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Bounce Night Club, one of Cleveland's most prominent LGBT bars,is now closed
CLEVELAND, Ohio - Bounce Nightclub, a Detroit Avenue hotspot that was ... "Everyone is venturing out to (traditional) bars and clubs or going to gatherings at people's homes." She was one of several employees and patrons who lamented Bounce's apparent ...
By Patrick Cooley, cleveland.com
CLEVELAND, Ohio - Bounce Nightclub, a Detroit Avenue hotspot that was one of Cleveland's most prominent LGBT bars, is now closed.
The closure attracted little attention and was announced rather suddenly on the bar's Facebook page early in November.
A cryptic Facebook post from Nov4 announced that all events were cancelled and promised more information to comeBut nothing further has been posted on their social media account since then.
The owners could not be reached for comment.
Bounce frequently brought drag performers to its flamboyant showroom and provided a dance floor, making it virtually unique among Cleveland's gay bars, most of which now resemble neighborhood taverns.
When the iconic club opened in 2001 it was one of a number of gay friendly bars on a stretch of Detroit Avenue between Gordon Square and Ohio CityAll of those bars gradually shut their doors as young LGBT people gravitated toward traditional bars and LGBT dating apps proliferated, undercutting the need for places where single gay people could meet other single gay people.
While popular, Bounce had a troubled historyThe bar shuttered in 2014 only to reopen in 2015 under new ownership.
In the end it seems to have succumb to the same cultural changes that weighed on its peers.
"In the age of openness, gay bars just don't seem to be as necessary anymore," said Kari Nickels, a longtime performer at Bounce"Everyone is venturing out to (traditional) bars and clubs or going to gatherings at people's homes."
She was one of several employees and patrons who lamented Bounce's apparent demise.
"There was so much love, acceptance and understanding," Nickels said"I will always value and cherish my time there."
She said the bar's closure marks the end of an era in her life.
Jordan Greer, who worked as a server and kitchen manager for Bounce, expressed a similar sentiment.
"It's sad that something so iconic for the gay world in Cleveland is now gone," he said"I'll miss it severely."
Greer said he was grateful for his experience at Bounce, which gave him the chance to meet some of the city's most famed LGBT performers.
However, reopening the bar again after it already shut down and reopened once before would be like "beating a dead horse," he said.
Others had harsher words for Bounce.
Eric Workman of Willoughby said he felt like Bounce was taking advantage of the gay community in Cleveland by charging up to $25 for special events.
"That was a high for a Cleveland club," he said.
Even for a special event like a drag show, "that was a ridiculous price," he added.
The Detroit Avenue nightspot was renowned for its drag shows, which were once held in a cabaret room in the back of the building but gradually moved to a stage at the end of the dining room as attendance fell.
Despite the end of Bounce's tenure in Cleveland's nightlife scene, Nickels said drag performers still have plenty of places to exhibit their unique talents.
"There are several bars and clubs that host them all around Northeast Ohio," she said"Straight and gay bars included."
On the other side of Detroit Avenue near the border of Lakewood, Twist Social Club recently rebranded itself as an all-inclusive bar - although the upscale lounge and dance club hybrid maintains some ties to the LGBT community - making Bounce the last of its kind in Cleveland until it closed in November.
Most of Cleveland's remaining gay-friendly bars have more in common with local dives, featuring small interiors, pool tables and touch-screen jukeboxes.
Gone are the days of extravagant gay bars like U4ia - pronounced "euphoria" - a since-shuttered club on Berea Road that hit its zenith in the 1990s and was known for raucous parties.
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