AsiaSF Palm Springs celebrates its reopening with a ribbon cutting and a show

AsiaSF Palm Springs held its self-proclaimed “record” ribbon cutting on January 24, 2020, but just five weeks later, COVID-19 forced the dinner theater to close. On February 9, more than two years later, employees and friends gathered for Ribbon Cutting 2.0 – complete with appetizers and a cabaret show – to mark the reopening of AsiaSF.

Founder and CEO Larry Hashbarger beamed as he greeted guests on Wednesday, updating them on the theater’s current Friday-Sunday schedule and event spaces available for rent.

“It was kind of devastating. We had made a major investment in this place,” he said of the closure of his Palm Springs location in 2020. “But it [reopening] feels wonderful. I mean, look at this place.”

Hashbarger added that he is grateful for its management staff, many of whom have become temporary cooks amid the recent labor shortage, as well as the venue’s transgender performers who honor its mission to celebrate the love and diversity.

“These ladies give us the inspiration we need to live our authentic lives,” he said.

Cabaret artist Epiphany Mattel takes the stage for a preview show after the groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the reopening of AsiaSF in Palm Springs, Calif., on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022.

AsiaSF plans to be actively involved in the community, Hashbarger added, particularly as a venue for future nonprofit fundraisers. He wants the theatre/nightclub to be a place where people can gather for good food and entertainment, but more importantly, a place where people feel welcome.

This mentality is summed up in his favorite phrase, “Jai-dee”, which means “good heart” in Thai.

“We want you to feel a warmth when you walk in,” Hashbarger said. “All of our guests are part of our family.”

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