The gay bar was The Brook. It sat on the Post Road near the Exit 18 connector — directly across from the state police barracks. The Brook — now called the Cedar Brook — is still there. The gay bar outlasted them all.
The brook bites the dust
At 71 years old, the Cedar Brook has been called the oldest continually operating gay bar in the United States. For 7 decades, every gay boy growing up in Westport has told the same story.
Knowing there was a gay bar right down the street created both tremendous excitement there are people like me! Wondering who — and what — lurked behind those ramshackle walls consumed gay teenagers. Straight kids wondered too.
One summer in the s, a college friend visited. To show off my town, I decided to take her to every bar from the Norwalk line to Fairfield. Note to young readers: Yes, Westport had many bars. The world was a different place then. By the time we made it to the Brook, it was 1 a.
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The place was packed. The music was loud; the dance floor looked amazing. This was my chance to finally get inside! Like an aging drag queen, the Cedar Brook is now past its prime.
Crowds are down; even the traditionally huge Wednesday-before-Thanksgiving party — when newly out college guys discovered with glee who else had recently come out — lost its luster in recent years. Dan you might be able to put your worries or fears aside of your beloved Brook being razed.
So it may not meet up with a wrecking ball, but live on…. The Brook will be missed. I am not gay or a lesbian. I have danced enjoyed the company of many friends at Brook. The Halloween Parties were the best. Havimg a gay bar next to a strip t was a wonderful representation of what makes Westport a great play to live. Walgreens and Starbucks, it is just not the same. I think a place to dance for everybody would be good.
We need to a place to dance and have a good time in this town, and if someone wants to take off their clothes that is all right. Westport needs to get back to it funky roots. Thanks Dan for the memories. Dan, this makes me so sad fills me with nostalgia.
Only after college was I able to cross the heady threshold and enter a world of adult Gay men. I can still smell the Paco Rabanne and Polo cologne! I had a lot of formative fun there. Even today when I visit my mom in Westport I drive by it, glad to see it is still there. But alas, no more. Thanks for writing this appropriately sentimental piece. He Strip club westport an incredible jitterbugger and I just followed along. I remember thinking it was taboo for me to be there and got a few looks, but once we started dancing no one seemed to mind.
It was a liberating experience for me to say the least! I, too, went to The Brook in the late s with my best friend from high school. Although we were both females and neither was gay, we were allowed to enter the hallowed grounds and have a drink without being carded. I will admit that I was a bit jealous was some nice man asked her to dance, leaving me alone at the bar. I would just like a place in this dang high flaluting county, where you can dance!!!!!!!!!!!!
And The Brook was such a place.
Honestly Bystander minus the dancing The Black Duck is that place… No one cares about your make up or pedigree… Grab a stool if you can and be careful walking to the bathroom those floors are a bit uneven. Went to school with Pete but my drinking days are over. I took some of my gay cousins to The Brook a decade or so ago and had a jello shooter.
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First and only one I ever had. What was I thinking?
The place will be missed. Lord, please, no more banks!
The couple changed the name to the Cedar Brook Inn. The Bowes were tolerant of their gay patrons during a time when homosexuality was illegal. Millie Bowe sold the property to Paul Kish in In Clem Bellairs talked Kish into leasing the property to him. Based on the comments posted thus far, it seems Westporters would still love to have Bellairs and his dance floor, and his good music, and the diversity that the Brook has always stood for, do just that.
So sorry to see this go and, in years past, many other former eclectic type of Westport businesses Remarkable, Kleins, Selective Eye, etc. A former classmate of mine was in town two weeks ago we missed seeing each other and ed me when she got back saying that town down was so commercialized, it was being at the mall.
No charm like it used to have.
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We remember the unique places that made Westport unique, and charming. It is called Corporate America, Amy. The unique Mom and Pop stores are being swallowed up by the giant corporations. To their credit and the supervision of the town, downtown looks pretty good. Downtown Darien has done a good job of remaining in the past.
Their downtown is the dump it was 30 years ago. But that is how they want it.
Category: adult entertainment
Westport has welcomed commercialism and to many, sold out. Bellairs wants to reunite The Brook with his former neighbor. I grew up here simply put. I started at the Cedar Brook June of The things I experienced in life will never ever compare to the lessons I have learned at the Brook.
The Brook was that place. When I had nothing else in the world I had the Brook. We were the flavor of the tri state community, and we always say the best mix is the music and the people. There will never be another place with the same spirit and love and non pretentious drive for success as the Brook to say it will be missed is an understatement.
Clem Bellairs is hands down one of the most interesting people I have ever had the pleasure and displeasure of meeting. He has never tried to be a father figure he never wanted kids lol, but always treated Syreeta Ron myself, and anyone else who needed a chance to be heard and supported and respected with said respect!
Growing up thats all we ever want, Clem is the one to do it. It has been my privilege and my honor to be apart of the powerhouse that is the brook. Even when we bickered amongst each other I wouldnt have changed it for the world I became a PERSON there I MATTERED and I can take those lessons and bring them into my new career and my new life after the brook, I love you sons of bitches, We unleashed hell and opened up heaven, it was Strip club westport every sense of the word a roller coaster ride lol but Clem told me a long time ago to strap my seat belt on lol.
I will be there for the closing moments; the amount of friends I made at the Brook and the fun memories will be worth the trip from Lauderdale.
A bit after the fact here, but with your poignant article about The Brooks closing, a memory came to mind I wanted to share. Chris and I were talented, and he and I loved to sing and dance. In the wake of The Brooks closing, I am so appreciative for the chance to reflect a bit on the fact that Chris and I had this wonderful opportunity to show off a bit at this very famous watering hole. Pingback: Bye Bye Brook Pingback: Hail Strip club westport The Chiefs The Brook was in my family for years.
Paul Kish, who bought it inwas my great uncle. I have known his partner Jerry, who survives him, since I was born. The Brook was an amazing place. My mother talks about going dancing there when she was a teenager, and I remember dancing there when I was a teenager after I came out of the closet. It will be forever missed.
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I never had so much sex until I started going there. So many 1 night stands. The guys back then were so handsome and longer hair was the style then, not crewcuts and shaved he like today.