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The show began and performers dressed in flamboyant outfits gyrated on the stage to songs popular in the s as customers handed them folded dollar bills. It's the kind of show Bounce is known for. The nightclub on Cleveland's near West Side has been a staple of Cleveland's LGBT community since , when it opened on bustling strip of Detroit Avenue that included other -- now-shuttered -- gay bars.

Drag is a staple of the bar's entertainment lineup. But like many Cleveland gay bars, the Detroit Avenue hotspot hasn't been without its growing pains. It closed in before reopening under new ownership. As tolerance toward homosexuality spreads, LGBT people no longer frequent gay bars and clubs in the numbers they once did, and the gay bars and clubs that remain increasingly rely on special events.

There was a time when just being a gay bar was enough to draw customers, but in the 21st Century, bars and clubs like Bounce must evolve and find their place in an ever-changing cultural landscape.

The history of Cleveland's gay bars and clubs By some counts, Cleveland once had as many as two dozen gay bars in the s, many of them in the Warehouse District and on a stretch of St. Twist Social Club bartender Casey Schneider worked for the now-defunct U4ia on Berea Road in the s when it was one of Cleveland's most popular gay clubs.

U4ia held fetish balls, rave parties, go go boy contests, and boasted a space for live music, once hosting model, drag queen and pop musician, RuPaul. Drag shows were common at the Berea Road night club. The former club was also known for its wild parties. Empty storefronts, conventional bars and other businesses stand in place of former gay bars and clubs in Cleveland today.

The lot that once housed U4ia is now home to an auto parts shop. Of the few gay bars and clubs that remain, some owners and managers privately admit they occasionally struggle to keep the lights on.

According to several bar employees and customers, dating sites and smart-phone apps that cater to LGBT people are partly to blame for the slow decline of gay bars. An LGBT person no longer has to patronize a gay bar to meet people who share their orientation. But some said the gradual shuttering of Cleveland's gay bars and clubs represents a measure of progress.

Decades ago, gays, lesbians and trans people patronized gay bars because they weren't welcome elsewhere. But the pendulum of public opinion has increasingly swung toward tolerance in the 21st century, and conventional bars are more accepting of all sexual orientations. Dominguez was one of many people interviewed for this article who attributed the decline of gay bars and clubs to greater acceptance of same-sex relationships.

Friends of LGBT people "are more accepting, so they're going to places other than gay bars. Cocktails, also on Detroit Avenue, has a pool table in the back -- although it also features a basement where it occasionally hosts special events. The bars attract patrons by hosting special events that conventional bars would shy away from, or by capturing a niche market. The Leather Stallion Saloon , the only gay bar left on St. Clair Avenue, bills itself as a leather bar. While a sign on the entrance makes it clear that all are welcome, the saloon in downtown Cleveland specifically caters to the leather subculture, which is made up of men who dress in leather boots, vests, chaps, harnesses and jackets, often in an erotic manner.

Vibe Bar provides a space for athletes in gay sports leagues to congregate after practices and games, Vunderink said. Bounce -- renowned for its drag shows -- is one of the more iconic gay nightclubs remaining in Cleveland. Bounce was envisioned as a merger of those two concepts, with a lounge in the front and a dance floor in the back room, current Bounce co-owner Joseph Jackson says. Joseph Jackson and his brother Bobby Jackson took over Bounce as managing partners in The club's identity has developed over time.

While it still features a kitchen menu, "a few years back it just became a club and we forgot about the food concept," Jackson said. Bounce sometimes host stars from "RuPaul's Drag Race" and has a stage for live music. Additionally, the bar hosts trivia nights and other special events. The nightclub closed in and reopened in when the Jacksons took over.

A water main break forced them to remodel much of the interior. About four miles west of Bounce near the border of Cleveland and Lakewood sits Twist, a gay-friendly bar that bills itself as a "social club. Cliffhangers, a Greek restaurant and bar, stood in Twist's current location until it morphed into a gay-friendly bar in Constantine Katsaros, who co-owns Twist with his childhood friend Jack Messer, said his uncle John Katsaros owned Cliffhangers, but decided in the late '90s that he wanted to own a gay bar.

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Episode 110: Hot Gay Sex In Cleveland!



Find gay sex in cleveland

The show began and performers dressed in flamboyant outfits gyrated on the stage to songs popular in the s as customers handed them folded dollar bills. It's the kind of show Bounce is known for. The nightclub on Cleveland's near West Side has been a staple of Cleveland's LGBT community since , when it opened on bustling strip of Detroit Avenue that included other -- now-shuttered -- gay bars.

