Despite the conservative neighborhood, Strut Bar & Club has established itself as a Southern California queer staple that offers inclusivity to the entire Costa Mesa area.
"It offers a safe space for queer people, quirky people, cooky people... all kinds of people who either think outside the box or just want to go to a place where they can have fun and let their hair down."
The club features a lineup of electric and eclectic weekly events, including nightly drag perfomances.
"We have seasonal drag brunch, [including] our Christmas spectacular where we have a Mariah Carey impersonator and she arrives on a sleigh. I wouldn't build this without having you leave without having a good time."
Many members of the LGBTQ+ community may feel validation or a night of freedom at a gay bar. Nero hopes to bring that sense of relief and excitement at Strut.
"I can see who arrives for the first time. You can see it on their face. For me, that's always the most rewarding part."
To see more of our interview with Luke, watch the video below. For more info, check out Strut Bar & Club's website here.