Gay power couple opens huge nightclub in Oakland

Sean Sullivan and Richard Fuentes, the power couple behind Portland's newest queer club Fluid510.
Sean Sullivan and Richard Fuentes, the power couple behind Portland‘s newest queer club Fluid510.

A new club is opening and its owners hope to move past the rigid delineations of LGBTQ+ venues. They want to be fluid. Taking over a dynamic 5,000+ square foot venue on Broadway, Fluid510 is unlike anything Oakland has ever seen.

Richard Fuentes and Sean Sullivan, the power couple behind this new nightclub, know how to create a successful business. Their other nightclub The Port Bar Oakland has been named one of the fastest-growing LGBTQ+ businesses in the Bay Area by the San Francisco Business Times.

The couple taps into this concept with Fluid510. And just as the venue itself rebels against restrictive labels, its elevated menu of bar bites strives to transcend the expectations of traditional Italian cuisine with an emphasis on hearty vegetarian options, bolstered by Sullivan’s first-hand experience as a plant-based eater. These small bites will help keep the party going at Fluid510’s wide array of events, everything from queer art exhibitions and drag shows to EDM nights and weekend brunch.

In anticipation of Fluid510’s grand opening on May 20, we kiki-ed with the power couple about their beloved city of Oakland, its LGBTQ+ culture, and the joys of running a business together. Bon appetite!

Fluid510 entree

What’s your favorite part of Oakland? 

Oakland’s last mayor said Oakland’s strength is our secret sauce, and that is our diversity. We couldn’t agree more and that’s why we’ve been here for over 15 years. Oakland is a dynamic, working-class town rich in artists, constantly evolving and changing; a great example of Fluidity. 

What’s your favorite restaurant in Oakland?

We’ve been fans of MUA since its early days. They opened just as the 2008 recession was hitting. It’s a cocktail-forward restaurant with a DJ. They survived and are thriving!  It was founded by an immigrant couple in an old auto repair shop. It’s all open and you can see the rich diversity of Oakland there. We expect FLUID510 to be similarly welcoming and open much later!

Sean and Richard

What’s it like running a business as a married couple?

Honestly, it’s so much fun! We understand each other and we’re committed to the vision of our businesses together so there’s no need to explain or justify why you might drag the laptop into bed late at night.  While we have lots of similarities, don’t ask Ritchie to make a cocktail.  Sean on the other hand is easily overwhelmed by technology beyond a remote…scratch that, why doesn’t the Apple TV remote have an on switch?

What’s the LGBTQ+ nightlife scene like in Oakland? How does it compare to San Francisco?

One of the reasons we created The Port Bar seven years ago is we saw a great need for queer people. There are so many of us in Oakland but no daily nightlife options.  So we’re proud to have created it, been recognized nationally for it but we’ve seen the demand is there for more. FLUID510 is 4 blocks down on the opposite side of Broadway so we hope to make Oakland’s gay scene as walkable as the Castro in SF.

Fluid 510 dessert

In your opinion, what is the current state of LGBTQ+ nightlife in the bay area?

It’s never recovered from the pandemic. Also, the protests for racial justice in 2020 awakened what we already knew in Oakland, that our queer spaces and events need to be more inclusive. 

Since the pandemic, many venues closed and so many people moved out of San Francisco. We are excited that so many people have relocated to the sunnier side of the Bay. We are happy to have FLUID510 welcome the people that have been here and those just arriving. 

Grilled Cheese

Tell me more about Fluid. What kind of events will you host? Are there signature cocktails/menu items? 

FLUID510 is for everyone! We saw through the pandemic that allies were very ready to come to The Port Bar and commingle with us respectfully.  FLUID510 is ever-changing and is seeking events as wide as EDM parties to Banda nights to drag shows. Yes, we have a menu of elevated bar food with a plan to expand it into a weekend brunch program.

How does Fluid510 plan to support local LGBTQ+ artists in the Bay Area?

FLUID510 is open to everyone and is already recruiting LGBTQ+ artists, producers, and promoters. 

Don't forget to share:

Your support makes our travel guides possible

We believe that LGBTQ+ people deserve safe vacations that allow them to be their authentic selves. That's why our City Guides aren't locked behind a paywall. Can you contribute today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated