Brews News

Bounce - King of Drinks for Cleveland's Queens

Hallie Witwer
I moved to Cleveland last summer from the Akron area, though it wasn’t until very recently that I realized I had yet to visit a gay bar up here. I had been to the Interbelt in Akron and always had a great time, but never really sought out a similar experience in Cleveland. However, once I got the itch it wasn’t hard to find a group ready and raring to go with me. Honestly, no matter how many people try to deny they love gay clubs, I have yet to find anyone who won’t end up having an awesome time at one. So, that very week brought my gay bar drought to a wonderful end.

We ended up at Bounce/Union Station (voted number one gay club in last year’s FOX 8 Hot List), located on the west side of Cleveland on Detroit Avenue. While it’s not located in the safest area, I did learn there are normally cops close by the bar, if not directly inside. As we walked up the sidewalk I had mixed feelings about the line that had already formed to get in the doors. I didn’t want to wait outside in the unseasonably late cold Ohio insists on forcing upon us, though the line made me consider that this place must certainly have something to it if it was drawing such a large crowd. The line moved quickly enough and in the time it took everyone to smoke just half of a cigarette it was time to stomp them out and head inside.

The contrast of how large it appeared inside as opposed to how small it seemed on the outside struck me as nothing other than some sort of architectural anomaly. Nonetheless, I thought the space was great and was rather relieved that I didn’t have a night like packed sardines ahead of me as I had anticipated. It was separated into two rooms. The first one (known as the Union Station) was long with a bar that stretched almost to the end. Plenty of tables were offered to crowd around and pool tables were at the farthest side of the space. My vodka-sprite was tasty and strong and while it took a little longer than it maybe should have to get my hands on it, that was about the only less-than-wonderful aspect of my night.

My group and I spent the first part of the night in the front bar area where we met new people who were by far the friendliest I’ve ever met. I don’t know how Bounce does it, but somehow it managed to attract only the nicest people from the greater Cleveland area. People of all types and backgrounds came together in this club, and everyone was happy to be there.

After a while, a few of us got the itch to dance and made our way down the bar and into the back room where music with thrumming beats filled the space left over from the massive amount of bodies rocking the dance floor. The main dance area was elevated as a kind of stage; though people on the lower level still danced in the space they had, even if a table or chair was right up on them. The music was perfect to dance to, the air was thick, and the crowd was completely into it all. If anyone had arrived that night wishing that they had just stayed home in their jammies, any possible regrets about getting up and out were banished.

On top of great drinks, plenty of space, dancing, and good people, Bounce also hosts several entertaining shows throughout the week, including an amateur drag show on Thursday night and the main show on Saturday night. These queens are known throughout the area to be quite impressive, so prepare to be awed by complete and utter fabulousness! Though I will warn the ladies- these queens have such beautiful legs that you may have more than just momentary loss of self-esteem.

Bounce is located at 2814 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio. They are open Tuesday through Sunday 5:30 p.m. to 2:15 a.m. Closed Mondays.