Monday, September 12, 2011

Chains (Gay Bar)

I don't think I ever went to Chains and can't remember where it was located. Post your stories and what you know...

14 comments:

  1. Chains ran from 1991 to 1995 and was located at 6228 Michigan Ave., in thw 1st block east of Livernois. They were a direct competitor of the R & R which was only about 1/2 a mile west on Michigan. They had a small back room which was dimly lit and led to the only bathroom. There was also an old phone booth in thst hallway that didn't have any of the guts inside, but it did have a working door with glass in it. All the walls were painted black. There was also an enclosed patio in the back, with a pool table if I remember correctly, and a long narrow strip that ran down the right side of the patio where you could get nasty. Great sleazy leather type bar that the owner lost due to drugs from what I understand.

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  2. actually the bar was owned by phyllis JAKES mother after jake passed away the bar closed !!

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  3. hains had a very small dance floor, about 10'x10', and it didn't get much use. All the action happened in the area behind the dance floor, and spilled over into the men's room. The enclosed patio was, in actuality a old 2-car garage, with a small, never used bar and no lights. One could always go behind the bar to do whatever,and have some dark privacy, too.

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  4. Whatever happened to Richard, Jake's partner in Chains? After Jake died, Chains folded soon after, but well before Ruby and Billy reopened the R&R at its new location.

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  5. My friend Ron took me there and it was very unique decor with chains and a sling hanging from the ceiling around a small dance floor, the crowd was diverse and very friendly then I had to take a piss so i walked around a partician and had to walk past a nude man on all fours being pissed on by several men standing over him.

    One guy reached out and said this is where you piss needless to say I was not in my element and returned to the small group that had joined us by the pinball machine, but still had a great time there, you know it's very rare to find a place where gay men can go and just be themselves no matter what you're into without some queens looking down on you to find fault that's a big problem in our community so i say........whatever gets you through the night .......Baby!

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  6. I remember this bar well. Jake (who's mom owned the bar) had a boyfriend named Nick. He was built like a brick shit house with biceps that could make you melt. Nick bartended in the official "Master" hat and leather gear. Anyone ever know what happened to him after the passing of Jake?

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  7. Chains was an excellently sleazy place... not as stand-and-model as the Eagle and not as druggy as the R&R was (is?). You could usually find some big auto worker there ready for some relief! Many hours I wasted in that small anteroom outside the bathroom watching all the action, and participating sometimes...

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  8. Chains was directly next door to the Shell gas station on the corner of Michigan Ave. and Livernois. The place drew a good crowd on Friday and Saturday nights. Like the neighboring R&R, the back room was usually packed in the final 45 minutes before 2:00 a.m., with everyone looking for a quick, last minute, encounter before they threw everyone out at 2:15. The building was torn down some years ago. My understanding was the basement foundation was failing, and the building was in danger of collapsing. This was years after the bar had closed.

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  9. "Jake" was my father actually. It's interesting to read these accounts I must say!

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  10. Hi men, this is Richard. Just a quick history of my bar, CHAINS. Jackie ("Jake") and I opened it July 3, 1991. We were packed opening night, so of course the air conditioning broke. That was when "Shirtless men pay only 50 cents for a mug of draft" first started.

    CHAINS held two Mr. Leather Detroit contests. The winners, Scott (1993) & Damien (1994), each competed at I.M.L. (International Mr. Leather, held in Chicago) in their respective years. Very good-looking men!

    Jackie's mother, Rosita, worked in our Leather Shop (RAWHIDE)/coat check. Jackie's boyfriend was Neil, and yes, he was a great bartender.

    Jackie and I were the sole owners of CHAINS, no matter what you may hear. I credit Jackie as the inspiration and driving force behind CHAINS. After his death, I closed CHAINS in 1997. I sold the property to a developer, who built a strip mall on the land.

    I want to say THANK YOU to all our loyal customers who made CHAINS famous--and infamous! We had the most handsome, REAL men at CHAINS. It's great that so many men fondly remember the good times (and good memories) they had there. --Richard

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  11. Oh, my, Chains! What an outlet. I refer to this as my "54" What a great deal of fun and right off I-94. Been there a good handful of times. The very back room was a narrow bathroom with a red or a green light bulb. Lined 11 up in the back corner once. There was a chalkboard in the bathroom hallway and lit by dim black-lights. Chains and black and white speedway flags were in the main part. I know I was there in '97 and maybe in '96. They had a small store with the hanky codes on small cards, they also sold leather products, and other party favors. Nice times!

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  12. Richard, that you for the nice compliment. You, Jackie, Neil, and Rosita made every weekend wonderful. I have such fond memories of Chains, and I miss it like Hell.
    Scott, Mr. Leather Detroit 93-94
    Palm Springs, CA

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  13. whoops, meant Thank You!

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  14. Chains was my introduction to leather bars. My husband (partner back then) and I were in our early twenties, and the first time we walked up to the bar, Neil said "Well, what the fuck do you want?" It didn't take long before we were regulars and our favorite beers were waiting as soon as we came in. I watched Damien win his title in 94 (it was eleven years later that I won mine at the Eagle) and bought my first small pieces of leather from the shop in the back. Good times.

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