We had the good fortune of connecting with Brittany Leach and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Brittany, what is the most important factor behind your success?
We truly believe in spotlighting Womxn, BBIPOC & LGBTQ+ owned brands within our business. We want to give power to those who have been disenfranchised and deserve to be seen. Working together as a community helps everyone involved, brings us closer to our peers and makes us stronger as a whole.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I started working for Gossip Grill at it’s birth in 2009 when I was only 23 years old. After bartending & helping with marketing for several years, I moved into the position of Marketing Director for Gossip Grill & Baja Betty’s. Shortly after that, I was invited into the company as a Partner for our newest baby- Barrel & Board Social & Salad To-Go-Go. I have always seen these businesses as much more than simply a brick & mortar establishment. Our Brand is so much more than that. I’ve aways deeply believed that we are a community, a safe space, and a family. We are your home, and an extension of YOU. When Gossip first opened it was labeled a “lesbian bar.” But very quickly we realized, that wasn’t going to work for us as a brand that preached inclusivity. Over the last 13 years we have grown into a magnificent playground for all of our LGBTQ+ siblings, while still being able to mainly focus on our Queer Womxn community members. I am so proud of what we have built for our gayborhood. It was utterly heartbreaking when we came close to losing Gossip during the pandemic. We knew so many people would be lost without this very specific safe space, far more than just our employees. I will never forget being at Gossip for the announcement of the Presidential Election in 2017 & watching people hold each other and cry. I will never forget being at Gossip when we heard about the Pulse Nightclub shooting & taking on new structures & training to keep us safe. I will never forget being at Gossip when it was announced that we were being forced to close in light of COVID, and we held our guests & cried together in fear of the unknown. We had no idea what was to come in the next 2 years. And I will never forget, and will continue to show up to meetings, & marches with my Gossip family by my side, loudly screaming for those disenfranchised, abused, unseen & unheard. We are more than a venue, we are part of the movement forward to equality and justice for all.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m a rare breed, in that i’m a San Diego Native- I was born at Mercy Hospital in Hillcrest and i’ve always blamed that for my queerness lol. What do they put in those baby bottles over there??? So being from here gives me a deeper insight of our city and all it has to offer to someone visiting. Naturally one of our first stops would be to Barrel & Board Social for some extra fancy, Womxn inspired craft cocktails, and my favorite snack- our Prosciutto e Melone Board: Grilled focaccia, buratta, prosciutto, melon, roasted garlic, pesto, balsamic caviar, & arugula. I would absolutely take a visitor over to Sunset Cliffs in OB for a beach stroll & to catch our gorgeous California sunset. A day of museums through Balboa Park, and a nighttime roller coaster ride in Mission Beach are also must-dos. Another day trip would be spent down in Mexico, stuffing our bellies with some of the best eats in all of North America, & maybe a tequila shot or two. And lastly, you can’t come to San Diego without visiting the world famous Zoo to look into a lions eye, or wink at a baby giraffe.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I wouldn’t be where I am, or who I am today without the incredible illumination that we all know as Moe Girton. She has a godlike patience, a deeply empathetic life view, & a fervent willingness to support and see the best in others. She’s taught me not only how to be successful, but a better person- and thats priceless.

Website: www.barrelandboardsd.com

Instagram: Brittanyraye

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/britt-leach-749740214/

Other: TikTok: @brittraye TikTok: @gossipgrillsd Instagram: @gossipgrill_ Instagram: @barrelandboardsocial

Image Credits
Photos By: Brittany Leach & Kimberly Moto

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.