Memoirs

in Bars, Clubs, and Discos

Memoirs, a gay bar, opened at 11213 Detroit Avenue in 1987. Owner Doris Palmer, a former bartender at the Nantucket Lounge, christened the bar Memoirs in homage “to the fun times she shared with her Nantucket regulars.” According to longtime bartender Stan Kawecki, Memoirs was a “neighborhood bar where the doors opened at 10 in the morning. If you didn’t unlock the doors by one minute after ten, the regulars would be pounding like crazy to get in.” A “full-scale restaurant” served food and drinks in a room adjacent to the main bar area. According to Kawecki, Memoirs was a place where “everyone went to meet…because it wasn’t just a weekend of a leather bar. It had a cohesive staff with very little turnover. It was always packed, and the bartenders ran their asses off.” Palmer was purportedly one of the first Cleveland gay bar owners to “hire a DJ to host weekly karaoke contests” (a popular event which soon caught on at other area gay bars). In addition to karaoke nights, Palmer regularly hosted live local entertainment acts at Memoirs. Palmer was well-known for her LGBT+ and HIV/AIDS fundraising efforts, even annually hosting the “Dolly Parton Express,” an annual “ensemble of female impersonators,” in order to “raise money for [local] AIDS charities.” Palmer closed and sold Memoirs in 1995. The club reopened as Sexx the following year.

11200 Block, Detroit Ave. Loopnet. Ca. 2023.

Additional information coming soon.

Resources

11213 Detroit Ave., Cleveland, OH 44102 (Memoirs).

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