Mark Zschiesche, a co-owner of Lips Drag Queen Showpalace Restaurant and Bar in San Diego, was physically attacked last week. According to Zschiesche "a man he had never seen before came up to him as he was walking alone," and the gay barkeep said "before you knew it, this guy hit me in the face and called me [expletive]" as reported by KFMB. Apparently Zschiesche left the scene before police arrived but the SDPD later were able to take a complaint from him as reported by the San Diego Gay and Lesbian News.
The drag-themed Lips is located in multiple cities across the United States, and at least the San Diego, Fort Lauderdale and New York watering holes are owned by individuals many of whom have various ties to gay businessman Robert N. DeBenedictis. DeBenedictis has been involved with numerous ventures since the mid-1970s including the East Side Club at 227 East 56th Street where reportedly randy patrons sometimes have been known to hook up in tiny cubicles. Indeed, Lips in New York also is at the 227 East 56th Street building in a separate venue so folks conveniently can go from drinking cocktails at Lips to wrapping their lips around c*ck at the East Side Club if those circulated stories about the latter establishment are true. According to state records the liquor license for Lips Restaurant in New York is held by 56th Street Restaurant LLC, and its identified principals include Mark Zschiesche and Robert N. DeBenedictis.
It's been a rough few weeks for gay bar owners. Just last month Savyon Zabar was killed by Daquan King who claims he strangled the barkeep in self-defense while rejecting his sexual advances. Zabar owned gay bars New Escuelita at 303 West 39th Street in Manhattan's Time Square which closed last February and its sister bar at 220 21st street in Miami's South Beach which shuttered long ago according to state records.