Den One (Our Den, Carol’s Speakeasy)

1355 North Wells Street

Originally a mixed race gay disco, Den One was the first places to host a residency by DJ Ron Hardy. With 9,000 square feet of space, the club became hugely popular with many of the Black gay party-goers who went to the Warehouse. Jacob Arnold says that the venues were “sister clubs,” with The Warehouse acting as the after-hours for Den One. The club was picketed by activists after a Black patron, Jackie Hamilton, was thrown out in the summer of 1975. When Richard Farnham (aka Mother Carol) bought the venue in the fall of 1978, he renamed it Carol’s Speakeasy and it became a mostly white club before closing its doors in 1992.

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