Entrepreneur David Cooley Forges Agreement to Sell Iconic LGBTQ+ Venue
By Dolores Quintana
Entrepreneurs David Cooley and Tristan Schukraft have jointly announced a landmark agreement for the sale of renowned West Hollywood venues, The Abbey Food & Bar and The Chapel. The Abbey’s esteemed management team, overseeing a diverse staff of servers, bartenders, hosts, promoters, back-of-house staff, DJs, dancers, drag queens, and entertainers, will remain in place, ensuring the continued success of The Abbey’s premier status as an LGBTQ+ nightlife destination.
The Abbey, synonymous with LGBTQ+ activism and celebration, has played a pivotal role in supporting the community through various historical moments. Cooley expressed pride in The Abbey’s legacy as a sanctuary during challenging times, emphasizing its role from the AIDS Crisis to the fight for Marriage Equality and Transgender Rights.
Cooley, who spent half his life at The Abbey, spoke of passing the torch to Tristan Schukraft, citing his trust in Schukraft to lead and continue fostering The Abbey’s supportive and celebratory environment. Schukraft, a longtime patron of The Abbey, expressed excitement about building upon Cooley’s 33-year legacy, acknowledging the responsibility to respect the venue’s history while bringing fresh ideas that reflect the evolving LGBTQ+ community.
Both Cooley and Schukraft highlighted the commitment to maintaining The Abbey as not only a legacy business and international landmark but also as a dynamic contributor to the future of LGBTQ+ nightlife.
The sale marks a significant transition for these iconic venues, with the assurance that The Abbey and The Chapel’s schedule of events and parties will proceed as planned under Schukraft’s stewardship.