True Houstonians are celebrating the return of Rich’s. For almost 30 years, this mega club served gay and straight patrons before shutting down in 2013. Now under new management, the two-story bar/dance club is back open and already showing Houston bars it is still a force to be reckoned with.
Natan Cruz is just one of the friendly faces seen hustling around Rich’s keeping drinks full. We wanted to know how working for the new bar was in addition to his side projects that made him a well-known gay entity online.
Ryan Bellinghausen: So you work bottle service at Rich’s, correct?
Natan Cruz: Yeah, it’s for people either celebrating something or want to have their own space and purchase their own bottles. We make them feel special.
RB: Special as much as the law allows. Do you like that better? I think I would since it’s not like working a bar with drunk boys barking well drink orders at you.
NC: Well, you still have to be quick. We have multiple sections so I am running around a lot. But at least I am losing calories.
RB: And I know how much you love burning calories. I remember your boot camp sessions in Spotts Park and the time I threw up. Anyway, running around the bar, I bet you have a front seat to all the messy antics.
NC: There’s always so many but my favorite bar story is when my friend fell off the table in a bar. It was so funny. It was like that gif online of the girl falling off.
RB: Speaking of gifs online, I know you started the Gays of Houston tumblr and is still a funny presence online posting to a faux Facebook. What led you to start it?
NC: I initially started it four weeks after I was diagnosed with lymphoma. I had so many emotions going through my head would go on Tumblr to laugh and finally thought, ‘OK I am going to start a blog.’ It turned into an outlet for me to forget about chemo or being sick. I was posting content I thought was funny.
RB: Did that lead you to make the Simon Houston Facebook account?
NC: Yeah. I’ve tried to make it funny and make people laugh without being malicious.
RB: You are an actor as well?
NC: Yes and I just got a recurring role on an AMC show.
NC: Thanks. Because of my health, I couldn’t go as far as I wanted in acting. I worked my ass off for this and since I waited so long I don’t want to hold anything. I want to show people I can accomplish all these things without being afraid to show I am gay… Hispanic… or was an illegal immigrant. All those aspects make me who I am and I don’t want to hide any of them as an actor.