Friday, September 4, 2009

The R & R Saloon - Detroit, Michigan (Gay Bar)

The R & R Saloon (Still open) is located at 7330 Michigan Ave in Detroit. I went to the R&R years ago but I think it changed locations on Michigan Ave. It is a leather bar. Kinda seedy. It was recently host to Macho City. Post your stories about The R & R.

23 comments:

  1. OMG!! My friends and I used to refer to this place as "the Raunchy Rat". It was/is definately the "lowest" place in town, especially after they closed the back room at the Eagle [formerly the Interchange!]. I remember there was a dark hall where people were crammed in like sardines doing god knows what to each other. For fun my one friend used to yell into the hall for another friend of mine {"are you in there [name]", breaking the atmosphere. LOL! I remember seeing a catholic priest who used to frequent the back room, often on his knees, I always thought if only Maida could see that! We were Menjo's girls so we considered that "slumming it". LOL!

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    1. You just sucked in the bathroom's at Menjo's !!!

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  2. The R&R hosts Macho City, which is one of the most popular dance parties among Detroits hipster crowd. Not slumming it at all.

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  3. Oh, but slumming it can be SO FUN....LOL

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  4. Hands down one of the filthiest, nastiest, grossest, most disgusting places to ever call itself a gay bar. What a disgrace to the gay lifestyle. This place should be burned to the ground.

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  5. there are no words, this is where the trash goes that the commuinty has cast out, here is a home for the discarded trash, never have I seen so many, druged out people,whores (both for cash and sport),crime (both inside and outside), the owners son is a crack head and the street trash flows in from the street(thanks again to the owners son),not to mention that the staff are mostly felons just out of prison(lots of child molesters running around).

    Of all the clubs to come and go over the years , I can not understand why this hellish place is still open!!!

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    1. Because it's a real down to earth bar I guess, and some real nice people go their now...

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  6. The R&R or Railroad as it used to be called started out as a women's bar. It was decent and clean. They started having drag shows to increase their income in hard times. Eventually the owners (Donna and Susie if I remember correctly) finally threw in the towel and sold it. It then became the Rainbow Room and a male bar.

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  7. The original R&R was on the north side of Michigan a block or two east of the current location. Before it became the R&R it was a gay bar called Ruby's Flaming Star. They specialized in flaming drinks and drag shows. Ruby originally owned Ruby's then The R&R. Her son Billy took it over. It was closed many times for drugs and hustlers. It finally burned down.

    The Railroad Crossing ladies bar was on east 8 Mile. It had nothing to do with the R&R.

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  8. I keep waiting (and hoping) this place will close down or burn to the ground. When I agreed to D.J. there for a couple of weeks, it only took a couple of days before they snuck about a thousand of my most valued discs out of my collection and abruptly said they didn't need my services to throw me off so I would not notice they were thieves. Turns out I was the 3rd D.J. they ripped off that year. If there is a HELL (worse) than this scum joint of assholes than that is where the owners of this insult to gay bars belongs.

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  9. the people who work there are a bunch of rascist motherfuckers. i will not ever spend my money there

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  10. I bowled with Donna & Suzie DuBlank @ 6 Mile Road and Woodward when they were contemplating opening "The Railroad Crossing" right on Eight Mile Road and Sherwood. They purchased this commercial property and kept its name (Railroad Crossing) to save money and Donna found a picture of a Train on a railroad track from a coloring book. That is what Donna told me and it was an instant hit and they did quite well (financially) with this business. The only other bars (for lesbians) was "The Underground" (Owned by Vicki and operated by Sue)located on Eight Mile at Greenfield; and then, there was "Laura's" (owned by Laura!) which was located quite near Hamtramck on Conant Street ... you had to ring a buzzer to get in. All three of these bars were eventually sold to other proprietors. I often wonder what happened to these three groups of people. Does anyone know?

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    1. Yes I recall "The Railroad Crossing" on Eight Mile Road very very close to Sherwood. It was owned by Donna & Susie. What ever happened to them? And "The Underground" owned by Vickie and run by Sue Bradshaw ... yes!! Laura's by Hamtramck on Conant. These three lesbian bars were our only choices way back when, unless you drove to Flint, MI to the "The State Bar" which was mainly for guys; but lesbians were welcomed. I am just trying to verify the historical facts regarding lesbians and the bar scene ... and I believe this was in the late 80's.

      There has to be someone out there that knows what happened to Donna & Susie; Vickie & Sue; and Laura.

      Anyone?

