Friday, September 4, 2009

The Deck- Detroit, Michigan (Gay Bar)

 
 The Deck was located on the corner of Jefferson Ave and Alter Rd in Detroit. (Now closed) I went there a number of times over the years. It never really attracted a large crowd. I think because it was so far removed from the freeway. It seemed to me to get mostly an older Grosse Pointe gay crowd. I thought it was a cool bar but it just never attracted much of a crowd. It was located in an area of stark contrasts. The area of Jefferson and Alter Rd is very run down, serious ghetto. Yet right across this border of Grosse Pointe Park "thinks change" drastically. It is still one of the most weird things you can see anywhere in the US, total bleak ghetto and two blocks away, you'll see an upscale, well maintained neighborhood. Very strange, but that's Detroit. Here is a link to an article about the Deck:

http://supergaydetroit.blogspot.com/2008/07/guest-blogger-backintheday.html

22 comments:

  1. Wow, I used to have some FUN times here... my friends and I lived in Grosse Pointe Park in high school and college, and when we weren't at Menjo's or Backstreet, we'd hang out at the Deck. I remember always waiting for no cars to be at the intersection of Alter and Jefferson before we'd sneak in so no one would recognize us!

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  2. They had some really good drag shows there, back in the 90s. Too bad it's gone...it was really convenient to us east-siders.

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  3. Anybody remember "My Fair Lady" just to the west of the Deck?? Very hot dance bar, classy.

    Didn't last long.

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    1. I loved My Fair Lady. I think that was around 1978. It was in Indian Village.

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  4. what ever happened to female impersonator amanda she had long red hair?

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    1. Amanda Collins, she is still around but touring and charity, I hear..

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  5. This was such a fun laid back bar. I remembered there was a guy who use to come in with his dog.

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  6. I liked the bar but disliked Don he could be a real piss-elegant Beatch,so we chose the Manor bar instead although Bob the bartender was very nice and always had a smile for you,but because Don was such a (B) we would drive to the west side and also went to Todd's and had wonderful times.

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  7. I used to perform at the Deck back in the early to mid 90s. I was crowned Miss Deck in 92 or 93, cant remember. (Caroline Wynters). Im now transgender, living full time as female. But in my boy days, I performed all over Detroit. But performing at the Deck was one of my favorite places to entertain.

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  8. The Deck was my home Bar. Most of my time there was 90/91. Not really sure if I remember Caroline there? But I do remember David (aka Jacquie Chambers). In fact I got David to do a drag show with me for a friend's bachellorette party. Also Hummin' Helen (broke my heart to hear Bill died of AIDS in the 90's), there was also a drag queen who did her routine in roller skates Calliope or something like that. Bill and Taco the bartenders were always a lot of fun. I was one of the regular Michael's that sat at the bar. I always had a great time there and have many wonderful memories of all the people I met. Back in the 90's they held several "patron shows" and I was able to participate in a couple of them before I moved out of Detroit.

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  9. I worked at The Deck for 2 years, 1979-80. I was very young and made great tips. LOL The crowd was an older crowd but they were gentlemen and very nice. They were from a differnt era. Don was always nice to me and so were the other owners Bill and Ralph. Pete was a bartender there for years. He worked the day shift. During the day is was mostly straight retirees who lived in the neighborhood. I remember Hummin Helen. He lived up stairs. Very nice guy. I was working there when one of our regulars was murdered. 2 straight white trash boys for the neighborhood came in one night and started flirting with this older guy. He was buying them drinks and they all went home together. Well they found him down the street stabbed many times. About a month later, the 2 guys came back to the bar and were recognized. The police were called and the were arrested. They both got very light sentences.

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    1. Was his name ron hamilton or Philip tracey?

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  10. Does anyone remember the bartender Phil? He worked there right at the end of the Deck's days, probably in 2003. He was really cute, but maybe a bit crazy.

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  11. Slainte just found this ,, and wow ,, my Uncle Jim Smith owned The Deck back in the 40's to early 50's .. was the end of the bus line and a business man/women end of day , stop before going home.
    Begorra,,

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  12. Felix Malinowski and his wife owned the Deck bar at one time.

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  13. Does anyone remember bartender Vince McChaulkie (sp?) who worked there in the 80s?

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    1. I remember Vince very well. He was a very sweet guy. I have no idea what ever happened to him.

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  14. Did anyone know my uncle ron hamilton?

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    1. I was a bartender there in the late 70's. The name Ron Hamilton sounds very familiar. Can you tell me more about him like what he did for a living, how old was he in the 70's.

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  15. I was a bartender at the Deck in the 70's as a secondary job. I made good money and met a lot of good people. BUT many times I've wondered what ever happened to Don Maser (one of the owners) and Pete (day bartender) who lived upstairs.

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    1. I also worked there in the late 70's. I don't know what happened to Don. Bill and Ralph the other owners retired years ago and live in Saugatuck. I remember Pete very well. No idea what happened to him.

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  16. I have many fond memories of the Deck even though I wasn't even old enough to drink. My parent grew up not far from the bar. My grandma (Lee Isabell) and a bunch of her friends would hang out there during the day. The guys would come in and always stop and say hi the older folk by the door before heading to back of the bar to hang out. I remember Peter, Tom and Taco making me Shirley Temples always with extra cherries! Cheers to the Deck Bar!

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