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In 1983 the Bradley Family (the redoubtable Hilda and her sons) opened Gatsby's as a gay pub. For several years it was often so packed that movement was difficult, breathing was an effort and hearing someone near to you was impossible - so people loved it.
The Bradley family ran a good pub, but made little effort to engage with "the community".
Towards the end of the 1990s, the approach of the Grim Reaper (eventually to be embodied in the form of alcoholism and old age) led to a change in management and in name. The pub reverted to its previous name, The Central, and the management was certainly a little more "communitaire". In 2007 it was renamed "Niche", which closed at the end of 2008, then re-opened in early 2009 only to be renamed "The New Gatsby's" a few months later - and then it closed ... acrimoniously.
In 1984 a new phenomenon hit Nottingham. The big once-a-month one-nighter. The first Monday of every month was "The Astoria". In the 1960s there was a relatively sedate dance hall called the Sherwood Rooms on Collin Street at the bottom of Maid Marian Way. In the 1980s this had become the Astoria (and was later to transmogrify into MGM and then Ocean). The Astoria was a very large heterosexual disco club and they had been prevailed upon to use one of their off nights for the poofters. It was a great success.
Part of the success was due to the music provided by Peter Martine, who later called his nights "Revolution". Peter is fondly known as the "Sleezemeister". Many years ago a TV programme featured "Clarence the cross-eyed lion". Peter Martine is also fondly known as Clarence.
To read the letter sent by the management to Health Gay Nottingham when Gatsby's closed in 2009, click HERE
Nero's/L'Amour/Club 69/De Luxe
Club 69 (now the Cookie Club) on St. James' Street was an attempt by the Bradley family to fill the gap left after Part II closed.
It only partially succeeded (as indicated by its need to change its name - becoming incrementally less tacky on each transformation - and relaunch several times). Apparently it was also nicknamed Queeros and La Morgue.
The Casablanca/Kitsch on Greyhound Street.
When everything else had failed there was always the Casablanca, often referred to as the Khazi. In 1995 it re-opened as Kitsch.
It is remembered for being very small. Has the City Council recently converted it into public toilets - must check.
THE ADMIRAL DUNCAN ..... @D2
(Cranbrook Street/Lower Parliament Street)
By 1987 the Admiral Duncan was tentatively moving towards being a gay bar. The Duncan eventually started to hold raffles and events for Switchboard - the 1st in 1988 and 5 huge benefits over the 1990s (unlike De Luxe, where a benefit was held but the money never got to Switchboard). In the 1980s and early 1990s the management of the Duncan was a well-meaning straight couple, but toward the end of the '90s an all-gay management took over and changed the name to @D2. The pub was smartened up and attracted a lively crowd. @D2 closed in January 2012. Re-opened in Spring 2013 - closed shorly after.
The Newmarket on Lower Parliament Street is one of several bars which have never been 100% gay, but have had an on and off reputation as gay friendly.
To see more/later venues click HERE