The most famous male strip club in the US closes permanently

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Dancer and actor, Axel Roldos is a former dancer at Swinging Richards
Dancer and actor, Axel Roldos is a former dancer at Swinging Richards (Photo: YouTube)

Famed Atlanta strip club Swinging Richards closes for good on January 15. Going by its Instagram stories, news of the impending closure has promoted queues around the block in the last few days. Atlantans and those from further afield are keen for one last piece of swinging action.

The all-male nude revue bar has been running for over three decades. Swinging Richards first filed for bankruptcy in 2019 but managed to claw itself back from the brink of closure. However, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the business with one fatal last blow.

Related: Gay couple shake things up in Atlanta restaurant takeover 

It made a novel stab at generating income for its dancers while the venue was closed, with the boys offering a car wash facility. However, ultimately, the downturn in business prompted by the pandemic appears to have pushed it over the edge.

Swinging Richards announces closure

The club’s owners have not given any official reason for the closure but announced the news toward the end of last year on Instagram:

If you never made it along to Swinging Richards, you can get a taste of it via this old promo video on YouTube.

Swinging Richards: Expansion and screen time

In 2011, Swinging Richards opened up a second venue in Miami. It was first based in North Miami Beach, before relocating to Pompano Beach. However, that closed in 2015.

In 2017, a documentary about Swinging Richards, directed by Gerald McCullouch, hit screens and gay film festivals. This helped promote its fame far and wide.

In late 2020, some of the dancers from Swinging Richards got political. They created a video urging locals to vote in the Senate election, to help swing it blue and give Democrats a nationwide majority. The state did indeed flip blue in January 2021.

Like many cities, Atlanta has seen some of its best-loved LGBTQ venues wiped out during the pandemic. Closures include the Atlanta Eagle (although the owners still hope to find themselves a new venue), and Amsterdam Atlanta.

Related: One of the south’s hottest pool parties confirms its return this summer

Top 5 gayest places to check out in Atlanta

1 – Heretic

With the Atlanta Eagle and now Swinging Richards closed, those looking for some testosterone-fueled fun head to Heretic. The club offers a leather and cruise vibe, with regular parties such as DILF. However, there’s also the Wednesday GAYmer sci-fi fantasy night for games lovers and country dancing on Thursdays.

 

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2 – Blake’s On The Park

Running since 1988, video and dance bar Blake’s is the place to see and be seen by the younger twenty-to-thirty-something crowd. It offers fun, regular drag shows, and a great food menu.

 

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3 – Bulldogs

Running since 1978, this well-loved Atlanta institution is popular with Atlanta’s Black, queer community. Regular events at Bulldogs include karaoke on Wednesdays and drag shows.

 

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4 – Woofs Sports Bar

Woofs Atlanta offers plenty of screens and plenty of sport. Running since 2002, it’s a gay Atlanta favorite, especially with many of the local LGBTQ sports clubs. It also supports local non-profits and gets involved with annual events such as Bear Pride.

 

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5 – My Sister’s Room

This lesbian-owned and operated bar is an Atlanta institution, and one of the most beloved women’s bars in the country (although it welcomes everyone). My Sister’s Room has been running since 1996 and was a runner-up in the ‘Best Lesbian Hangout’ in GayCities’ most recent ‘Best of Gay Cities’ awards.