in Bars, Clubs, and Discos

Club Zanzibar, a gay show bar and dance club, opened at 1630 Payne Avenue in 1975. Though Zanzibar was an ’18 and over’ bar, owner Michael noted that “everybody [was] allowed” into the club, and that “nobody [would be] barred” from entry based on gender and/or race. The Zanzibar’s “newly installed back bar” served as the “nucleus of the night club area.” The Zanzibar often featured live entertainment, music, shows, and male go-go dancers on its entertainment stage (accented by a “professional theatrical lighting system”) throughout the week. The Zanzibar offered a popular free weekly buffet for patrons on Sundays, offering a mix of foods such as “chicken, corn on the cob, fruit, or rigatoni, [meat] balls, and tossed salad.” Other club amenities included “a pool table, pinball machines, and a jukebox.” The Zanzibar closed sometime after 1978.

Additional information coming soon.


  • Juszczyk, Jerry. “Cleveland’s Bar Personalities.” High Gear. April 1976. Page 27.
  • “New Bar in Town.” High Gear. January 1976. Page 1.
  • Nosek, John, and Leon Stevens. “Gay Community 1970s.” Encyclopedia of Cleveland History.
  • “Progress Report: Club Zanzibar.” High Gear. August 1976. Page 11.
  • Scott, Jane. “Gay Life is Nurtured in Many A Bar.” Plain Dealer. July 10, 1977.
1630 Payne Ave., Cleveland, OH 44114 (Zanzibar).

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