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CalArts Alum Mara Herbkersman’s Queer Bar Recognized by The New York Times

Two women sitting outside drinking wine.
Mara Herbkersman (Theater BFA 08) and Emily Bielagus, owners of The Ruby Fruit. | Courtesy of The Ruby Fruit via Instagram.

In November, The Ruby Fruit, a wine bar co-founded by CalArts alum Mara Herbkersman (Theater BFA 08) and Emily Bielagus, received recognition from The New York Times, securing a spot on the prestigious list of The 25 Best Restaurants in Los Angeles Right Now. The bar has become a haven for the LGBTQ+ community, with constant crowds attesting not only to its popularity but the inclusive atmosphere cultivated by Herbkersman and Bielagus.

What sets Herbkersman’s venture apart is not just the vibrant ambiance, but also the culinary delights served up in the womxn-run kitchen. The article highlights the “skill and joyful spontaneity of the kitchen,” which offers a diverse menu that caters to all tastes, including loaded hot dogs—available in both meaty and vegan options—and occasional treats like savory fig galettes, tomato and stone fruit salads, and platters of fried smelt.

Named in homage to Rita Mae Brown’s groundbreaking work, The Ruby Jungle, The Ruby Fruit holds the distinction of being the first permanent lesbian bar to open in Los Angeles since 2017. The Ruby Fruit is located in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, and is open Tuesday through Saturday for lunch, happy hour, and dinner.

Picture of Elizabeth McRae emcrae

Elizabeth McRae emcrae

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CalArts Alum Mara Herbkersman’s Queer Bar Recognized by The New York Times