(The) Ritz

937 N State St.

Black gay bar on the Near North Side where Ron Hardy spun on Wednesdays during the early 1980s. Destroyed by arson in 1981, it is said that Charles Perkins DJed there in the early ’70s, playing music so loud he regularly blew out tweeters. Craig Cannon and Larry Fox then spun there in the mid-’70s, though the original owner, Bill Jacobs, was apparently reluctant to give up revenue from his jukebox. According to Cannon, Fox had a state-of-the-art sound system shipped from overseas, where he’d been stationed in the Army. 1975 ads in Gay Life touted, “Quad sound disco-dancing” noon until 4 AM, seven days a week. Gay Life’s “Fun Guide” described a “rustic interior, open beam ceiling,” and “a good sized dance floor” that was “well used.”According to DJ Braxton Holmes, some of the patrons there were kids from projects, Moes, and Gangster Disciples, dressed down for jacking in the underground.

No connections found!

Do you have anything you'd like to submit? A story? Photos? Or maybe even an audio recording?

Help us out!