The first night club to close on the 1000 block of North Charles St was iconic club The Hippo three years ago. According to a post by Ed Gunts (Baltimore Fishbowl) the owner of Grand Central across the street is also closing its doors. The new owners will be converting the space into a retail and office building.
The previous owner Don Davis decided to retire, and move out of state. Don had sold the property to buyers Jon Pannoni and George Watson (Landmark Partners LLC), with Marc Hayes continuing to manage the night club until Jon and George was ready to start construction.
Davis says there is less of a market for gay nightclubs and bars in todays times. Gay people are more welcome in more places than before. In recent years Grand Central has become more of an “Alternative” club rather than a gay club.
“The social climate has changed a lot since the 1980’s , everyone is welcome everywhere, so the need for a specific gay establishment is not necessary any longer.” Don Said.
The sale of Grand Central comes 3 years later after the large club The Hippo closed when longtime owner Chuck Bowers retired. It was replaced by a CVS drug store.
There are only three gay bars open in Baltimore that includes Leon’s, The Drinkery both in Mount Vernon and the Gallery in Station North.
Grand Central and The Hippo were landmarks of the “gayborhood” in Mount Vernon. It was the go to place for gay people in the Baltimore area and abroad. After 30 years Don says it’s time to turn the page.
Another small bar in Baltimore on the other side of Lexington Market “Club Buns” has also been reported that they are closing as well. According to Metro Weekly, the DC gay nightclub “Colbalt” will also be permanently closing.
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