A popular destination for the LGBT community southeast of Nashville is closing its doors this weekend.
Chameleons Lounge has operated in Smyrna for 10 years, according to a Facebook post, and at the end of business on Saturday December 16 it will close.
Perhaps its single biggest promoter, George Manus — who performs exclusively at Chameleons as "Iona" — made a separate announcement on Facebook earlier this week. With his permission, we're reprinting that statement here.
For the better part of the last four years I have had the honor of being your host and emcee at Chameleons Lounge for so many shows including The Spice Show, Chameleons Friday Spotlight Show, Chameleons Open Stage Hosted by IONA, Leather & Lace-and so many special events, it is will deep regret that I announce our final weekend will be this Friday and Saturday. We have a huge celebration in store to go out with a bang. For ten years, Wanda and Carmen have provided a safe haven for people to meet, hang out, dance, see amazing shows and just be themselves. I am at a loss for words to explain what this little bar in Smyrna has done for so many. In all the years that I have worked in drag and the various places it has taken me, Chameleons will forever remain my home. It has become a home for both my mother and myself, and will forever live in our hearts. I have made a lifetime of memories in my time there and met so many amazing people that I'd be at a loss to even begin to list. Join us this weekend as we do it one more time for you, tears, kisses and hugs are bound to flow but it shall be a celebration instead of mourning a loss because a bigger, better and more inclusive Chameleons Lounge is just on the horizon. You haven't seen the last of us yet. All My Love and Respect, IONA
In a separate post, George hinted that the owners plan to open another bar, which "should be larger, serve food and liquor and [feature] a bigger dressing room."
Carmen Rodriguez, a co-owner of Chameleons, expressed hope that the establishment will reopen soon.
"Unfortunately yes we are closing for now and hope that in the near future we will be able to relocate," she said. "It has been a fantastic ten years. We had been fortunate in being successful due to the support of the wonderful customers and talented performers. We thank them immensely!"