‘A Cheers for lesbians’: The Ruby Fruit slated to open in Silver Lake

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With fewer than two dozen lesbian bars across the country, Mara Herbkersman (right) and Emily Bielagus (left) will open The Ruby Fruit in Silver Lake, featuring menu items off the charcoal grill, a wine list highlighting female vintners, and theme nights. Photo courtesy of The Ruby Fruit.

There are fewer than two dozen bars in the U.S. that serve a primarily lesbian clientele.

Mara Herbkersman and Emily Bielagus plan to open The Ruby Fruit in the old Eszett space in Silver Lake. Both worked in the wine bar, Herbkersman as its general manager and wine director and Bielagus as a server and bartender. “Emily and I had been daydreaming about opening a sapphic space,” says Herbkersman, “and the pieces started to come together that Eszett would be the right space for us to do that.”

The Ruby Fruit takes its name from the novel by Rita Mae Brown, celebrating lesbianism and queer identity, “The Rubyfruit Jungle.” With many successful and well-attended lesbian parties throughout Los Angeles, the bar will be the first space exclusively for lesbian and a gender expansive community in the city since the Oxwood Inn closed in 2017. 

“Humans are social beings,” continues Herbkersman, as she explains the importance of having a space where people can gather who share common interests and the same cultural references.

The duo are retaining Eszett staff as well as the charcoal oven in the kitchen which will inform The Ruby Fruit menu, and feature bottles from female winemakers. Theme nights that Herbkersman and Bielagus dubbed “Leszett'' will also continue in the space with programming to be announced.