Snickers Restaurant

in Restaurants and Cafes

Snickers Tavern, a LGBT+-friendly restaurant, opened at 1261 West 76th Street in 1985. After opening, Snickers quickly gained popularity as a cozy bar-and-patio dining spot with a predominantly LGBT+ patronage. Snickers’ multilevel interior featured a cozy first-floor bar and tavern area with adorned with an “ornate tin ceiling, mahogany-and-mirrored back bar, gilt-framed paintings, [and] cabbage-rose tablecloths.” Upstairs, Snickers contained a “spacious and comfortable” upper-level dining room heated with an “oak-mantled fireplace.” Snickers was, however, most well-known for its outdoor patio, described as a “veritable secret garden of umbrella tables and verdant landscaping, complete with tiki torches, twinkling mini-lights, and a fern-lined pool.” Over the years, Snickers became a well-known LGBT+ community hangout and hosted numerous events and meetings for a variety of LGBT+ groups and organizations. Business, however, lulled in the late 1990s. In 1998, Snickers’ owner Kathy Brown sold the restaurant to brothers Tom, Matt, and Pat Gillespie. The Gillespies subsequently reopened the venue as an “unsuccessful” straight music and dance club. In April 2000, the Gillespies sold the building to Ron Heinbaugh, a former Snickers employee. To many former patrons’ delights, Heinbaugh renovated and reopened Snickers in late 2000 while affirming the restaurant’s continued “commitment to the gay community.” By 2005, however, the rising cost of rent at 1261 West 76th Street led Heinbaugh to relocate Snickers at a new location. Snickers opened at its new address, 5800 Detroit Avenue, in October 2005. The restaurant’s new single-story location, though larger, purportedly lacked much of the “coziness” and “charm” of its previous address. Heinbaugh ultimately closed Snickers in 2007 in order to focus on other restaurant-related business ventures.

Additional information coming soon.


  • Cicora, Elaine T. “Gay Dining Options Bottom Out.” Scene. May 18, 2000.
  • Cicora, Elaine T. “Not So Satisfying.” Scene. August 13, 2003.
  • Cicora, Elaine T. “Snickers Really Satisfies.” Scene. February 25, 1999.
  • Collins, Holly. “Snickers Serves Eclectic Menu.” Plain Dealer. April 6, 1990.
  • De Stefano, Cheryl. “Patrons Aren’t the Whole Restaurant.” Gay People’s Chronicle. July 9, 1999. Page 6.
  • “Glad That Not Everyone Is A Separatist.” Gay People’s Chronicle. July 9, 1999. Page 6.
  • Glassman, Anthony. “A Year of Milestones: PACT to Honor Long-Lived Groups.” Gay People’s Chronicle. May 13, 2005. Page 11.
  • Glassman, Anthony. “From Snickers to Outright Laughter.” Gay People’s Chronicle. October 28, 2005. Page 4.
  • Kovach, Robert. “Too Few Exclusively Gay Restaurants.” Gay People’s Chronicle. June 25, 1999. Page 6.
  • Long, John S. “There’s Even More of Snickers to Love.” Plain Dealer. November 2, 2005.
  • Musacchio, Carl. “Full of Surprises.” Cleveland Magazine.
  • Salisbury, Wilma. “If Cooking Matched the Service, We Would Be Satisfied Diners.” Plain Dealer. June 30, 2006.
  • Salisbury, Wilma. “Snickers Gets the Last Laugh for Ambiance, Improving Food.” Plain Dealer. April 27, 2001.
  • Scott, Jane. “Speakeasy to Gillespies.” Plain Dealer. January 7, 2000.
  • Trattner, Douglas. “Bucking the Trends: Pastas & Pastry Aims for Classic and Timeless While Embracing Cleveland Restaurants of Years Past.” Scene. April 23, 2014.
5800 Detroit Ave, Cleveland, OH 44102

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