Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Nickel Bar (Five Cent Decision)

Nickel Bar
Nickel Bar (Five Cent Decision)

Location: 4365 State Road, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Opened: Around 1989?

Closed: Around October 2010

Sometimes the birth and death of a lesbian bar is well documented, just as if she were a beloved sister or aunt. Other times, a lesbian bar fleets in and out of existence, and you just can't find out much about her, other than the fact that she was once alive, and that at one time, there must have been women who shared good times within her walls.

The Nickel bar is in that latter category. It's like the woman who suddenly disappears, with her car keys and purse still on the dining room table. But you can't find a body.

First, when was the Nickel born? Her Myspace page says that she is currently 22 years old, though the last blog entry was around Pride Day, in June 2009.

We know she was nominated for "Best Gay and Lesbian Bar" by Fox 8 Cleveland around that time as well. And we assume she was still kicking when she won "Best Lesbian Bar" in October 2009.

So when did she die? The consensus, based on all the bewildered partiers checking in at the Internet bar sites, was sometime around October 2010.

So while she lived, this is how the Nickel was described over the years:

Cleveland's most popular lesbian bar has been going strong for over 15 years. Located on State Road in Cleveland's Old Brooklyn neighborhood, the "Nickel" offers pool, beer, music, and regular karaoke nights. The atmosphere is friendly, but definitely casual.

An Old Brooklyn Favorite for over 16 years, the Nickel is a little bit sports bar and a little bit dance club for the 21-and-over crowd, with big-screen TVs, a dance floor and regular karaoke nights.

The Nickel is one of Cleveland's best established bars for women. Located in Old Brooklyn, the 20-year-old bar regularly features live music and karaoke. On Mondays, the Nickel's specials include 50 cent hot dogs or $1 chili dogs. On Wednesdays, stop in for dinner and a movie, which begins at 8 p.m. Thursdays are 50 cent tacos and trivia night. Stop by if you're looking for a friendly and casual hangout.

The Nickel is one of Cleveland's prominent lesbian bars. The bar hosts live music as well as karaoke twice a month. Sundays the Nickel feature a grill on the patio with board games and movies on Monday nights. The Nickel is for those over the age of 21 only and when there are performers there is a $5 cover that goes straight to the performers.

And then there were some of the more personal reminiscences:

It's for the womyn, not the guys, but it's a friendly bar with great music (when they have the live shows). (December 2009)

Met the love of my life there. Been Unionized Partners for two years now. (October 2009)

The Nickel is a good place to hang out. The owner Patti Harris is a friendly, outgoing person and is quick to give a hug and great big smile. (June 2008)

They have local bands play, dance nights and cookouts. If you want a community bar you found it here. (May 2008)

And finally, here's how the deceased described herself (at Myspace):

At 20 years old, I'm one of Cleveland's best-established bars for women, but I like to always keep a fresh attitude. I like bands that know how to get the crowd going. I do Karaoke at least twice a month. On Sundays, we have grilling on the patio with Katie and Heidi. Monday nights are board games and movies, while on Tuesdays and Thursdays, we have our softball team in either before or after the games. 21 and over only! When we have a band or other performance, the cover is usually $5. That money goes directly to the entertainers. Karaoke, however, is free!

And do we have a suspected cause of death? The myspace blog gives a clue. This entry is from May 2009:

Yes, the Nickel is back up to a full seven-day schedule--through road construction, and crappy economy, and so many other things, we've clawed our way back up to EVERY DAY, just for you!

So it appears the Nickel was another casualty of the recession, with area road construction a contributing factor to the cause of death.

Sometimes if you ain't got bad luck, you just got no luck at all.

Rest in peace, Nickel Bar.

Photo: The Nickel Bar

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