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January 11, 2016

Chi Chi LaRue's Unveils Revamped Retail Outlet

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — “Just a little boutique!” exclaimed Chi Chi LaRue at the grand re-opening on Saturday of the 2000-square-foot brick-and-mortar retail outlet that bears her name. (photo gallery) The GAYVN Hall of Fame-winning director, DJ and drag queen greeted guests as they arrived to inspect the new store—situated across the street and down the block from its prior location—lit for the occasion in pink and purple neon lights with a Tom of Finland cutout on the sidewalk outside for event-appropriate photo opportunities and a backroom appropriately titled The Dungeon with an open bar, shirtless men slinging drinks and a leather sling behind a chain link fence. The relaunch coincides with the 16th annual Cybersocket Web Awards, where the web component of Chi Chi LaRue’s is among the nominees for Best Product/Retail Site. LaRue herself is an AVN Awards nominee this year for Mainstream Star of the Year. The night’s menu included a chance to press the flesh with youthful CockyBoys matinee idols—whose appearance launched a fusillade of cell phone camera flashes and gasps of recognition from passersby on Santa Monica Boulevard—and an in-store presentation by XR Dungeon, makers of BDSM tools and toys. (The event invitation also invited attendees to “discretely use and abuse our back entrance,” a door tucked in an alleyway behind the store.)  Chi Chi LaRue’s launched in its original location in 2008 and carries the Channel 1 Releasing labels, among them legacy brands All Worlds Video, Catalina Video and Dirk Yates Collection as well as LaRue’s own Rascal Video line of toys and films. Additional toy lines include COLT Studio, Oxballs and Perfect Fit. Photobooks, calendars, lube and adult DVDs, naturally, fill out the shelves. Photographer Greg Lenzman was among the guests who attended the store’s initial launch party. “It’s a much nicer location,” he observed. “There’s tons of foot traffic here. And there are boys everywhere!” Among the guests were AVN’s CEO Tony Rios, GAYVN Hall of Fame director and founder of All Worlds Video, Dirk Yates, Channel 1 Releasing partners Rob Novinger and Steven Walker, dragstress and director Coco Lachine, Cybersocket publisher Morgan Sommer, DJ Francesco Pagano, reviewer Leo Buck, performer-director Doug Jeffries and performers Chad Hunt, Brendan Patrick, Brendan Phillips and Chris Wide. Director Jake Jaxson and photographer RJ Sebastian wrangled a group of CockyBoys, among them Levi Carter, Angel Cruz, Bravo Delta, Tayte Hanson, Allen King, Cory Prince and Kody Stewart.  The relaunched Chi Chi LaRue’s is located at 8861 Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood.  Click here for a photo gallery.

 
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