Porky’s

in Bars, Clubs, and Discos

Porky’s Home of the Stars, a nightclub, opened at 1946 Saint Clair Avenue in 1985. Porky’s maintained a predominantly LGBT+ African American clientele. In 1986, Cleveland Police Sargent Robert J. Dennerll attempted to “eliminate the club” through an intentional “ticket-and-tow” campaign led by the police Strike Force. Strike Force “ticket-and-tow” campaigns were nothing new in 1990s Cleveland, having often been used as a means to force the closure of businesses in so-called “problem areas” in the event that undercover vice operations were unable to do so. Porky’s, Dennerll charged, was a haven for prostitution and other illicit activities (charges which Porky’s denied). Between 1985-1986, the police Strike Force ticketed and towed dozens of cars belonging to Porky’s patrons. Porky’s owners subsequently filed a lawsuit against the city of Cleveland and the Cleveland police Strike Force, alleging that Dennerll’s “ticket-and-tow” operation had purposefully targeted Porky’s, engaged in the ticketing and towing of legally-parked cars, and contributed to a loss of around $20,000 in club revenue (all of which Dennerll later denied). The case was later dismissed by the Ohio Supreme Court in 1990. Legal conflicts notwithstanding, Porky’s remained a popular African American LGBT+ dance club. The club’s “main attraction” was the house played nightly by local DJs Cookie Banks and David Kennedy. Porky’s frequently donated its cover charges to benefits African American LGBT+ organizations, including the Coalition for Black Lesbians and Gays. Porky’s closed in 1991. The club later reopened as Metronome.


Additional information coming soon.

Resources

  • “Cookie Banks.” Plain Dealer. September 21, 1990.
  • “David Kennedy.” Plain Dealer. September 21, 1990.
  • Hagan, John F. “Strip Bar Sues Over Towing.” Plain Dealer. September 18, 1986.
  • Hill, Edward. “From Hank’s to Club Coconuts: The Good, Bad, and Boring.” Plain Dealer. August 11, 1989.
  • Neff, James. “All-America City – Park At Your Own Risk.” Plain Dealer. September 2, 1986.
  • Supreme Court of Ohio. “1946 St. Clair Corp. v. Cleveland (88-1731).” February 14, 1990. Casetext.
  • Triggs, Ray P. “Where is the Cleveland Black Gay Community?” Gay People’s Chronicle. March 1990. Page 2.
1946 St. Clair Ave. NE., Cleveland, OH 44114 (Porky’s).

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