Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Gigi's Bar - Detroit, Michigan (Gay Bar)

 
Gigi's (Still open) is located at 16920 W Warren Ave in Detroit. I first went to Gigi's in the 80's.It is a dance bar upstairs and they have drag shows some nights in the basement bar. Monday nights are still the best night. The music is a bit too much rap, hip-hop for me, but it still can be a fun bar. If you have stories of Gigi's please post them. Check out my other blog at: motorgay.net

http://www.gigisbar.com/

30 comments:

  1. Wow someone does NOT know GIGI'S. I think this is a great idea, but do the facts about the bars, not your personal opinions.The origial owner of the bar was Tony Garneau,36 years ago. When Tony died he left the bar to his long time employees, what other bar owner do you know that has done that? The show director is Nickki Stevens, I have never seen the Flipper show you talk about, although she might have done that, she does sooo many shows that might be one of them. But you don't like drags show that is obvious by your ick remark. Nickki brings in all kinds of talent from all around the states, she is not the "only" entertainer at the bar. The head DJ is Chico, and he does NOT play hard core rap or hip-hop. Over 36 years I would say GIGI'S has given so much back into our community, the review you gave is just awful!

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  2. I used to go to Gigis every Monday night. I could swear back in the day they had strippers downstairs. Anywho, enjoyed it big time. I hate that some bars are starting to go the rap/hip hop route in music. For me, gay bars are where you go to get lost in the beat, thump, fast pace of the music. Rap/Hip hop does not do that for me.. But hey, we cannot have our way everywhere..

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  3. gigi's is awesome!!! lots of history and fun. They play more than hip hop and rap. To be in a nice happy inviroment where you can be yourself, strait or gay, is an awesome feeling. They do need to fix up basement, but its still a blast. Thanks gigis

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  4. That place is a shit hole! The shows blow, the music sucks, the "strippers" are nasty and I feel like I should spray myself down with lysol when I leave

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  5. The reason to go to Gigi's is Tempest. She can still put on a show, and is an institution at the bar.

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  6. While most of the gay bars in Detroit are in shady parts of the city, the atmosphere inside often times (but not always) doesn't feel too shady. This place is an exception - shady on the outside, shady on the inside. The clientele seemed to be mostly dead-enders and twinks hustling.

    Always, always valet your car there. About five years ago, someone was shot in the head on the side street. I saw him laying in the gutter - that was the last time I went there.

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  7. Where else but Detroit do they shuffle the gay community off into the worst crack areas of the city? Too many GD breeder bars anyway....let the gays have some nice places to go for a change!!!

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  8. This place sucks big time. Every employee there is miserable. They have a bartender that is an ugly girl pretending to be an even uglier boy that hates her job and it shows. Why would a business have someone like this on their staff? I thought the whole idea was to serve drinks and try to make customers stay. The go go boys are skinny skanky and very unfriendly. They spend all of their time in the backroom, some entertainment. Yes the drinks are strong but overpriced. And lets not forget the head DRAG Queen Nikki Stevens ANYONE WHO THINKS THIS IS TALENT doesn't know talent. Someone wrote she brings in talent from around the country, yep Denise Russel who does the same dam show day in and day out everytime she is here, just like the shows every Saturday. God forbid if Stevens new the words of a song or to do something different. She stole and steals all her ideas from others. Is it a rule that Drag Queens have to be fat, Ugly and with no talent? Just a suggestion put Sabin in charge! She is fresh personable and a hell of a lot of fun. Put Nikki Stevens out to pasture where her tired nasty ass belongs. This bar is definately not the same since the origianl owner Tony Garneau passed. If he only new these boobs would run his legacy into the ground I bet he would have burned it down first before leaving it to "His loyal staff" as someone wrote. To each his own and if you have a good time being around low lifes, so be it.

