Her greatest inspiration is her mom. She has realized her lifelong dream of owning a successful club. She’s been alcohol free for three years and seven months. And when asked about the things that makes Houston such a great city, she cites once having had a lesbian mayor. Hard not to see Julie Mabry, owner of Pearl Bar, as an integral part of the Houston’s queer community, especially when it comes to bringing lesbians together.

Too many cities are finding themselves without a gathering place for the girls who love girls set. Houston is lucky not only to have Pearl Bar, which is focused on the girls but welcoming to everyone, it's also blessed to have a woman cultivating a queer gathering place in the heart of Washington Avenue.

So it makes sense that we would turn to Mabry to hear more about why Houston holds her heart.

How long have you lived in Houston?

I’ve lived in Houston on and off for 23 years.  

What do you do?

I own Pearl Bar in Houston, and that is my life 24/7. I bust my booty to have a great place for my community.

What’s your favorite thing about Houston?

My favorite thing about Houston is the fact that we had one of the first openly-gay mayors in a major city who served three terms. She could not have won with just the gay vote, and that alone makes me love Houston. We are a lot more progressive than people realize.

What never ceases to surprise you about Houston?

The Houston Pride Parade. We have one of the largest parades in the US with over 500,000 attendees. Our Houston Pride volunteers, specifically Frankie Quijano, work selflessly for a whole year to put on one of the best parades I've ever attended. Thank you to all the volunteers who make that happen.

Where is your favorite place to eat in Houston?

I love BB's in the Heights. I'm a crawfish and oyster lover and they have the best around.

What is your favorite thing to do in Houston?

If and when I have some free time, I like to hit up The Heights or Montrose and do some antique shopping for either my house or Pearl.  Houston has some great antique shops.

How would you describe the queer community in Houston?

I would describe the queer community in Houston as powerful and proud. We have one of the largest gay gride parades in the US. Houston is a proud city and I love our gay community more than I could ever describe.

What are your favorite queer events in Houston?

Houston Pride and Her Destination Unknown AIDS Auction.  

What is the one piece of advice you’d give to a queer person coming to visit H Town?

Come check out Pearl and of course make sure to check out our gay area, Montrose. Houston has a great gay scene.