An online search for 'vintage' and 'tribute' t shirts will produce hundreds of results for mainstream consumer products, decades-old sports teams and defunct musical groups. 
Every seems to love the idea of reminiscing.

The options for the gay community, however, have remained pretty limited.


With the recent implementation of "Stay at Home" restrictions across the US and around the world, many of us have found ourselves at home with a lot of 'free' time. 
One long-time card-holding member of the gay community has chosen to spend his time researching, locating and digitally recreating the logos of the bars we knew and loved before the days of the internet.
The project actually started about 6 months before the pandemic made the headlines, but on a much smaller scale. In November of 2019, Art Smith [working with the Atlanta Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and the owners of Atlanta's most iconic gay nightclub Backstreet] created a tribute t shirt design commemorating the 45th year after the opening of the massive three-story bar. Designed as a fundraising project for the Atlanta Sisters, the shirt was wildly successful.

Click on the image above to visit the website for the Atlanta Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and learn more about their charitable mission.
In the months that followed, Art reached out to many old acquaintances through his multiple social media accounts and began the process of tracking down former bar owners in Atlanta, the city where he lived for most of the 80s and 90s. It was an arduous task as hardly any of the logos were available in digital format. Yet he persevered.
In January of 2020 he released a second Backstreet t shirt which was also very well received. The comments on social media were very encouraging and he became even more determined to expand the collection of throwback t shirts from bars gone by. One friend of several decades, Louie, was integral in connecting Art with the artist who created the logos for several other Atlanta hotspots: Colorbox, Rio and Velvet. Although the images available were not the crisp high-definition versions needed for digital reproduction, the project was definitely moving forward. With the assistance of Louie's old business partner Michael and logo designer Patti, designs for all three of those bars emerged.

The collection was gaining popularity. Bartenders, managers and patrons were emailing Art with information about their favorite watering holes from decades past. Finding decent copies of the logos, however, was a bit of a daunting task. Nonetheless, he continued to reach out to old contacts in the hopes that someone would know where to find the images needed to really build up the collection.

Daily life as we knew it began to change. Limited mobility. Bar closures. Reduced income. Stay at Home orders. Anxiety, angst and confusion.

Almost immediately, Art knew he needed a project in which to channel his creative juices and keep his mind [and his hands] busy. He redoubled his efforts to build up his #TBTeez collection and research more bars from his glory days.
People were spending more time on social media and he reached out to many of the throwback groups on Facebook for direction and inspiration. The response was extremely encouraging.
Over the next few weeks, he googled every possible combination of the terms "vintage, retro, gay, throwback, nightclubs, history, archives" and the like, stumbling across numerous sources for tidbits of information and clues to the next step in the journey. It was like a scavenger hunt. With a really limited number of clues.
Fortunately, he had the time to spend hours upon hours online to track down the leads and begin the process of archiving the logos and bar histories needed to grow this collection. Many were in poor condition or severely degraded from decades of neglect, but it was a starting point.
THE RESULT: A growing collection of tribute designs paying homage to the bars we knew and loved 'back in the day'. At present the collection includes DOZENS of carefully reconstructed logos representing bars from GA, FL, TX, TN, IL, CA, NC, AL, WI and Canada ... with many more in the works.

What better way to celebrate our pride than to learn about our colorful past? It is my hope that these designs will bring back fond memories and, perhaps, even put a smile on your face. This project has certainly taught me a lot about where we came from. That alone makes the effort worthwhile.

Our goal is to include as many of our old haunts as possible, focusing on clubs that closed prior to the 21st century. If you know of a popular gay establishment from the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s or 90s that no longer exists and would like to see it commemorated in this collection, PLEASE reach out to me. If you have a copy of the logo, a connection with the owner or a story to tell about the club, please let me know. I can be reached at: art@channel125.com

At present there are over TWO HUNDRED FIFTY bars represented in the tribute collection of #TBTeez. Several of them still have fan pages online, with hundreds or thousands of people reminiscing about their glory days in the wild and wonderful past. With your help I hope to see the list grow exponentially. These bars include: 

Miami/ Fort Lauderdale - Mekka, 13 Buttons, The Copa, Zelda's, Tackys, Club 21, Saint, Marlin Beach, The District, Stud, Jungle, Lefty's, Stanley's, Sugar's, Rooftop Disco, Heartbreaker's, Shangri-La, Jackhammer/Steel, Palace
Tampa - Tracks, Chrome, KiKiKi III, Tampa Eagle, El Goya, flirt, Rene's Disco, Knotty Pine,  The Male Room, Pleasuredome, Old Plantation, Metropolis, 2606, Valentines, Club Manilla, Keith's Bar, Flings, Lounge 714, 
St Petersburg - dt's, Grand Central Station, Sharp A's, Bedrox, "Dirty Bird", Lighted Tree, Suncoast Resort, Red Devil, Wedgwood, Engine Room
Key West - Monster Disco, 
Orlando - Peacock Room, Palace Club, Wylde's, SIN
Daytona Beach - Vagabond Hut
Sarasota - Club Tri-Angles
Tallahassee - Foxtrot Disco
Pensacola -Mirror Lounge, Red Garter, Emma Jones, Numbers,
Port St. Lucie - Byrd Cage

