Birdcage: The New Brook

When children comes out as gay, some parents (still) turn their backs.

Many (fortunately) embrace them.

When her son Julian came out, Mary Brooks created a business to celebrate the entire LGBT community.

She’s worked in lots of fields: marketing, eldercare, life coach, spa manager. Now she’s in real estate.

But she always wanted to open up a gay bar.

Mary Brooks and her son Julian.

When the Brook — Westport’s long-running gay bar (and no relation to her, despite the name) — closed, Brooks says, “something went missing in Westport.”

But real estate is expensive (and she sells it, so she knows).

So Brooks founded “a pop-up with a purpose.” She calls it Birdcage Events — in homage to the 1996 movie about a gay cabaret owner and his drag queen companion — and in April presented her first event. A hundred people — LGBT, straight, and everything else — jammed the Tru North restaurant in Black Rock. They enjoyed a piano bar, DJ, specialty cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.

Brooks donates proceeds from Birdcage events to LGBT organizations, like Norwalk’s Triangle Community Center.

Next up for Birdcage Events: A Sunday, July 23 “En Blanc” party at Rive Bistro. From 5-11 p.m., guests will have the entire restaurant to themselves. Admission is $25 ($30 at the door): Titos drinks are $7.

Everyone is welcome, Brooks says.

Just like in the days of the Brook.

The Cedar Brook Cafe, before it was demolished in 2011.

(To reserve a ticket for the Birdcage pop-up party at Rive Bistro, click here.)

8 responses to “Birdcage: The New Brook

  1. Nancy Hunter

    A terrific idea! “Everyone is welcome” … Finally, finally, finally, let’s hope.

  2. Hedi Lieberman

    Mary Brooks is the best! Lucky Julian!!

  3. Leah Scherzer

    this is a good person

  4. Karen Howes

    Is there aan age requirement ? Sounds great !

  5. La Cage aux Folles was originally made in 1978. Great movie, and this is a GREAT concept. As I understand it, the Brook was the first gay bar in Ct. It’s a shame it closed. The folks there were always welcoming of straight people who loved to dance!!!!

  6. What a great idea! I grew up going to the Brook, everybody was just so nice and welcoming to me and all my Provincetown friends who came to visit…It was a sad day when I saw pictures of it being torn down,( I think it was right here in this column?) Glad to hear that somebody is stepping up and offering what sounds like great fun and will help so many folks! BRAVO!

  7. Look ya’ll I just had the pleasure of meeting Marry to collaborate on this and more. She’s rock solid and cares deeply about this. Not because she has a gay son… My mother has a gay son too!… She cares about this because so many people don’t have Moms as totally AWESOME as ours!

    So as Gay Westport resident and business owner in this town, not only am I going to this event, will donating to help raise money and awareness. I’ll also be offering my services, store and calling in all my favors to make sure the next one will be bigger, better and stronger. So put your money where your mouse is and click the link buy a ticket and come see what fun we can be! Especially me, I’m a riot… If you can get involved also or donate please do.

  8. Mimi McLaughlin

    I love this more than I can say and I want to be involved. Ryan, you know how to find me.