RICHMOND, Va. – The Richmond community is rallying for Vicky Hester, the owner of Babes of Carytown, who suffered a brain aneurysm over the weekend.
She underwent surgery and is currently in critical but stable condition, according to a statement posted by the bar on social media.
According to another post, her wife Ashley said Hester’s prognosis is uncertain at this time.
The bar, an oasis for the LGBTQ community, opened over three decades ago when the climate for LGBTQ rights and marriage equality was completely different at the national and local levels.
In a statement posted on Facebook, James Millner, the president of the VA Pride organization, called Hester a pillar of the community.
“She has devoted her life to ensure that LGBTQ people, our friends, and supporters have a safe and welcoming space to socialize,” Millner said. “She has opened her heart, her doors, and her checkbook to support countless organizations, individuals, and causes. Vicky now needs us.”
Despite creating an oasis for thousands, Hester has mostly maintained a low profile.
In 2017, Thrillist called Babes of Carytown the best dive bar in Virginia. The publication recognized that the public who stumbled in were welcomed no matter how they identified.
A steady stream of folks are leaving remarks on the VA Pride post, expressing support and prayers for a speedy recovery. Some shared memories and thanked Hester for her strength and all the ways she has supported the community.
The bar remains opens for business and VA Pride will post updates on Hester’s condition.