Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lost lesbian bars of Florida

As I was rummaging around on the Internet, I found little bits and pieces about various lesbian bars that had once existed in the state of Florida. So far, I haven't come up wth enough information on any of these to warrant a full write up. But here are the nuggets I have located thus far:

Another End
Location: Bay Pines Boulevard, St. Petersburg, Florida
1986 - ?
According to Pat the Plumber, former editor of Womyn's Words: It was there in July of that year we got to see Melissa Etheridge for $5.00! A full-page ad with her picture was in that month's issue of Womyn's Words.

Location: Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, Florida
? - ?
From Mcfilmfest: BJ was the mother of all lesbians! Judy B. Goode came out there one night. BJ also owner of the “Oasis.” Anybody know where she is today? Darlen said that she saw her & she is doing good.

Location: Bay Pines Boulevard, St. Petersburg, Florida
From Mcfilmfest: A women's bar open for about a year in the early to late 80s

Cherokee Club
Location: 1320 East 9th Avenue, Tampa, Florida (Ybor City neighborhood)
? - ?
From Mcfilmfest: It was an upscale New Orleans style women’s club. Managed for 7 years by Darlen.

Location: 14095 North Nebraska, Tampa, Florida
? - ?
From Mcfilmfest: lesbian club

Foolish Beat
Location: Park Avenue, Seminole, Florida
? - ?
From Mcfilmfest: A women’s bar with live entertainment

Location: Grand Central, Tampa, Florida
? - ?
Not much is said about this bar at Mcfilmfest, but they do include a photo of what sure looks like a very cute butch-femme couple (see above).

Key Largo
Location: Highway 441, Lockhart, Florida
1988 - ?
From the Central Florida GLBT Timeline: Key Largo opened in the former location of Margo's, a redneck country and western bar on Highway 441 in Lockhart. At the time, it was believed to be the largest lesbian entertainment complex in the United States with over 15,000 square feet of space on 2 and 1/2 acres.

Kim's Club
Location: Kennedy Avenue, Tampa, Florida
? - ?
From Mcfilmfest: A women’s Magic club. Owned by Kim Magic. Was formerly the Annex, a gay bar that closed in 1997.

Location: Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, Florida
? - ?
From Mcfilmfest: A women’s club managed by Sharon Romero, who now lives in New Orleans.

Location: Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa Florida
? - 1997
From Mcfilmfest: A "ladies bar" owned by BJ.

The Other End:
Location: Madeira Beach, Florida
? - ?
From Rand Hall at Mcfilmfest: A cozy women’s beer, wine and juke joint on Maderia Beach that was popular for many years. Bartenders included Yancy and D.J. Local women’s bands, Buffalo Shoes, Silk Heat and others, as well as out-of-town performers, often played there. It was torn down in the
80’s and replaced by a marine supply store.

From Pat the Plumber, also at Mcfilmfest: Stopping for a cold beer at The Other End after a day of installing drain pipes (working with all men from 7:30 am - 4:00 pm) was something to look forward to.

The Other End was on Madeira Beach, run by none other than “Butch” the bartender, a legend in her own time. After Butch came “Captain Jack” a woman ahead of her time and recognition; and then operated by Pat and Mary who also owned The Well of Happiness Bookstore next door.

The Other End was a gathering place for memorable women - including Mullet Mary, Rhonda, and Judy the Elvis impersonator. I remember seeing the Fallopian Tubes there for the first time - decked out in nun’s habits - and one of the first local bands called Buffalo Shoes.

I remember dancing with Kim to You Need Me by Anne Murray, I Know I’ll Never Love This Way Again by Dionne Warwick, and Blue Bayou by Linda Ronstadt.

The Rainbow Club
Location: The Harbor house on the river in Tampa, Florida
? - ?
From Mcfilmfest: Was a Black Lesbian Club. Later became “Tampa Eagle #3″

Location: 4643 West Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, Florida
? - ?
From Mcfilmfest: Was also known as Backside Club. Today it’s a liquor store. A famous woman’s club.

Sports Page
Location: 13344 66 Street, North Largo, Florida
? - ?
From Mcfilmfest:  a lesbian bar that is now the home of Christopher Street, a men's bar

Uncle Charlie's
Location: St. Petersburg, Florida
? - ?
From Mcfilmfest: Located in downtown St. Pete in the early 80’s. A women’s bar with pool tables.


  1. since I'm posting this as google account my name might show up as "Chuck" well I have stories for you.
    I did the major lesbian scene in all of the Tampa/St. Pete area from 1988-1992, I used to live right across the street from BJ's - and I could visit a strip club on same side of the street but a lot of those strippers hung out at BJ's because they knew that us real lesbo's wouldn't hassle them. If you want more lesbian history email me or I'm on facebook but I'm trans thinking right now so I will toss a real bone to you here and if you are serious i'll toss the phone in a ditch cause it's a pre pay and NO i'm NOT looking for a date cripes i live in Nevada. 775-200-3225 SAY YOUR ASKING ABOUT FLORID LESBIAN BARS thanks i hope.

  2. TYPO CORRECTIONS "and if you are NOT serious i'll toss the phone in a ditch cause it's a pre pay and NO i'm NOT looking for a date cripes i live in Nevada. 775-200-3225 SAY YOUR ASKING ABOUT FLORIDA LESBIAN BARS (IN TAMPA BAY AREA) thanks i hope.

  3. I've been looking at the rest of your work. You should try to get this archived. A lot of us including me are facing the prospect of death etc.

    I have zero partners because I lost all of them. This is a very common issue for older lesbians. I had actually broke up with all of them but if you know the lesbo stereotype well it's true; you never really break up. I suppose that's because so many of us had no traditional families. We stuck together. I'm going to be 50 in one month and all my partners are dead with a couple exceptions; I got involved with someone 14 years younger than me. We don't even live in the same state but I hang on to her like crazy or I'll be the crazy old dyke.

  4. Feel your pain. I'm a woman of "a certain age" as well, and my girlfriend lives 900 miles away. Sigh.

  5. Ahhh, the Cherokee Club! One of the most amazing clubs I have ever been to. The crowd, the character, the sounds, the sights...the lovely ladies who gave us the show of a lifetime...and the ones who would just show up to ladies looking for a dance and couples swept away by the intoxicating atmosphere. My favorite part of that club was the balcony/fire was beautiful, dark and of the best make-out points and always full, yet there always seemed to be one very private space available. I truly miss this club!


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