Adelaide venue My Lover Cindi shows commitment to accessibility

My Lover Cindi Adelaide gay bar
My Lover Cindi co-owners Rachel Hosking and Kate Toone. Image: Jack Fenby

Adelaide’s latest queer venue My Lover Cindi was born with an intent to create something a bit different for the local community.

With a background in psychology and social work respectively, co-owners and partners Rachel Hosking and Kate Toone have a keen interest in social issues. 

Launching a new venue, Toone and Hosking wanted to be proactive about creating a space that was inclusive and accessible.

“The inspiration behind the venue was to address the lack of wheelchair-accessible venues for queer people,” Hosking said.

“We wanted to open a space that would be really inclusive, with more of a focus on accessibility than we’d seen. 

“In Adelaide, our communities are so diverse and there are so many different types and ways of being queer. So we just wanted to provide another venue to give people choice.”

The My Lover Cindi ethos is represented across the venue, with non-alcoholic options on the menu and quieter spaces provided for patrons with sensory issues.

My Lover Cindi Adelaide Gay bar
Patrons at My Lover Cindi’s first birthday celebration. Image: Hannah Benwell

‘It’s taken a lot of work to get to where it is’

Before opening, Toone and Hosking surveyed the community to ask what people needed in terms of an accessible venue.

“Kate and I are two able-bodied people,” Hosking said.

“So it was really important for us to ask people what their needs are when they’re going out.

“What are some of the barriers, and what are the things we need to be mindful of?”

The results were enlightening, with patrons requesting “really simple changes”. Such as mason jars for drinks and no smoke machines or strobe lighting. 

However, the team admits there is still work to be done on the venue. Larger stalls in the bathroom are the next step, and widening the entrance for wheelchair-users is another

To highlight their commitment to inclusivity, the My Lover Cindi launched a second survey, to check-in after 12 months of operation.

“It’s taken a lot of work to get it to where it is, but it’s still very much a work in progress,” Hosking said. 

“We did the 12 month check-in as people don’t always feel comfortable telling you they’re having a bad time, so we put it out there as an anonymous survey.

“Overwhelmingly, the feedback was really positive.

“I think the space is mostly working for people which is really nice.”

And yes- fans of The L Word are correct in thinking the name rings a bell.

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