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  9. I used to go to GiGi's back in the early eighties, It was a lot of fun then. (The days of Madonna, Boy George, Human League, Cyndy Lapeur,B52s) The shows were great, and the people were fun, wasn't so sleazy as it sounds now. I was a senior in high school, and really just wanted to go out and dance and have some fun with friends. They always let us in, and nobody ever bothered us. young and beautiful, finding and expressing ourselves, and meeting exciting and interesting people. we became fans of the shows there and the queens at that time, Tempest, Jennifer Foxx Vanessa Lasalle, Cellophane..and others. it was always packed. We enterted Miss amateur GigGi's 1983, just for fun, and I won! So then started doing shows around the show bars (Pink Flamingo-6mi), for a while. The experience of performing in those shows, was an unforgettable experience for a young actor singer. Such great fun, learning about make up and costumes, show numbers, what a great group of talent and fun people to be around, and they were all so encouraging as well. Fun memories. I wasn't really a bar person, it was nice to be around people that excepted you for you and all your madness, and appreciated and encouraged it.

    -Well ALLLL-RITE!..

    -LaMarr

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    1. OMG - I have pictures of cellophane doing drag in rollerskates. Lady T Tempest was one of the first people I ever met in drag at The Gas Station on E 3 mile & Woodward (since burned down and there is now a golden arches in it's place. A fitting tribute). Wish I had spent more time at GiGi's back in the 80's when I was doing drag. I lived closer to The Deck on Jefferson. So Jacquie Chambers and Bill (Hummin' Helen) were my girls. I did a couple of patrons shows there. We had SO much fun at The Deck.

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  10. I remember meeting the owner of GiGi's at a gay lib function back in the 1870's & he was a really nice guy. That's how I found out about the bar because he had just opened it. It had 2 floors, the upstairs had 2 giant plaster versions of Michelangelo's David flanking the bar. Downstairs was a disco with plexiglass (?)floors that had blinking lights underneath. Gigi's was in competition with Menjo's at the time & I remember it was the first time I ever heard "Honeybee" & "INever Can Say Goodbye" by Gloria Gaynor. Also, "Highjack Your Love" by Herbie Mann.

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    1. I too remember the paintings also on the wall Gay paree. But in the basement The plexiglass with the blinking color light were only on the wall I do believe, sorry the floor was always a wood floor. I too first heard the song Honeybee. Thank you for the memory,

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  11. Holy shit disco in the 1870's! Detroit was and is the city of the future. For real.

    PS GiGi's is fine. It's like Backstreet was before it moved to The Works and is IMO similar to Menjo's as well. They play Top 40 pop like every gay bar outside of a theme night or monthly party.

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  12. GiGis is a great place to be!..like any bar you go to, it is what you make of it. The building is old, the dancers are young and the people are real. They always make me feel welcome.

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  13. HHHMMMM. WOW I went there this past Friday, Not bad the dancers are not a good chose however there is one that was cute. Im used to the seen in Tampa Florida not quit what we have but it was a different nite out. Kinda have to give it to a little whole in the wall to be jammed out the door busy on oa Friday nite with the gays. Keep up the good work GIGI's not to bad:) I will visit again!!!

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  14. I use to go to GiGis all the time. They are a great group of people. Tony was the best ( R.I.P) and so was Michael (R.I.P) Everyone there are fun people . Some of the people there that i knew where people like Roslyn Delite, Taloula, Michelle Lee, Renee Pee Pee...lol Steven and Michael, Darrin Huff, Billy,Tina Wells,And of course The Lady T Tempest and the list goes on and on and on.....all these people was the best and more. GiGis was the first gay bar i had ever been in. I was approached by David the bartender and he says to me, "your cute" and i was sooooo ambarassed.lol But that place made me feel like i had been comming their for years. I love GiGis and the people there and miss though who have left us and ones i havnt seen in years. I love you guys there at Gigis keep up the good work as you have been for years Happy New Year and may 2011 brigh health and jobs ! Love ya ..

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  15. GiGi's was the first gay bar for many westside gay guys. In the 70's, they served dinners upstairs and downstairs was the disco. Over the years, they've closed and reopened both levels. It was a place where young guys could finally be themselves. It has a long history and some really great people owned and worked there.

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  16. I worked at Gigi's in the kitchen with "Betty Boobs." Michael (Vanessa Lasalle and I were roommates when she was dating hairdresser Bob Desser(sp?))Yes, there were go-go boys in the basement (I actually did it once). Michael also did my drag-makeup for Halloween (nothing scarier has since been seen!). I talked to Vanessa one year before he passed away. Will always remember him for his performances both onstage and off. God bless him, Steve, Tony, Bob and everyone. Haven't been in Detroit in years. Steve, if you see this, you should know who I am. Love you all!!!

