The Hot in the 'Nati Edition
August 2016


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   August Heats Up the 'Nati!

Reunion of The Downstairs Club  
One of the earliest gay nightclubs in the tri-state area was "The Downstairs Club" located in Fort Wright, KY.  Regular patron, Scott Parker, shares memories and invites those who remember - and those who are curious about the beginning of our local gay bar scene - to the first ever reunion of the club. 

The Downstairs Club was " the" gay bright spot of the 1960's and 1970's in the Cincinnati area, and probably the entire country (more on that later). It was located, hidden in the hills south of Covington on Madison Pike in Fort Wright. You could see the roof as you drove down from the road into the driveway of the parking lot. From the lot you had to navigate down several steps to the front door, therefore the name The Downstairs Club. It was also known as The Jachebo Club in the early 60's. It was owned by Jack and Helen Speaks and their son Bobby Combs helped run the club. So Jachebo was derived as a blend of their three names, Jack, Helen & Bobby.

Since the club was so hidden away and had a special arrangement between the owner and local authorities, patrons felt safe and free to express themselves in this unique environment that was The Downstairs Club. The police stopped by on a regular basis. Commend them for allowing this oasis to exist, as there were very few places in the entire country where the gay community could gather for a night of fun and not fear being arrested. It was alarming the first time you saw the police come into the Club. Sometimes new uninformed patrons would naturally think it was a raid and jump out the back window - which was quite a fall, since the building was suspended over the hillside.

One shared story regarding Bobby's sense of humor goes something like this: A good-looking man sat down next to Bobby as he was talking with a group at one the tables. The new guy began stroking Bobby's leg, running his hands up and down his jeans. After several minutes Bobby looked towards the guy and in a friendly voice said, "I'll give you five more minutes to stop that."

The Club hosted yearly drag-queen contest with participants coming from many parts of the country. Little Richard and Jimmy Hendricks were known to sometime stop by when they were performing in Cincinnati. Members of visiting Roller Derby teams would sometimes stop by after their competition. Miss Peaches La Vern was a regular at the club, always making a grand entrance. I can hear her now as she exits for the evening, "Goodbye my children. Your mother is leaving now." The Downstairs Club was known from coast to coast for its uniqueness and the very special place that it was.

The Downstairs Club was the only place in the tristate area where the gay community and their friends could gather for a night of fun and comradery, and with dancing allowed (even slow dancing). This was in the 1960's and early 70's when in more liberal parts of the country, like Los Angeles, dancing was not allowed in gay bars and nightclubs. Nowhere in the city of Los Angeles was dancing allowed. There was one club in Los Angeles County where you could dance. It was hidden in the hills of Topanga Canyon, and so called The Canyon Club. Even there, if you made too much contact while slow dancing, they would tap you on the shoulder and ask you to create more distance between you and your dance partner. In contrast to the Downstairs Club, The Canyon Club would make sure the dancing stopped when the police were spotted driving down the driveway to the club. They had a warning signal by turning up the lights on the dance floor; similar to what would happen as closing time. Everyone would know to stop dancing. Now you can understand how unique The Downstairs Club was during this period. It was truly "one of a kind" and ahead of the times.

As more liberal attitudes evolved and other bars opened that allowed dancing, the need for a hidden refuge dissipated and both The Downstairs Club and The Canyon Club closed in the late 70's.

David Jones and I, as former members, have discussed for several years the possibility of arranging a reunion for patrons of The Downstairs Club. We both live in California, so the logistics have been a bit difficult. With the generous assistance of Nigel Cotterill, this special event will take place on August 29th at Below Zero Lounge in the Cabaret upstairs. It is scheduled from 6:00 - 10:00, with a "meet and greet" between 6:00 and 6:30 for those who have signed up to attend. There will be several short entertainment sessions during the evening with social time between shows. The first extravaganza will begin at 7:00.

We have people coming from: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Michigan, and many from the Cincinnati area; and probably from Palm Springs, Chicago, and Tennessee; and possibly New York. We have scattered in all directions, but loved our extended family that was bonded by the good times at The Downstairs Club. We are drawn by a good vibration in the air, to reconnect and travel back in time, to meet once again and celebrate.

This will be a gathering of the tribe that was The Downstairs Club, their friends and interested community in the Cincinnati area. So come and join us for what is shaping up to be a very interesting and entertaining evening at the Below Zero Lounge on August 29th. We expect it to be "A Hot August Night" for all to enjoy and remember!

