelle Andrade. Michelle received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA from Otis College of Art and Design. She's exhibited in Toronto, Greece, Seattle, Chicago, Houston, Miami, and throughout Southern California. Michelle’s quirky sense of humor is always incorporated in her art and we are excited to not only showcase her art but also feature some of her cheeky cakes on our menu, that we are certain will be a hit for our demographic. Take a look at her work below:
And of course there's more than just the aesthetics of the space, after all it is a cafe! So let's talk about what we will serve! The menu will be simple - coffee, pastries, smoothies, sandwiches, salads, charcuterie and a few other items. You know, the basics of a small cafe/coffee shop but we will also serve beer, wine and seltzers! Woohoo! And of course in doing this, we will again, find some of the best women owned businesses for our products.
As we grow and are permitted to throw events at our quaint cafe, we plan to host the following type of events:
- Acoustic shows.
- Meet & greets where "fan girls" (and fan boys) get to experience intimate shows or signings with their favorite artists.
- Music documentaries and concert screenings.
- Video premieres.
- Listening parties.
- Music themed trivia nights.
- Art shows.
- Music lessons.
- Book clubs.
- Craft nights.
We believe these type of events will be greatly appreciated by the community and a huge success with the area's demographics because, quite frankly, there really aren't many places in the area that do these things on the regular, especially geared towards women.
So you might be wondering Who's behind Fan Girl Cafe? Well, let us introduce ourselves!
Hi! Meet Betsy and Cynthia Martinez, Fan Girl Cafe's friendly, queer, music obsessed partners and creators. We are so excited to bring this vision to life!
I've been in the service industry for more than half of my life and have held just about every position imaginable at some of the most reputable restaurants, bars and establishments around. As an avid concert go-er and self proclaimed music geek, I found myself right at home when I started working at some of the most legendary music venues in California as a bartender. It was the perfect job- great hours, fun work, getting paid to serve and meet awesome people and watch free concerts, what could be better?
In addition to bartending, I've been a photographer for many years and primarily shoot, what else but, concerts and events! In 2015 I started working with the Los Angeles LGBT Center, freelancing and volunteering for their marketing and communications team. I also began contributing to a couple of local music blogs as a writer/photographer. In 2019, I created my own blog, Fan Girl LA, which is partially where the idea for Fan Girl Cafe branched from. The concept behind the blog was to bring fans closer to their idols and share their "fan girl" experiences with each other. Just as the blog was getting off the ground, Covid came along and put a halt on things.
With venues and bars being shut down and no events to shoot, I found myself with a lot of free time and much like everyone, feeling really down and helpless. I kept busy working on various projects but I was missing my work and live music desperately. It felt like the worst time ever but during this dark time, a bright light found its way to me. Enter Cynthia! We met a couple of month's into the pandemic and instantly bonded over many things, but especially our love for music and concerts.
As we grew accustomed to the whole work from home, "new normal", we found ourselves working at different coffee shops to break up the monotony of staying home. It was then that the idea for Fan Girl Cafe really began to spark. Every time we would walk into a different place, we would take notice of the surroundings and, more specifically, the music.
We rarely heard all the female fronted, indie artists we adore. Knowing how so many of these artists have huge followings and can sell out venues around town, it didn't make sense that they weren't being properly showcased in more spaces. So little by little, the idea to bring all of our combined passions, talents and experience together came to life. We thought about how cool it would be to go to a cafe that played all the music we love and one that focuses on women. We knew if there was a place like this. we would definitely be regulars but there isn't a place like this that we could find, at least not in our neighborhood- so we decided to make it ourselves!
A little more about Cynthia:
Cynthia brings a different type of expertise to Fan Girl Cafe. Currently working as a food safety consultant for a lab that works closely with the FDA, her experience will be extremely valuable to a new food and beverage business. Cynthia has also helped open a coffee shop in Mexico City back in 2016. This cafe was unique, as it was primarily staffed with young people with Down Syndrome. Cynthia loved the positivity the cafe brought to the community. She has always wanted to open her own business, one that aims to make a difference, and Fan Girl Cafe is the perfect start! Her experience will help us prepare for our opening and make sure we are following all health codes and laws.
Cynthia loves the idea of opening a music oriented cafe, especially one geared towards uplifting women and looks forward to helping pick out the best music video playlists for our guests. Don't be surprised to hear a lot of Stevie Nicks, Karen O and Beth Ditto when Cynthia is playing DJ. She also looks forward to helping plan events that will raise money for organizations she is passionate about. I may be a tad bit biased, but Cynthia is an incredible human and her infectious, positive attitude is destined for great things!
Together, we hope to bring something truly unique to the community!!
Where will your contributions go?
Every bit of funds we receive will go towards opening costs of the cafe. Business licenses, insurance, inventory etc. We also plan to host pop up events to raise money and awareness so if you'd like to support us in person, follow our Instagram for all updates. We hope to see you at our first event on February 27th at the world famous Troubadour. It will be a night filled with live performances, raffles, q&a's, and more!
We thank you in advance for your support. Any and all contributions are significant to us and hugely appreciated! We can't wait to Fan Girl out with you all!!
Until then, stay safe and healthy!