Le Café was originally the Club Black Magic, opening in 1954 as a popular jazz venue in Las Vegas. Despite being named the Club Black Magic, it was known as the Club de Paris by the time Camille Castro began her relationship with the property. Castro originally intended to run the kitchen at the Club de Paris, but found herself revamping the entire property as a popular hangout for Las Vegas’ LGBTQ+ community
By 1969, business at the Club de Paris began to falter, and Marge Jacques,, previously a cocktail waitress at the Sands Hotel & Casino and the Golden Nugget, saw an opportunity to run the bar, purchasing the defunct club from Castro.
Jacques, an open lesbian woman herself, opened the newly-named Le Café in 1970 as the first openly gay bar in Las Vegas. This differed from other properties, at the time like the Red Barn and Maxine’s that were closeted, only catering to the LGBTQ+ community after dark, during “pink hours.”
In addition to running a popular venue, Jacques used her platform at Le Café for LGBTQ+ advocacy and activism. Gay Notes From Le Café was first published in 1971, as the first LGBTQ+ publication in Las Vegas history, which the Las Vegas chapter of the Human Rights Campaign credits with “[establishing] the political consciousness of Las Vegas’ gay community”.
Jacques also began a career as an LGBTQ+ educator, providing television interviews as well as lecturing at UNLV (University of Nevada, Las Vegas) and Nellis Air Force Base.
The good times ended on August 24, 1978, when Le Café was torched. Jacques pivoted to other venues, working in bars such as the Other Place and Gipsy in the 1980s, and even brought Le Café back in 1983, opening in a new location as Disco Le Café Bar and Restaurant. Sadly, it was short lived.