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    2. Yes ... Donna and Susie DuBlank are alive and well ... happily retired. I know this because I spoke to Donna DuBlank personally in July, 2014. She indicated that Vickie (the owner of The Underground) off of 8 Mile and Greenfield has been deceased for a few years now, and does not know the whereabouts of Sue Bradshaw, the manager of The Underground. Also, Laura (the owner of Laura's) on Conant Avenue near Hamtramck, MI is still alive ... however, her whereabouts are unknown at this time. I asked Donna's permission to "update" this information specifically for this historical document regarding Lesbian Bars in the Detroit area.

      As for today, 2014, I have no idea what kind of places that lesbians of today's time period can congregate to socialize and just have a good time. Of course, the perception of lesbians has vastly changed since the late 80's. I know that "Affirmations" (at Nine Mile Road & Woodward Avenue) in Ferndale, MI is a good place to start any search you may endeavor in finding some things to do with other lesbians.

      I hope this information helps anyone interested in what happened to the people that used to run the lesbian bar scene back in the 1980's.

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  11. You guys have to be confused. The R N R Today is nothing what you say it is or was. Maybe your speaking of another bar??? The R N R I Went to had dance lessons, and free food, and and awesome bartender, Jack. Nothing funny going on, its a small bar, no room for such. I Wood Recommend on Sundays for sure...(Dj)

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  12. The current R&R is about a half mile or so west of the original location, which was directly next-door to a McDonalds, and has nothing to do with the former Railroad Crossing,(now the Rainbow Room) at 8 Mile and Sherwood, on the easr side.

    "R&R" stood for Ruby & Roxanne. "Roxanne" was the drag name used by Billy, the son of Ruby, the owner. Ruby and her daughter, Jeannie, took the cover most of the time, and Bill's straight brother, Eddie was a manager there, aong with Billy.

    The family was always exceptionally nice to me, and often took a friend and myself to a coney island nearby, for breakfast, after the bar closed. Ruby even had me over to her house for supper.My time there was from about 1997 to about 2003-2004.

    Billy went to Jackson Prison, after an assault, and the first R&R closed shortly after that. Chains opened down the street, at Livernois & Michigan, and most of the clientelle from the R&R moved over there for fun and games.

    My favorite bartenders of the R&R of that era were Keith, who made great margaritas, Big Bobby, who was killed in a tragic work accident at his day job, and Little Bobby, a shy younger bartender who was quite infatuated by me. (Any former R&R regulars know what became of him?)

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    1. I worked at the R&R when it was Ruby's. The R&R was name by Johnny, Billy's lover at the time who lived above the bar. R&R stood for Raunch and Ready,not Ruby and Roxanne. Billy did not do drag!! he did one show at the Rooster Tail along with all of the other gay bar owner to raise money. All of the performers were the bar owners and there staff. I worked for Ruby for about seven years starting in 1979 - 1986 Ruby opened Ruby's flaming Star on Greenfield. I was one of wo bartenders the other being Dennis Martin.. Eddie, Ruby's son managed the bar until it was sold. I no longer live in the Detroit area and have since lost contact with everyone. Ruby was a very dear friend for many years. I would love to hear from anyone who may have any information on her. I now live in Cadillac, Michigan with my partern of 12 years, we own the Escape Bar and The Escape Undergound which is located in downtown Cadillac in the the Northwood Hotel which we own. Please contact me at dartt123 @yahoo.com

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    2. Ruby passed away on Tuesday, April 1, 2014. She was a beautiful lady admired by many in the Detroit area. I spent many birthdays at her bars over the years, getting drunk on her flaming drinks. My personal favorite was her "Ruby's Revenge" I do not know what was in that drink, but it topped off the night on your way out....those were the days.

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  13. Despite being in a neighborhood not nearly as bad as the neighborhoods that most other bars are located, this place is bad news all the way around.I never got the whole story and probably never will but an acquaintance got hit by a car (hit and run)because he went running from this bar into the middle of Michigan Avenue.Would love to know what made him run out of the bar in such a frantic state.

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  14. Anyone know of a dancer/hustler named Bravo who was working there? blond guy with tatoos and always wore a baseball cap

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  15. I met my future husband at the bar in 1992. The place was notorious, but it was incredibly fun. I grew up in the area, so I knew lots of people in the area to have after parties when it closed. Southwest Detroit had the most interesting gay life in the city at the time. We didn't live in an enclave, but in the same neighborhood where we grew up. We were proudly gay in working class areas and confronted any discrimination. Yes, it was raunchy, and sometimes illegal, but it was a great place to be free.

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