Hey Y'all!

We're HAGS, a community driven tasting menu restaurant in NYC created by queer women, for everyone. We are definitely opening this space on a shoestring budget, so we are seeking funds to ensure the important things aren't compromised! As most know, opening a restaurant is expensive- in NYC doubly so. Your donations will allow us to do things the right way, with integrity: a way that considers folks of all intersections. 

Here are 10 things to know about HAGS:

1) More than anything else, our number one goal is to see radical change in the restaurant industry. Most of our business model is designed to push the needle on what is considered "standard practice" for a luxury restaurant. Plenty of reasonable people have called our goals naive. We see this as a plus. We're talented at what we do and are tired of this industry's slowness to update culturally.

2) HAGS is tiny. Less than twenty seats tiny. When considering our concept, we were majorly influenced by the many potlucks and picnics that defined our younger years, hallmarks of the queer community, and wanted to bring that feeling of closeness, intimacy, and conviviality to our space! Being small offers us the opportunity to get to know each and every diner, each and every night. Treating you like the special individual that you are when you come dine with us is what HAGS is all about.

3) We want you to come as you are. How often have you felt unseen, uncared-for,  intimidated, or uninvited in a finer dining environment? Even as industry "lifers" it happens to us ALL THE TIME. At HAGS, we are on a quest to make you feel comfortable, celebrated and nourished AS YOU ARE.

4) HAGS is more than just a restaurant. We will be offering our walls to artists for rotating hangings. We will be hosting pop ups with likeminded friends. We'll be using our "off hours" to host community events, private dining functions, and parties "just 'cause".  

5) Pay What You Can Sundays? Pay What You Can Sundays! 

6) Full transparency. We are going to be honest with you every step of the way. You want to know where we source our food/wine; who grew it, how it was grown and harvested, how much we paid for it? We're going to tell you. You want a recipe for a menu item? We're going to publish and print all menu recipes with every seasonal menu change. Want to know more about our inner workings? We're going to offer up as much transparency into our daily operations as we can. We want to be proud of our business practices and give our community assurances that we are working hard and doing our best to provide our services with integrity.  Y'all deserve it.

7) Our playlist is really, really good. You might even be moved to dance and we wouldn't blame you.

8) Sober? Vegan? Have children? Tons of allergies/restrictions? No problem, we've got you. When you come to HAGS you get to enjoy yourself no matter what your lived experience is. Your needs will never be read as an inconvenience on us

9) Don't be alarmed to see our staff sitting down. Taking good care of you means taking good care of ourselves. We believe too little has been done to humanize restaurant workers, a fact that's been laid bare with the advent of Covid-19. We are on a quest to take excellent care of our staff. That includes break time, a living wage, a healthy work/life balance, and an emotionally sustainable environment. This also means that HAGS must be a safe space for our staff; So NO RACISM, NO HOMOPHOBIA, NO TRANSPHOBIA, NO ABLISM, NO AGISM, NO MISOGYNY, NO HATE of any kind will be permitted in our dining room. EVER. Not sorry about it.

10) A great restaurant experience is born from a team with a strong identity and deep love for our craft. We've got those qualities in spades. Oh, and it helps that we know how to have fun

Who we are:

Chef Telly Justice is an out and proud Trans Woman who has been working in the industry for 15 years. After having worked at all levels of dining- from anarchist vegan cafes to Michelin starred restaurants- Telly has devised a food philosophy that puts people and relationships first, ego last. Expect deliciousness, thoughtfulness and intentionality, Queerness, and fun as the key touchstones of her menus.

Camille Lindsley is certified sommelier determined to bring southern hospitality to HAGS. Despite growing up a picky eater, food has long fascinated her.  She began her career working as a Maitre ‘d in Decatur, GA where she quickly fell in love with wine.  Camille’s approach to hospitality is simple- food and drink nourishes the body, and the way that we do so nourishes the spirit.  The relationship between guest and host is one built on trust not easily achieved but earned through care, compassion and transparency.  

Dianna Settles
Dianna Settles is a Vietnamese-American artist in Atlanta, Georgia who received her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2014. Her current work explores moments of joyful stillness amidst the cascading series of crises called modern life, accomplished through her synthesis of traditional Vietnamese and classical European painting styles. 

In addition to her own art practice, Dianna runs Hi-Lo Press, a print studio and art gallery in Midtown Atlanta, which is home to drag figure drawing nights, the Atlanta Paint Club, an 1843 Robert Mayer Parks lithography press, and regular poetry readings, film screenings, dance parties, potlucks, and a variety of other events and workshops. 

Here are Telly and Camille speaking more to their visions for HAGS! Video and editing done by Sam Veal.

For more details, check out our website: hagsnyc.com


Camille Lindsley
New York, NY

Your easy, powerful, and trusted home for help

  • Easy

    Donate quickly and easily.

  • Powerful

    Send help right to the people and causes you care about.

  • Trusted

    Your donation is protected by the  GoFundMe Giving Guarantee.