Arano was one of the 'kings of queens' I wrote about in a June 16 cover story. While I was researching the story, he was secretly planning to leave the straight Hispanic night club, Karamba, where he'd taken refuge after The Trappdoor abruptly closed. At this year's Gay Pride he dumped Karamba and took his talents to Club Edge, joining many of the folk he had worked with at The Trappdoor.
But the opening of 'Papi Chulo' fizzled quickly. Arano says he was struck down by several ailments, notably kidney stones and a throat virus. He posted apologies on his facebook page for not showing up at his own event, only to later lash out at all the gossiping in the gay latino community about his future. His Sunday night at Club Edge languished and for the last few weeks, he says, has not been active.
What impact his former home Karamba's decision to continue with a Sunday gay latino night without him had on Arano's Club Edge debut isn't clear. Arano says Karamba "wasn't strong competiton because I wasn't there," due to his illness. Karamba's manager Martin Medina, on the other hand, says his club's has improved its Sunday night offering since Arano departed, and "isn't looking sideways to see what others are doing."
Karamba has injected a different feel to its gay latino night than Arano's primarily female impersonator-show driven formula. They recently brought a Las Vegas male stripper revue to the club which pulled in 500 people, Medina says.
For a while both Karamba and Arano were claiming ownership of the name "Pachanga nights." Now Arano says he is going to take Karamba to court over it. The Department of Commerce business entity website lists Karamba as the owner of "Pachanga."
With Arano returning to his clubbing roots at Trappdoor turned Studio 27, the fight over the future of the gay latino Sunday night will surely heat up. What difference if any Karamba offering free cover all night while Arano is charging $5 after 10.30 pm is just one of the many wildcards that will be at play over the upcoming Sunday nights.