Vaughn, forty, is a painter who has always worked in retail to pay the bills. ("No, my paintings aren't in here. They're very loud, abstract, and they tend to freak people out.") Chapman, forty-nine, has a day job as a commercial real estate appraiser. "People call me her gay husband," he says, describing their relationship. It's a bittersweet joke. Chapman's husband died of cancer in December, and Vaughn helped care for him. In addition to being business partners, Vaughn says he and Chapman are "soul mates and best friends. We live three blocks apart and have dinner together four or five nights a week."
Johnny, 8 Nickels Arcade, 327-9001 (Store Wendy's phone; Johnny has no phone). Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. noon-5 p.m.
[Originally published in June, 2012.]