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  17. I went to Gigi's in the late eighties when I was still in high school. It was the first gay bar that any of us went to, and it was a very important part of discovering myself as a lesbian. When we hung out there, it was mostly women downstairs and mostly men upstairs. It was seedy then as well, but it didn't matter -- it felt like the only safe place we had to be ourselves. Outside was dangerous back then -- you didn't go in or out by yourself, ever. They did have shows downstairs, but I'd call them "burlesque", not "strip". I will never ever forget our favorite performer -- Liz. She was beautiful.

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  18. I figured someone may know this history. I think GiGi's used to be Parkland Lanes way back in the day my Grandpa McIntyre ran it and my Grandma Bartended. Does this sound familiar to anyone I can find no history!

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    1. I had always heard stories that there is a bowling alley under the parking lot. So what you say makes sense. The "Warren Theater" used to be next door to Gigi's. Anybody remember that.

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  19. Thing is. you can read this and judge Gigi's based on what poeple are saying here, or you can get off you ass and head to the bar to check it out on your own.

    *Sundays ~ Karoake
    *Mondays ~ begining of the work week. "Kiss My Ass Mondays" best place to party (GoGo boys, Chico playin the best shit, and Nickki Stevens Preforming) (college night) free before 11, free all night with collage id, $5 after 11.
    *Tuesday and Wednesday ~ Happy Hour all night.
    *everyother Wednesday ~ Tgirl night
    *Thursdays ~ Drag Show (Gspot review, also once a month its ladies night) ~ pretty fun.
    *Friday ~ start the weekend right by saying "Fuck You Friday" (GoGo Boys, Chico djing, Sabin and Deangela show shannan preforming) $2 before 11, $5 after.
    *Saturday ~ watch a good drag show downstairs in the cabaret room, party up stairs to the songs you request.

    read what haters says, then come judge it your self.

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  20. GIGIS IS THE PLACES TO BE ITS ONE OF THE MOST WONDERFUL BARS....IT SURE DOES BEAT THE TOLEDO BARS....BUT HEY THAT MY OWN CHOICES.....

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    1. GIGI's doesn't beat the bars in Toledo. The guys that go there are all whores especially the strippers. The one stripper Kyle Hake went through 20 guys in 3 months, he isn't attractive at all, and you can tell that he was fat by the flab in his abs. GIGI's gets the rejects from Toledo and Detroit. I wouldn't go there unless I was looking for an STD.

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  21. Today is Jan.29,2012 n I've heard from douglas of archdale that Karen is having her 10th anniversary party @igi's around 7 pm, Congratulations Karen and to Rene n Tommy Kareoke, May all your wish comes true. By the way, do u want me to bring food or dessert? If u do---response to this email before 5pm, its now 250pm. Love,Love,Love vycthor n Joe

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  22. I'm not sure if it was called Parkland Lanes, but there used to be a bowling alley in the basement of Gigi's. Actually, I cannot believe this place is still open. It was a dump in a seedy neighborhood in the 80's when I went there. I did DJ there a few times, and so did my friend Alan Loftus, for many years. Drag shows were in the basement and the gogo boys were upstairs. They had a poor sound system back then, and the music always sounded muffled. However. I was there every Monday night for the shows and always had a great time. It was THE place to go on Mondays.

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  23. Yes, it's a run-down dump and it smells bad (like mildew and shit that's poorly masked by Pine-Sol), but I've had some good times and seen some great drag there over the years. And there's something about the ecletic mix of youth that goes to GiGi's that is quite special and unique in our city. I love the comingling of all our Detroit cultures: White, Black, Latino, Arabic...all united together in the purpose of trying to have a little fun here on Earth. I could happily people watch all night!

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  24. I grew up in Warrendale area and I remember visiting my mother who was working at a sauna house next door to GIGI's in the 70.s. My first time in GIGI's was in the 90's. Regretfully, my last visit was somewhere around 2004 as I have moved away since then. Respectfully, GIGI's is a historical gay landmark, a gay culture icon and has a cult following that should be documented in a coffee table book.

    Duane

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  25. I LOVE GIGIS WISH I WAS N DETROIT RITE NOW SO WE CAN HIT UP GIGIS

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