Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Aruba (Gay Bar)

I'm not sure where exactly the Aruba was located. I don't think I was ever there. Post your comments.

9 comments:

  1. The Aruba was a men's bar located on 7 mile and John R.right next to the 5 west.I was only in there a few times since it was a mens bar but they did have good music.It was opened in the 70's untill the 80's.

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  2. I STARTED GOING TO ARUBA BACK IN THE LATE 70S I LOVE THAT BAR IT WAS A GREAT TIME TO BE HAD ON SUNDAYS AND WEDNESDAYS WAS $5.00 ALL YOU CAN DRINK AND OF COURSE I WAS THERE EVERY SUNDAY AND WEDNESDAY THE OWNER SAMMIE WAS A GREAT GUY THAT BAR WAS ALWAYS BUSY AND ALOT OF FUN I REALY DO MISS THE ARUBA THAT IS WHERE I CAME OUT AT AND MET ALOT OF GREAT PEOPLE THERE AND FRIENDS TO THIS DAY ITS GREAT I WISH THEY COULD OPEN ANOTHER BAR LIKE THE ARUBA

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  3. I WOULD LOVE TO GET A ARUBA REUNION WITH ALL OF US THAT WENT THERE AND HAD ALOT OF FUN TIMES THERE IF YOU WENT TO THE ARUBA AND WOULD LIKE TO GET A REUNION GOING ON FOR THAT CONTACT ME AT PUGLUV40MI@AOL.COM

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  4. I was a Bartender/Disc Jockey at the Aruba from 1979 thru the Mid-Eighties. It was a different time. Palmer Park (a mile down the road) was still the Gay Hub, with all those Grand Apartment buildings primarily populated by Gay tenants. We sunbathed and cruised in Palmer Park without fear. McNicols (Six Mile) Offered a plethora of Gay Bars & Activities such as The Cove (aka the Glass House), & Menjo's (with the original Chosen Books nestled in between) Bookies next door, The Glory Hole the woodward/six offered all-male movies and on woodward we had Stephens (aka Tiffany's), Salute's the Backstage Deli, Footlights (still the greatest piano bar ever!) and the Manhattan Room (where porn stars like Kris Lord & Jeff Hammond performed live). On 7 & Woodward we had another cluster the Gas Station (Nikki Stevens performed there as a child) the Outlaw, the E Ramp (with the truck cab in the bar) and the original 6 Booth (Backstage Deli owned by "Pete's Place" current owner Peter Mel.

    It was a very different time. Pre HIV/AIDS when we were sexually carefree and less accepted in society so we coagulated in places with other gays that were safe to us. The AIDS Disaster of the eighties' forever changed our community. We lost hundreds of beautiful souls in such a short time. It was our 'Holocaust' . It changed the Aruba and many of the clubs back then, losing many of the beloved owners to the disease...What HIV didn't affect at the Aruba, Drugs did. The fun was eventually overtaken by cocaine and that marked the beginning of the end for the Club.

    I still keep close contact with a co-owner of The Aruba and several of my co-workers there. Paul (co-owner) now lives in Florida with his partner and happily owns a small resort and practices real estate. I now am proud owner of FIVE15 in Royal Oak and hope to continue to surround myself with memories of a wonderful era and create new ones for the current generation.

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    1. Thanks for the post . . . do you remember Gregg Livingway by any chance? Any memories to share?

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  5. In 1980 I spun records at the Aruba for almost a year. It was one of those little "hole in the wall" clubs that you would not know was even there if someone hadn't told you to check it out. One of my proudest memories as a D.J. happened there one night when a "new music act" brought their 1st copy pressed on vinyl just hours after it came off the presses and entrusted it to me to give it it's turntablr debut. The song was "Wheel me Out" and the group that made it soon went on the be recognized as the leading pioneers in the Disco industry, and winning multiple Grammy Awards for producing a wide range of musical artists from Bonnie Raitt to the Rolling Stones. The group was "Was not Was. Don Was wrote the music and his brother in San Francisco would take huge doses of LSD and write the lyrics while stoned to the hilt. Great songs like "Out Come the Freaks" which by the way if you listen closely says in one of the refrains "Woodward squeaks and Out Come the Freaks" paying homage to their roots in Oak Park and Detroit. Well I still have that 12" vinyl disc and treasure that memory to this day! One of the Aruba's other significant elements was having "Sammy" (Sameer) as the owner. A real great guy and a trooper for Detroit Nightlife. He is missed by a lot of people who knew him at the Aruba.

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    1. What happened to Sammy?

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  6. One of my favorite nights at Aruba was Wednesday (I think) when they had a 6 for 1 drink special. Drinking Scotch from a pitcher was definitely an experience. And to think I used to drive home after many of those. And whatever did happen to Sam? After the bar closed he basically dropped out of sight and nobody heard anything about him

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  7. In your list, you did not mention "The Glory Hole" and the Sassy Cat Theatre on Woodward near the Medical Center.....both wild places back in the day....

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