Club Verse: A Safe Haven for SLC’s Queer Community
You may have noticed a new addition to the State Street storefronts around 600 S.—a large infinity sign illuminated by a swirl of rainbow colors. This is SLC’s newest LGBTQ+ club, Club Verse, whose goal is to create an appealing and safe space for anyone to explore their identity among other, like-minded people. The club features an incredible atmosphere with a stage large enough to host a plethora of fantastic performances and more than enough open floor to dance your heart away through the night.
Co-owners Riley Richter and Micheal Repp not only wanted to create a haven for SLC’s LGBTQ+ community but to use their business as a resource for other local queer businesses and organizations. Club Verse opened its doors in the fall of 2022 and has already collaborated with University of Utah’s PrEP Clinic, the Utah Gay Rodeo Association, The Royal Court of the Golden Spike Empire, Utah AIDS Foundation, Project Rainbow and The Utah Department of Health.
“We have a lot of fundraising for local non-profit groups,” says Repp. “We hold their events here, especially with the Utah AIDS Foundation, that we’re partnered with.” To expand education and promote safety for the queer community, Club Verse gives a platform for these programs to share their voice and goals to all of Utah. “We’re more of a community-based entity than a for-profit entity, so we’re more about helping people in our community have a safe space and a place to express themselves,” says Repp.
“Clubs like ours are vital to queer life.”
Safety is Club Verse’s number one goal, and they take extensive precautions when attendees first enter the club, enforcing multiple security inspections: a thorough I.D. check, walking through a metal detector and an additional wave down with a separate wand detector. “We have our staff trained in sensitivity training and have a designated door staff who the patrons get to know and are welcomed by name, giving a feeling of knowing there’s a consistent staff you know are there for you,” says Repp. All of their security staff is trained in multiple facets of security protection, ranging from preparedness to handle an active shooting or simply de-escalating a heated situation. “It’s about a hyper-awareness of what’s going on in the club,” Repp says. These safety measures are just one of the reasons Club Verse is already popular among Utah’s LGBTQ+ community.
Club Verse’s calendar is always jam packed with copious shows and events—darling, let me tell you, there is something for everyone (21+, that is), from EDM concerts every Wednesday as part of their Our House: Your House event series to partnering with local organization Seniors Out & Proud of Utah for a 55+ bingo event every fourth Saturday. The real star of the show is Verse’s rotating Friday drag shows, with the first Friday of every month featuring Gender Where? Utah’s premier show featuring only trans and nonbinary performers. You can catch Gender Where?’s time-warping, punk drag show every third Friday and Melanin Rouge, a POC-centered drag performance, on the last Friday of each month. And, don’t forget to keep an eye out for the opening of their new rooftop patio!
Club Verse gives a platform for these programs to share their voice and goals to all of Utah.
In just a few short months, Club Verse became a crucial part of SLC’s queer nightlife scene. “Clubs like ours are vital to queer life. We’ve lost so many safe-spaced clubs and bars in the past years; it’s crucial to keep our spaces safe and open for all,” says Repp. Stay up to date with Club Verse’s upcoming and ongoing events via their website, clubverseslc.com, and their Instagram @clubverse_slc.
Read more about the latest news from the LGBTQ+ community:
Pride Month starts early at Pioneer Theatre Company’s The Prom
Queers in Wonderland: Utah Pride Center’s Adult Queer Prom 2023