JJ's Clubhouse Is for Sale


JJ's Clubhouse has long been host to the Mr. Midwest Leather competition. - THEO WELLING
  • JJ's Clubhouse has long been host to the Mr. Midwest Leather competition.
For just about two decades, JJ's Clubhouse (3858 Market Street) has been the center of bear culture in St. Louis. But now it appears to be up for sale — with its future as a gay bar is uncertain.

A listing on a business brokers' site advertises a "large nightclub" near the Grove, with an asking price of $1.99 million. The club is not named — and its listing agent, Ken Kunkel, declined comment — but from the details, it's unmistakably JJ's.


The ad reads,
You can own one of the Largest night clubs in the city with 3 bars and outdoor patio. Currently this Alternative night club has been opened 19 years and has 21,000 sq. ft. of space included in the sale. While the current sellers have a great business in place with many loyal customers this property could also be developed for renovated living spaces, office space or perfect for a micro -brewery.

Sellers are wanting to retire and move out of state but would stay on and train new owners for an extended period of time if need be.

JJ's has long been the home of the Show Me Bears, profiled last year in our sister publication, Out in St. Louis, as well as the host of the Mr. Midwest Leather competition. It's been a haven to a big section of the local gay community, hosting events like Hibearnation that draw patrons from around the world.

In recent years, the neighborhood around it has undergone huge changes, with LGBTQ nightlife increasingly giving way to restaurants and bars catering to a broad swath of customers. A big new apartment complex, too, is bringing in affluent young professionals. But if JJ's ends up closing, it truly would be the end of an era.

We'll have more on this story as it develops.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at sarah.fenske@riverfronttimes.com
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