 The Downstairs Club Reunion - August 29 - 6-10pm - Below Zero Lounge - 1120 Walnut St - OTR 
PFLAG 30+ Anniversary Gala  
PFLAG Cincinnati invites you to join in a celebration of over 30 years of
LGBTQ support, education and advocacy. The PFLAG Cincinnati 30+ Anniversary Gala and Scholarship Fund Benefit will be held Sunday, August 14th at the Metropolitan Club in Covington, KY. 
Donate to the scholarship fund, please click here.
Founded in 1985, PFLAG Cincinnati was one of the first mid-west chapters to be established; the national organization began in 1973. PFLAG is a non-profit organization of volunteers who offer support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex individuals, families and friends in a safe and caring environment.

The Gala Celebration kicks off at 5pm with dinner served at 6pm and entertainment beginning at 7pm. The MĂ„NNERCHOR ensemble will sing. Comedian Carla Goldbusch will emcee and perform stand-up. Individual tickets are $50 and Tables of 10 are available for $450. Tickets are available by mail - check payable to PFLAG Cincinnati at PO Box 19634, Cincinnati 45219-0634. Tickets are also available online at

All proceeds from the Gala Celebration benefit the PFLAG Cincinnati Scholarship fund which has awarded $171,000 in scholarships since 1992. Five local students received scholarships in 2016 bringing the total to 135 deserving student since the inception of the program. The scholarship fund was established to recognize outstanding gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex and straight supportive students in the local community. The organization also seeks to encourage continuing education for individuals involved with the LGBT community and to foster a positive image in the community.

PFLAG Cincinnati hosts two support meetings monthly. The second Tuesday of each month at Mt. Auburn Presbyterian Church (103 William Howard Taft Rd. Cincinnati, OH 45219) and the third Wednesday of each month at Mt. Washington Presbyterian Church (6474 Beechmont Ave, Cincinnati, Ohio 45230). Find out more about PFLAG Cincinnati at
Sunday, August 14rh - doors open at 5pm, dinner at 6pm, show at 7pm
The Metropolitan Club in Covington KY.  

For tickets and more information, visit  
Pride Night at Kings Island - September 9th 
Don't miss it: the Midwest's largest amusement park entertainment event September 09, 2016 benefiting a local community group - the GLBTQ Center of Greater Cincinnati. You can buy your tickets online (link available at a later date), at select ticket locations, or at the gate.

Entertainment for Pride Night to date:  
Live DJ's (Jule Boogie, Chris Mercier) 
and more!

Folks from over 30 states attend this event! The GLBTQ Center thanks the generosity of Kings Island. It is a great value and a chance to benefit Greater Cincinnati's only GLBTQ Center serving a diverse community. The proceeds cover much of the annual operating expense of this 21-year-old community organization (founded September 17, 1993). This marks the 19th year Kings Island has hosted the event.

Tickets not only include free parking ($15 value) but have only moderately increased over the past few years. Prices for 2016 are: Individual tickets online & purchased in advance are available for 34.50 until July 10th, 38.50 after July 10th, and $42.50 at gate; or groups of 7 or more $36.50 (online only)! A portion of the ticket sales, depending on attendance is donated to the local Greater Cincinnati Gay & Lesbian Community Center each year. The Center is a non-profit organization as recognized as by the IRS 501(c)3.

While the event began as a private fundraiser, more and more allies are asking "do I have to be gay to attend?!?!" The simple answer - if you support equality - you're welcome! Imagine NOT having to wait in line for your favorite ride? For those who like to purchase online, and want to use "will call" or have "a personal printer" go here to purchase tickets. Kings Island waived the fee for electronic purchases on their e-store this year! (Yes, that's an additional savings of $5). Other tickets outlets are updated on the pride night webpage as available.

When you visit our Pride night page be sure to thank our sponsors! We appreciate their support! Kings Island opens the parking lot the day of the event at 5:00 pm, with the gates opening at 5:30 pm. The rides will begin operation at 6:00 pm. The event concludes at midnight. Please remember - while this is a child friendly event - it is geared toward adults. Because the event is always scheduled by Kings Island after Labor Day, the water park and children's rides are closed.

A question the GLBTQ Center gets a lot: Can I use my season's pass or a discount coupon from a local store? No, sorry this is a fundraiser for the Center - no season passes or special discount coupons are honored. T-shirts with this year's pride night logo (to be announced) will be available for sale at the main entrance to the park. Most years, different area taverns and organizations have sponsored Pride Night weekend events, replacing the "after glow party" at Kings Island. Special hotel packages are available check our website for more information.

