Posts Tagged ‘Memories’

Club 21 Memories

October 22, 2009
Club Sandwich

Club Sandwich

Three things come to mind when I recall Club 21: a big grey sweater, the chair on the wall and club sandwiches.  One of the staples of my admittedly poor wardrobe in the late 1970’s, was a big grey button down knit sweater, which I could wear into a bar on a cold night to keep warm without having to keep track of a coat.  It was also a bit of a security blanket in a new, potentially hostile environment. I have this image of myself sitting at the bar in Club 21 in that sweater.  This particular memory may survive because it was my first visit to a gay bar.

The chair on the wall (a ladder back hung at an angle in a corner where the ceiling and two walls met) sticks out as the most outrageous bit of décor in an establishment that I recalled as being ‘over the top’, stuffed with decoration.  Cozy, but definitely gay. Otherwise, I guess Club 21 was a standard urban watering hole.  When you walked into its long narrow space, a bar was on your left lined with bar stools and a back room had tables and chairs.

The third image, club sandwiches, comes from the fact that during the day Club 21 served as a restaurant whose main clientele were NJ state workers, of which I was one.  The club sandwiches probably stick in my mind due to the association with the bar’s name.  There is also a dim memory of some sort of small outdoor dining area in the back but it’s fleeting and probably not reliable.  I’d love to hear anyone else’s memories about Club 21.

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