First Look: Downtown’s new Mother’s Lounge is a celebration of queer culture

Correction: This article has been updated to clarify the date of the grand opening party. It is June 17, not July 17. It has also been updated to correct the spelling of Montanna Mercer’s name.

Baton Rouge will witness a glamorous addition to its social scene this weekend when Mother’s Lounge, a vibrant queer lounge and bar, opens its doors for its hard launch on Saturday, June 17.

The former Roux House location (next door to the also newly opened Dark 30 bar) has undergone a complete transformation. Underneath glittering disco balls, patrons will soon be able to sample craft cocktails, light bites and an array of entertainment.

Created by and for the queer community by owner Montanna Mercer and general manager Trent Shepherd, this establishment aims to become a beacon of self-expression and a hub of queer euphoria. “From the beginning, our goal has always been to provide a concept that is for all walks of the queer community to be able to come together in an aesthetically different environment than what Baton Rouge has to offer,” Mercer says. “We wanted to do an upscale cocktail space where you can dress up and feel good about yourself and have a lot of fun.”

Mother's Lounge Baton Rouge queer bar downtown
Owner Montana Mercer and general manager Trent Shepherd
Mother's Lounge Baton Rouge queer bar downtown
A booth on the main floor of Mother’s Lounge
Mother's Lounge Baton Rouge queer bar downtown upstairs
Top floor of Mother’s Lounge

Mother’s Lounge was born out of an understanding that many individuals within the queer community face adversity and lack of support. Recognizing the need for a nurturing and accepting environment, the founders of Mother’s Lounge set out to create a space where individuals could find love, support, and a chosen family, according to Mercer and Shepherd.

From the first step inside the Third Street space, visitors are greeted by an ambiance that exudes both glamor and comfort. The vibrant ’80s-inspired décor, carefully curated to reflect the richness of queer culture, creates an inviting atmosphere that fosters a sense of belonging and acceptance in bold fashion. 

Designed by local firm Tiek Byday, the two-story space is full of rich red and millennial pink velvet. Magenta and merlot-colored trim lines the walls along with playful wallpapers and chunky, squiggly mirrors. Neon lights accent the ceiling in the upstairs lounge, complete with a second bar and plush seating around sleek gold bar tables for intimate conversations. Downstairs a mirror-tiled bar, fronting hot pink tiger-striped alcoves, steals the show.

Mother's Lounge Baton Rouge queer bar downtown Love Affair
A Love Affair at Mother’s Lounge

Apart from the design, what truly sets Mother’s Lounge apart is its unwavering dedication to showcasing the talents of local queer artists and creatives. With a calendar brimming with events that span the artistic spectrum, this spot promises to captivate guests with its diverse array of performances, talent showcases, drag shows, drag brunches and more.

Mother’s Lounge also takes pride in offering an array of drinks and food options. Patrons can indulge in sweet potato fries served with whipped cinnamon butter and hot honey, creating a delightful combination of sweet and savory flavors. A rotating charcuterie board offers a tantalizing selection of artisanal cured meats, cheeses and fruits, with new offerings showcased each week.

As for the cocktail menu, Mother’s Lounge boasts a selection of craft cocktails that are as unique and diverse as its clientele. Among the standout concoctions is the Fig and Honey Smash, a blend of honey whiskey, elderflower, fig and honey syrup, fresh lemon juice and a hint of Prosecco, resulting in a refreshing and sophisticated drink that delights the senses.

Another standout is the Love Affair, which artfully combines Aperol, fresh strawberries, Madagascar vanilla, Prosecco, and a splash of Coke Zero to create a cocktail that embodies romance and elegance. 

Mother’s Lounge’s grand opening party is set for Saturday, June 17, starting at 3 p.m. DJ Bird takes the stage at 9 p.m. and drag queens Miss Thing and K.T. Hype perform at 10 p.m.

Mother’s Lounge is at 143 Third St. Downstairs is open Sunday to Thursday from 3 p.m. to 12 a.m. and Friday and Saturday from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. Upstairs is open Friday and Saturday 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.