The GLBT Center assumes no liability or responsibility for the operation of the Kings Island e-store for ticketing, issues must be resolved directly with Kings Island. All sales are final once a general park admission ticket transaction has been completed. General admission tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable. This includes weather-related events. We do not issue rain checks. Please check local weather conditions prior to planning your visit.
Discover Tri-State Leather- Stag Run Weekend 
The Men, boys and Pups of Tri-State are excited to be returning to Stag Run for their annual Leather Weekend. If you've ever been, you know its a fun mixture of men, sun, leather, kink and an all around good time. If you've not been, now is your chance.

Stag Run Leather Weekend with Tri-State Leather/Pup/Rubber

Stag Run Club 2150 Overlook Dr SW, Mauckport, Indiana 47142
August 5-7

This year's event features demonstrations, a Saturday afternoon cocktail party and a Q&A session to answer any questions you may have about Tri-State Leather events. In addition, members from other Leather groups will be available to give you information about their respective groups.

The main event occurs Saturday evening - the 4th annual Mr. Stag Run Competit ion. It's a fun contest and we can ensure that it will be a good time. Don't own Leather, not to worry. We will bring extra gear so if you are inclined to participate in the contest, we can be of help.

Mr. Tri-State Leather 2015 and Mr. Kentucky Leather 2015, David Hughes will be on hand for the weekend with a meet and greet.

So make your reservations today for a weekend that will be full of fun, sun, relaxation and exploration. Reservations available by phone: call (812) 732-8094.
CLAW is an ongoing sponsor for Tri-State events.Check them out at
Volleyball End of Season Happy Hour at Tillie's    
The Cincinnati Alternative Volleyball Association is coming to the end of the summer season.  Fans are invited to join team members for the End-of-the-Season mixer! Enjoy a warm summer Happy Hour on the patio at Tillie's Lounge in Northside for a nice happy hour! The fun will start at 5 and go until...? No frills, no fuss... mingle with the teams and enjoy some cold drinks. Plus,  CAVA and the good folks at Tillie's are working on something to help raise money for our friends and family in Orlando. 

More about the event
Thursday, August 11th - 5pm
Tillie's Lounge is located at 4042 Hamilton Avenue in Northside.  
OTR Block Party Welcomes All! 
Join friends and neightbors of Over-The-Rhine at Washington Park for a good ol' fashioned Block Party complete with games, food, and beer!

Entertainment lineup: 
3:30p to 4:30p: Young Heirlooms 
6:30p to 8p: The Cincy Brass 
8:30p to 10p: The Soul Pocket Band

Enjoy your favorite local craft beers from Taft's Ale House, Rhinegeist, MadTree Brewing, and the Christian Moerlein Brewing Co.

More about the event
August 13 -  3 to 10pm
Washington Park - 1230 Elm Street in OTR 
Crazy Fox Saloon Celebrates 17 Years!  
The Crazy Fox Saloon is hosting a 17 th Anniversary Celebration commemorating 17 years as a fun, safe, clean and smoke free neighborhood bar with a "Friendly Mix of Humanity!" 
The Crazy Fox team will be grilling out 150 pounds of Baby back ribs.  You won't want to miss trying Terry's Fabulous Pineapple Upside Down Cake and Carl's Bacon Baked Bean's and Homemade Coleslaw!  If you would like to bring a dish, please feel free by clicking here.

Crazy Fox will also be showing a photo album movie that plays all day, 17 years of Memories... Always a lot of Fun looking back over the years !

Arrive early for limited edition swag pile!  Plus all games, pinball and our Famous Old School Juke will be free all day long!

First Ribs hit the plate around 4pm, arrive early for a Great Table!
Caracole - Party in Plaid & Punk 

Caracole's Fourth Annual Party in Plaid Fundraiser returns with a punk theme! Don't miss a live band, cocktails, dinner by the bite by Jeff Thomas Catering, incredible fashion, and a not to be missed dance party. The evening will honor longtime friends of Caracole, Freeman Durham and Jim Schwab.

Missing a little attitude? Local hairstylists and MAC Cosmetics will be set up on site to add some punk to your look! A punk pop-up shop will provide ripped t-shirts, safety pins, and all the red tartan to complete your edgy ensemble.

