Baskerville’s Music and Company

in Bars, Clubs, and Discos

Baskerville’s Music and Company, an gay bar and disco, opened at 1187 Old River Road in early 1976. Baskerville’s operated as an after-hours disco and provided opportunities for dancing, drinking, and entertainment to crowds of late-night disco patrons. contained a two-level 500-square-foot dancefloor. A platform stage, located on the upper level of the dance floor, enabled patrons to enjoy a revolving array of live entertainment while dancing the night away. Scaggnolia the Great, a nationally-recognized drag entertainer, frequently served as Baskerville’s primary entertainment host. Notably, Baskerville’s was the first gay bar to open in Cleveland’s Flats district. The club’s owner, however, quickly found that there was a considerable amount of “hostility among some [straight] individuals in the Flats who never warmed to the idea of a gay bar [operating] there.” This outside hostility would prove to be the bar’s undoing. In July 1976, roughly a month after opening, Baskerville’s was raided by the Cleveland Police Department for operating as a “liquor establishment after 2:30 AM without a restaurant license.” The bar’s owner and manager, however refused to “buckle down to policy bullying.” After appealing their case to the Liquor Control Board, Baskerville’s operators won a ruling that allowed the bar to continue operating after-hours under a restaurant license (as long as food was also served). In a separate incident, shortly after reopening, the bar’s “outside gas meter” was tampered with and stolen from the premises. (Baskerville’s was forced to temporarily operate without heat as a result.) Several months later, in November 1976, Baskerville’s was broken into and looted by persons unknown. Everything of value, from the bar’s “sound system, pinball machines, liquor” all the way through its “tables, and chairs,” had been stolen during this incident. Ongoing harassment, coupled with devastating financial impact of the robbery, contributed to Baskerville’s closure in December 1976.

Additional information coming soon.


  • “Baskerville’s Looted.” High Gear. December 1976. Page 15.
  • “Baskerville’s Wins.” High Gear. July 1976. Page 2.
  • Jacobson, Chris. “Gays in the Flats.” High Gear. June 1976. Page 28.
  • “July 1976 – Remember When….” High Gear. September 1976. Page 9.
  • Nosek, John, and Leon Stevens. “Gay Community 1970s.” Encyclopedia of Cleveland History.
  • “The Games People Play.” High Gear. August 1976. Page 28.
  • Robinson, Chris. “Ch…Cha…Changes.” High Gear. July 1976. Page 24.
1187 Old River Rd, Cleveland, OH 44113

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