Godfrey’s opened in the Summer of 1997 and for 20 years has been a mainstay of Richmond entertainment and diversity. Founded by Jeff Willis as a restaurant serving a mostly LGBTQ+ clientele quickly grew to include a dance club with patrons as diverse as RVA itself.
One of the driving factors for Jeffrey when founding Godfrey’s was his love for the art of female illusion, also known as Drag. Long before mainstream media acceptance and before the days of reality television like Ru Paul’s Drag Race, Godfrey’s quickly found a large Richmond audience when our now famous Sunday Drag Brunches were introduced.
Featuring the best showgirls from across the country with entertainers representing the best of female illusion and entertainment. These ladies uphold the highest of standards, which has become the cornerstone of our success to this day.
Godfrey’s has had many successes and challenges over the years, but through it all we have strived to be a place of diversity, inclusion, and just plain fun for the RVA community.
Our staff and our clientele come from every walk of life and orientation, and that’s just how we like it. We feel privileged that we can bring together such a diversity of people in a way that is fun and entertaining. We hope to change hearts and minds for a more open, more understanding, and more tolerant society.
Godfrey’s is one of the few places in Richmond, that allows 18 and up. We believe that our youth are so vulnerable to self-doubt and low self-worth that RVA needs a space where young people can come together in an environment that is inclusive and safe regardless of their sexuality or gender identity. We hope Godfrey’s is that space.
Over the past 20 years, Godfrey’s has been extremely fortunate, so we try to give back in return, raising countless funds for various causes and charities. From Breast Cancer, to the Victims of the Massacre at Pulse, Orlando, giving back are some of the most rewarding experiences that we have. We thank everyone that have contributed to success of these events.
About 8 years ago, Jeff Willis decided it was time to start a new chapter in his life, and sold Godfrey’s to the current Owners, Mark and Brian. They have both strived to remain true to the standards that Jeff began so long ago. With the success of the Drag shows the schedule expanded with more opportunities to experience our unique style of entertainment and now offer Saturday Drag Brunches and Saturday night Drag Dinner.
With the invaluable leadership and dedication of our Entertainment Director, Alvion Davenport , we continue to bring Richmond the finest in female illusion and look forward to another 20 years of excellence in hospitality, entertainment, and community involvement.