San Diego's Gossip Grill Receives Human Rights Campaign Award

The initiative aims to support small businesses that focus on the LGBTQ+ community and have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic

Owner of Gossip Grill in Hillcrest, San Diego

A popular restaurant in the Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego is one of 20 local businesses across the nation recognized for their support of the LGBTQ+ community.

Gossip Grill was awarded the Human Rights Campaign and Showtime's "Queer to Stay: An LGBTQ+ Business Preservation Initiative" grant, an initiative to support small businesses that focus on the LGBTQ+ community and have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gossip Grill's owner, Moe Girton, said the establishment has been deemed by many San Diegans a safe space for women and the queer community for over 12 years.

"We are a community space and resource center for so many folks," said Moe Girton, the Owner of Gossip Grill. "Currently, we are the only women’s bar in Southern California. Closing would be devastating to the community."

Some of the workers struggling the hardest to survive during the economic shut-down are people like bartenders and servers, who rely on tips to pay their monthly bills. NBC7's Bridget Naso dropped into a popular Hillcrest bar to get some perspective.

According to Girton, the restaurant has more than 50 employees, most of whom are women and queer individuals.

Girton says the goal for establishing the grill was to teach women and LGBTQ+ people how to have a seat and a voice at the table.

The business quickly took off and added a nightclub component to accommodate the demand for the LGBTQ+ and ally communities in San Diego.

In addition to the monetary grant, the HRC and Showtime award includes educational webinars and teaching modules to help manage various aspects of the grill's operations, including financial management, search engine optimization and social media marketing.

The companies hope that creating the modules will help LGBTQ+ businesses like Gossip Grill improve sales and overcome challenges brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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