Drag is a staple of the bar's entertainment lineup. But like many Cleveland gay bars, the Detroit Avenue hotspot hasn't been without its growing pains. It closed in before reopening under new ownership. As tolerance toward homosexuality spreads, LGBT people no longer frequent gay bars and clubs in the numbers they once did, and the gay bars and clubs that remain increasingly rely on special events. There was a time when just being a gay bar was enough to draw customers, but in the 21st Century, bars and clubs like Bounce must evolve and find their place in an ever-changing cultural landscape.

The history of Cleveland's gay bars and clubs By some counts, Cleveland once had as many as two dozen gay bars in the s, many of them in the Warehouse District and on a stretch of St. Twist Social Club bartender Casey Schneider worked for the now-defunct U4ia on Berea Road in the s when it was one of Cleveland's most popular gay clubs.

U4ia held fetish balls, rave parties, go go boy contests, and boasted a space for live music, once hosting model, drag queen and pop musician, RuPaul. Drag shows were common at the Berea Road night club. The former club was also known for its wild parties.

Empty storefronts, conventional bars and other businesses stand in place of former gay bars and clubs in Cleveland today. The lot that once housed U4ia is now home to an auto parts shop. Of the few gay bars and clubs that remain, some owners and managers privately admit they occasionally struggle to keep the lights on.

According to several bar employees and customers, dating sites and smart-phone apps that cater to LGBT people are partly to blame for the slow decline of gay bars. An LGBT person no longer has to patronize a gay bar to meet people who share their orientation. But some said the gradual shuttering of Cleveland's gay bars and clubs represents a measure of progress.

Decades ago, gays, lesbians and trans people patronized gay bars because they weren't welcome elsewhere. But the pendulum of public opinion has increasingly swung toward tolerance in the 21st century, and conventional bars are more accepting of all sexual orientations. Dominguez was one of many people interviewed for this article who attributed the decline of gay bars and clubs to greater acceptance of same-sex relationships.

Friends of LGBT people "are more accepting, so they're going to places other than gay bars. Cocktails, also on Detroit Avenue, has a pool table in the back -- although it also features a basement where it occasionally hosts special events.

The bars attract patrons by hosting special events that conventional bars would shy away from, or by capturing a niche market. The Leather Stallion Saloon , the only gay bar left on St. Clair Avenue, bills itself as a leather bar. While a sign on the entrance makes it clear that all are welcome, the saloon in downtown Cleveland specifically caters to the leather subculture, which is made up of men who dress in leather boots, vests, chaps, harnesses and jackets, often in an erotic manner.

Vibe Bar provides a space for athletes in gay sports leagues to congregate after practices and games, Vunderink said. Bounce -- renowned for its drag shows -- is one of the more iconic gay nightclubs remaining in Cleveland. Bounce was envisioned as a merger of those two concepts, with a lounge in the front and a dance floor in the back room, current Bounce co-owner Joseph Jackson says.

Joseph Jackson and his brother Bobby Jackson took over Bounce as managing partners in The club's identity has developed over time. While it still features a kitchen menu, "a few years back it just became a club and we forgot about the food concept," Jackson said. Bounce sometimes host stars from "RuPaul's Drag Race" and has a stage for live music.

Additionally, the bar hosts trivia nights and other special events. The nightclub closed in and reopened in when the Jacksons took over. A water main break forced them to remodel much of the interior. About four miles west of Bounce near the border of Cleveland and Lakewood sits Twist, a gay-friendly bar that bills itself as a "social club.

Cliffhangers, a Greek restaurant and bar, stood in Twist's current location until it morphed into a gay-friendly bar in Constantine Katsaros, who co-owns Twist with his childhood friend Jack Messer, said his uncle John Katsaros owned Cliffhangers, but decided in the late '90s that he wanted to own a gay bar.

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4 Comments

  1. According to several bar employees and customers, dating sites and smart-phone apps that cater to LGBT people are partly to blame for the slow decline of gay bars. The event celebrates the welcoming nature of our fine city with food, entertainment and, of course, beverages.

  2. There was a time when just being a gay bar was enough to draw customers, but in the 21st Century, bars and clubs like Bounce must evolve and find their place in an ever-changing cultural landscape.

  3. Twist Social Club bartender Casey Schneider worked for the now-defunct U4ia on Berea Road in the s when it was one of Cleveland's most popular gay clubs. While it still features a kitchen menu, "a few years back it just became a club and we forgot about the food concept," Jackson said.

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