Atlanta - NUMBERS, Illusions, Cabana Motel, Backstreet, Armory, Cove, Pharr Library, Colorbox, Revolution, Velvet, Scruples, Rio, Answer, Lipstix, Jock's, Weekends, 688, Tower, Onyx II, Tin Lizzie, Showcase Cabaret,  RJ's Xchange, 551 Downstairs, Sweet Gum Head, Aunt Charley's, Chez Cabaret, Limelight, Shelly's, Gay Paree, Sensations, Phoenix, Warehouse, CrazyRayz, Rathskeller, Saint, Sportspage, Festival, Music City, Locker Room, OtherSide, Options, P's Annex, Stud, Laffite, La Place, Hotel York [Plush Room], P's, Queen of Club, Numbers, Bliss, Texas Drilling Company, Club Centaur, Poodles, Gallus and Petrus.
ALSO: Special "Westminster Trails", "Murder Kroger" and "Krogay"  Tribute Designs.
Macon - Pegasus

Austin - Austin Country, Charlies, Lipstick 24, Club 404, Boathouse, Apartment, Chain Drive, 5th Street Station, Chances, Boyz Cellar, Auntie Mame's, Mickey's, Hollywood, Rusty's, 'Bout Time, Backstreet Basics, proteus, Cockpit, Forum, Rainbow Cattle Company, Ohms, Cowboys,   Backstreet Basics, 
Houston - Chicken Coop, Heaven, Pink Elephant, Mother's,
Peppermint Palace, Rooster's, Studio 13, Old Plantation, Soixante Quinze [6015], Venture-N, Mary's, EJ's, inside/outside, Brazos River Bottom [BRB], Teddy's, The Spur, WAGON WHEEL, Cove Disco, Adam's Image, Levi's, Rascals, Mecca, Silver Bullet, Silver Phoenix, Locker, Chute, Red Room,
Dallas - crews inn, Old Plantation, Starck Club, Ernie's Wild Group Inn, Moby Dicks, Pekers, Bamboleo's, Hideaway 
Fort Worth - Rainbow Lounge, Magnolia Station
El Paso - Old Plantation
San AntonioRoyale, The Gay Paree, Sunset Boulevard, Sparks, Bamboleo's
McAllen - 10th Avenue
Reynosa - Choices Disco
Waco - David's

New York - SPLASH, Crisco Disco, The Anvil, Ramrod, Sneakers, Paradise Garage, The Vault, VIEW, ROXY, Bar-Tini, G Lounge, Vlada, Uncle Charlie's, boy bar, Badlands, The Web, Gilded Grape, GG Barnum's Room, Peppermint Lounge, Ice Palace 57, Kooky's, ninth circle, champs, chase, chelsea transfer, xl, stix, 12 west, Danceteria, XENON, Sanctuary, Red Parrot, Barefoot Boy, Bond International Casino, Bendix Diner, Rawhide, Adonis Disco, Galaxy 21, Spectrum, Adam's Apple, Le Twinkie Zone, 
Buffalo - Club Marcella

Westport - Cedar Brook Cafe

Chicago - AA Meat Market, the loading zone, StarGazer, Carol's Speakeasy, Crystal's Blinkers, Sunday's, Paris Dance, Medinah Lounge, 

Cincinnati - Adonis The Nightclub,
Dayton - Masque

New Orleans - Fat Sam's TheaterCraft,

Nashville - Warehouse 28,
Memphis - DAVID'S, The Front Page

Los Angeles - MaleBox, Manhandler, Circus Disco
San Francisco - KOK, Black Cat Cafe, Mona's 440, Finocchio's, Deco

Circle, Lost and Found, Court Jester,  Blue Plains Disco, The Pier, Frat House, Ziegfeld's, PLUS ONE, TownHouse, Omega, Apex

St Louis - Zebra Lounge, Grand Olive, Mr A's Potpourri, Golden Gate Coffee Shop, Onyx Room,

Baltimore - The Hippopotamus

Charlotte - The Paddock, Brass Rail 
Columbia - Our Place
Greenville - Stone Castle, Executive Sportsman 
Chapel Hill - Christopher's
Myrtle Beach - Illusions, Time Out!

Huntsville - Yumm Yumm Tree, 
Montgomery - The Rainbow 

Madison - Rod's, 
Milwaukee - Ballgame, Your Place/YP, Club 219,
Appleton - PIVOT, 
Green Bay - Brandy's II,
Kenosha - Club 94 

There are many people who have played a big part in this project. To all of you, I want to extend my gratitude. As time moves forward this list will undoubtedly grow. Just know that your contributions did not go unnoticed.
Dick, Mitch, Vicki, AJ, Louie, Darlene, Camey, Steve, Michael, Jaclyn, Rex, Art, Bev, Arch, Frank, Ted, Bjorn, Ron, Hunter, Patti, Amy, James, Joey,Richard, Kathy,  Alan, 

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