Wednesday, October 31, 2007


It is true, Uptown Nightclub has been sold.
The new owners have turned it into a full time Rock/Techno venue.

Rimshot will now be producing our events over the holidays at (this link contains nudity) Club Anton in Jack London Square. Thanksgiving weekend Saturday, November 24, and Saturday, December 15. We will then be there every first Saturday, starting in January.

For those of you that haven't noticed, Oakland's downtown has been undergoing a major redevelopment and our team decided to get in on the action by putting in our bid to purchase the Uptown Nightclub and establish another gay venue in downtown's most popular new neighborhood.

After weeks of back and forth bidding, and attempts to find investors, we were out bid by a group out of San Jose.

The good news is that soon after we learned that we were outbid, we identified another venue in the Uptown district just down the street from Uptown Nightclub near the Fox Theater that we have secured to develop into a seven-days-a-week club for our community. I was also recently elected to the Oakland Rainbow Chamber of Commerce and plan to practice my message of LGBT entrepreneurship as a new board member.

In California, the most populated state in America, there are only a few "gay" clubs that I know for sure that have African American LGBT owners and they are "Jewel's Catch One" in Los Angeles and The Vibe Lounge (formerly Cabel's Reef) which is being opened by my new friends Lori (who is African American) and her partner Susan, and is scheduled to open here in Oakland by the end of the year. I also believe that "The Study" in L.A. has black owners, but I don't know if they are gay.

It was very sad for me to see people protesting clubs in the Castro in recent years, because of racist attitudes held by some of the owners there. San Francisco is a city with the smallest black population of any major city in America. I am not surprised that those attitudes exist in the city across the Bay. However, what people fail to realize is that the Pendulum was never a "Black Gay Bar" because no one black and gay owned it.

Black gay people must have ownership of these clubs in order for things to change. Otherwise, your money is going directly into the pockets of people who are not invested in empowering you or people who look like you.

I also believe that we really need to focus on opening clubs and businesses in Oakland, which is where most black folks and black LGBT people live here in Northern California.

Currently in Oakland, there are only two gay nightclubs (technically there are three if you include the White Horse) and they are, The Bench & Bar, which is a great venue with a primary target market of Latino men. They do have a Thursday night for women (predominently African American) called "CoochieLicious" and they also produce a "Bear" night on Sundays called B-Unit.

But in a city the size of Oakland with its large and diverse LGBT community, we are lacking, not just in gay club diversity, but also in businesses that noticeably cater to our community.

And for the crowd that I have served for over a decade, African American LGBT people (particularly men) and the hip hop, r&b, reggae, old school and classic house party goer, there is really nothing that consistently caters to our market. We have all witnessed two clubs sold during the time that I was producing very popular parties at those locations. The bench and bar and I, (although I am still friends with the owners) parted ways when they decided to change their programming format to primarily Latino.

As our team embarks on our continuing journey to open a club that will cater to our community and at the same time provide the market that I have cared about for so long, with the social outlet that we deserve, we hope that you will send positive energy our way.

If you would like to invest in this effort...send me an email ( and let's talk.

See you at our next event!



kg said...

seven days a week is a very exciting development for the queer community of color in the east bay....

good post. please keep us updated!

Joe Hawkins said...

will do