2015 Echo Reader's Choice Award for Service by a Man

By KJ Philp, May 2015 Issue. Meet the other winners here.

Since Stacy's @ Melrose opened in 2013, owner Stacy Louis has taken home a total of 10 Echo Reader’s Choice Awards, including Service by a Man, Men’s Bar, Women’s Bar, Dance Bar and Happy Hour this year alone.

Echo caught up with Louis following the April 9 awards ceremony and here's what he had to say:

Echo: Everyone is dying to know your secret to success; how do you do this year after year?

Louis: There really is no secret! I am my father’s son. As a restauranteur/bar owner for 30+ years, he was always the eternal friend-to-everyone guy. Everyone went to him for advice, help and even money (don’t get any ideas). He always had a wonderful disposition and a smile on his face. It was pretty evident when he was upset about anything … it was written all over his face. So, as I said, I am my father’s son … I love everyone and would do almost anything to make people happy.

Echo: Even the folks you associate with end up heavily favored by our readers – DJs, bartenders, restaurants – explain the Stacy phenomena to us.

Louis: I really feel strongly that my staff, or fellow employees as I call them, are all on board with my business style and understand that everyone is a human being who should be treated equally. We all have bad days and may say the wrong thing to a customer, but our customers realize that also. It’s like one big family around here! I consider everyone a part of my life – an important part of my life. I cannot do this alone and they know it!

Stacy Louis, 2015 Service by a Man award winner. Photo by Fernando Hernández.

Echo: You made your way into a new category this year – Service by a Man – what does that award mean to you?

Louis: I knew you were going to ask this! I really can’t easily express my pride in just being nominated for this category. Those amazing guys that I was nominated with are peers that I am totally humbled to be with in the same category. I do what I do because I want to! I want to help others, especially in our LGBT community! I have a special place in my heart for LGBT youth. To answer your question, I am humbled, proud and appreciative of your readers’ choice.

Echo: What's the best advice you've ever received?

Louis: Treat people exactly how you want to be treated.

Echo: Any advice for community newcomers or the Susan Lucci's out there?

Louis: They don’t need my advice! They are doing everything correctly and they know that. I’m just better at campaigning and asking for people to voice their opinions.

Echo: Where can you be spotted when you're playing "jack of all trades" at Stacy's.

Louis: Great question! Customers say to me daily, ”Stacy, you pay people to do that for you!” There is nothing beneath me; I am willing to do anything I would ask my fellow employees to do. I enjoy being busy and helping get things done to make our bar stay what it is: welcoming, clean, accepting! So, where will you find me? Hell, I don’t know from one moment to another – just ask anyone!

Echo: You've become a big proponent for the Seventh Avenue Merchants Association (SAMA) and bringing back the Melrose Street Fair; tell us a little bit about what that is and what it means to you.

Louis: I am so glad this is being discussed. The day after I left my last employer, I was having a cup of coffee by my pool with my dear friend and head bartender, Anthony Hugger. He asked me what I was going to do now. My reply was to take some time off, think, relax and enjoy life. He starting naming places that were for sale. After a few suggestions, he said that this location (then SANCTUM) was for sale. My mind started working immediately: Melrose could be Phoenix’s own Gay Mecca – our own Boy’s Town, Hillcrest, Castro, WeHo, etc. Then another big decision, what to name this place. Everything in my mind said don’t use your name. I faltered and used my name along with Melrose. I joined SAMA when I opened and then joined their board this year. I also joined their Seventh Avenue Street Fair committee, so as to be an integral part of getting the fair back in place after missing a year.

Echo: What new and exciting things can we expect to see you involved with between now and the 2016 Echo Readers' Choice Awards?

Louis: I hope to continue being an important and integral part of our community. I want to continue to bring new and exciting things to Phoenix. I want our bar to be different and forward thinking. I do plan to get back into the Phoenix Metropolitan Men’s Chorus on a more full-time basis and possibly get back on the board of directors, time will tell. I like to keep everyone guessing!

Echo: Is there anyone you'd like to thank? Shoutouts you'd like to make?

Louis: This list could go on for days, but I’ll try to make it short:

My parents, both deceased, for making me ME! My daughter, Stephanie Bennett, for listening and making recommendations. My ex-wife, Becky Louis, for her amazing support. My sister, Katherine Foster, and her husband, Tom. My brother, Chris Louis, and his wife, Helen. Anthony Hugger, without whom I would have never known about this location. His help is unimaginable. My entire staff/fellow employees. Phoenix’s gay bar owners who have all been so supportive & helpful! My long, long list of friends/customers who make every day successful and happy for me! Thank you all for following me throughout the past 16 years!

Echo: The floor is yours; anything else you'd like to add?

Louis: I thought you’d never ask! I really do owe a lot to the help and guidance I’ve received from Echo Magazine. You guys are so good to me. Thanks for all you do for our community!

Keep readingShow less
WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

Keep readingShow less
by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

Keep readingShow less

Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

Keep readingShow less