Saturday, August 27th at Cincinnati Masonic Center - 317 E. 5th Street - Downtown 

6:30 - Cocktail Reception with Live Band
7:30 - Dinner by the Bite 
Tribute and festivities to follow!

Proceeds support Caracole's mission of providing housing and supportive services for individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS.
Dog Days of Summer 

The Dog Days of Summer returns for the 2nd annual wiener dog races at Belterra Park Gaming! Join in the fun on August 20 after live racing (approximately 5:00pm) for this fun, family-friendly event featuring the fastest wiener dogs in Cincinnati. Our friends from the SPCA Cincinnati will also be there from 2pm - 6pm with their mobile adoption unit.

Think your wiener dog can race for the big prizes? Enter your pup to run in our races here:
20th Century Theater Celebrates 75 Years!  

It's a night of jazz & jam to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the 20th Century Theater, this classic art deco gem set in one the great neighborhoods of the Queen City. Enjoy the great horns of The Cincy Brass and featuring the traditional jazz sounds of the Dixie Karas Quartet.


Friday August 26th -  20th Century Theater - 3021 Madison Road - Oakley 
Doors open @ 7pm, Show starts @ 8pm 

The evening will also include; a Summer Food Drive to support the Oakley Community Food Pantry, (with $2 discount at the door for food pantry donations,) a sneak preview sample tasting of The Great American Blonde from Habit's Café & Listermann Brewery, & a Luminary Launch Grand Finale! (weather permitting)...& much more!

Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 day of show.

For information please call the 20th Century Theater (513)731-8000 or visit
Below Zero Lounge - Dance... Dance... Dance!!!  
Proud Scholars 
PFLAG Cincinnati Two Monthly Meetings 
 PFLAG of Greater Cincinnati is thrilled to announce that a second monthly meeting is now being held every third Wednesday of the month at Mount Washington Presbyterian Church located at 6474 Beechmont Ave.  PFLAG continues to meet on the second Tuesday of the month at Mount Auburn Presbyterian located at 103 William Howard Taft.  PFLAG is the organization for parents, families, allies and LGBTQ people united for equality. For more information, visit
  Pride Night at Kings Island Potluck

Join  On Broadway Bar at the next monthly pot luck dinner in support of funding Pride Night at Kings Island.  Every September, the regional LGBTQ community enjoy a night of rides, entertainment and togetherness.  It's always a great time and for the good folks of The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Greater Cincinnati, it's also a lot of hard work.  Come out and show your support! 

Sunday, August 7th at 6pm - On Broadway Bar (817 Broadway Street - Downtown)

What's Going on Tillie's Lounge
The Listings 2016/2017 

The Listings
has served the local community for over 20 years!  The latest edition is all-new for 2016/2017 and features a new design style and format!

ISQCCBE Happenings
The Imperial Sovereign Queen City Court of the Buckeye Empire, Inc. (The Court) is a local, Cincinnati-based 501-(c)(3) incorporated non-profit organization. The Court's purpose is to raise fund for contribution to and in support of any and all charitable [minimum 501 (c)(3)] causes. The Court represents the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning, allied communities, and all concerned in support of community functions.

Resource for LGBTQ Youth

GLSEN Greater Cincinnati hosts a weekly Youth Group meeting.  The GLSEN Youth Group is a safe and welcoming space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth and their allies to gather. Each week the group explores a topic of interest to middle and high school-aged youth with an emphasis on LGBTQ issues. Youth group also includes weekly social time and a quarterly social outing or activity. GLSEN Youth Group relies on a series of youth generated ground rules to keep our space supportive and positive. We participate in days of action sponsored by GLSEN national and provide opportunities and resources for group members to organize actions in their school community, such as Day of Silence and Ally Week. - Click here for more details.

What's Happening in the Bars 

   901 Race Street - Downtown Cincinnati
   Facebook:  Bar 901

   Open daily 4pm - 11 pm
   Relaxing place to socialize plus drink specials

  701 Bakewell Street - Covington KY
  Facebook:  Bar 32

  Great Cocktails for All Walks of Life! Just a warm and friendly little
  neighborhood bar. Come in and relax

  1122 Walnut Street - Downtown Cincinnati
  Facebook:  Below Zero Lounge

  The Below Zero Lounge is an ultra plush martini lounge.  A
   selection of 100 vodkas.

  1714 Hanfield Street - Northside
  Facebook:  C&D Bar

  A longtime neighborhood bar in Northside.  Stop in and check out
 artwork on display from local artists

  1122 Walnut Street - Downtown Cincinnati
  Facebook:  The Cabaret

  The Queen City's Premiere Show Bar
  Shows every Friday and Saturday night at 11pm  -  Don't forget
  Tipsy Thursdays too!  

  901 Washington Street - Newport KY
  Facebook: The Crazy Fox Saloon

  Smokefree in NKY!  Neighborhood atmosphere featuring regular
  events like Drinking Liberally and Trivia Smackdown

  603 West Pete Rose Way - Downtown Cincinnati
  Facebook:  The Dock Complex

  Cincinnati's longest-running dance club!  3 complete bars, covered  
  smoking patio, patio lounge with volley ball court, best dance floor
  Dance until  4am!Showtimes after 11pm & 12:30am.

   404 W. Pike Street, Covington, KY 41011
   Facebook: The 404 Nightclub
Showcasing America's Music in the Heart of Covington's Historic District!  Open Friday and Saturday 5pm-1m.  Live music every Friday and Saturday 8pm-midnight. On the web at

   2401 Vine Street - Mt. Auburn (Near University Village)
   Facebook: Home Base Tavern

   Stop in once and Home Base Tavern  will become your new favorite
   neighborhood hangout!
    835 Main Street - Downtown
    Facebook: Main Event
   Tuesday Night Theater - Hosted by Bella Dolce with special guest
   performances each week. Dance floor opens at 11pm - dance until
   2:30pm. Show begins 12:15am.  No cover (with purchase). Ages 18+
 13 Old Street - Monroe
  Facebook:  Old Street Saloon

 Friendliest little bar up North!  Open Weds-Sat featuring Happy Hour 
 from 8-9pm. Karaoke on the 1st and 3rd Fridays; Drag shows Friday
 and Saturday Night.  4th Friday Drag Show by the ISQCCBE

  817 Broadway Street - Downtown Cincinnati
  Facebook:  On Broadway Bar

   A friendly place where old friends come to meet new friends &
  good   friends come to have fun. Come as you are, everyone is
  welcome.  Shows hosted by Tyese Rainz every Friday night

  643 Bakewell Street - Covington, KY
  Facebook:  Rosie's Tavern

  Covington's neighborhood tradition - great friends and great drinks
  Rosie's always has free pool, $6 domestic pitchers & $2 wells on
  Monday & KY Bourbon $5.50 a shot on Tuesdays


    428 Walnut, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
    Facebook:  Simon Says 
    One of Cincinnati's oldest gay bars "where everyone knows your    
    name!" Happy Hour everyday from 11am-8pm. Game Day beer
    specials.   Mon-Sat 11am - 2:30am; Sun 11am - 12midnight

  4042 Hamilton Avenue - Northside
  Facebook:  Tillie's Lounge

  Cincinnati's newest lounge features plush decor, intimate seating
 arrangements and a massive chandelier over a baby grand piano. 
 Live music on Saturday night; Karaoke on Sunday night.

Renew Your Membership Today 

We are here to serve you and help you grow your business by promoting your business to the Greater Cincinnati GLBT community. We invite you to become a member of the Gay Chamber and be a part of building an even stronger network of gay-owned and gay-friendly businesses.  


As we build our membership base, we are pleased to welcome you with special reduced membership dues to join the Gay Chamber. Simply fill out the information below so that we can update our records. This can also be done online at our website:  


Membership benefits include:

  • Support - the Greater Cincinnati Gay Chamber of Commerce is your voice of advocacy; we are a voice for GLBT and ally owned businesses
  • Exclusive member networking and social events
  • Free listing in monthly Chamber Newsletter to publicize your upcoming events and services
  • Exclusive member discounts and benefits are being added regularly - stay up with the latest details at

We value your membership and encourage you to attend Chamber events and reach out to your fellow members. Here's how to contact us:


Greater Cincinnati Gay Chamber of Commerce

P.O. Box 141461

Cincinnati, OH 45250-1461



Gay Chamber members are invited to publicize upcoming events, happenings or services in our monthly newsletter.  Reaching hundreds of local business professionals, the newsletter is a great way to expand your network and customer base.  And as a member, your event listing is complimentary.  Send event information to . Submission deadline is the 13th of each month; newsletter is electronically published on the 23rd. 
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Greater Cincinnati Gay Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 141461, Cincinnati, OH 45250-1461