Saturday, February 1st saw the closing of what was a mecca for the east side of Cleveland. All Axs opened in Willoughby as a place to go see live music and enjoy beer with locals. It quickly emerged from that cocoon to spread its wings to welcome the LGBTQ community. Axs was the only place in Willoughby that you could see a drag show and hangout with fellow LGBTQ and straight people. It was a welcoming environment that gave us a break from our lives to cut loose and just be ourselves. We are left with a hole in our hearts with its closing. Now we can only wonder what will take its place, if anything can.
Billy Welker, former owner of All Axs, is going on to open a new place in Mentor on the Lake called Valhalla. Saturday night, Dennis advised the the packed house of well wishers that at some point they would be bringing back drag shows to the new bar sometime in the future. Valhalla is scheduled to open February 20th with a concert by early 2000’s band Saving Abel. This will be a change from what we all have come to know from All Axs. We stand by to see what will take the place of our short lived favorite bar, All Axs.
For now, I choose to remember the great times that came from All Axs. each and every patron made it the place it was. Every performer that graced the stage with their presence ensured that we all came out each weekend. Each bartender, bar back, DJ, and more were there to slosh our drinks and made sure we felt welcomed and at home. Thank you to the too many people to mention that made it what it was. Bill and Brandon, thank you for asking me to help give advice on how to proceed, I will always remember the times we had and the people I met. After all, it allowed me to meet someone very special to me and for that, the hole in my heart will be hardest to fill.
The first drag show at All Axs
The first drag king show…
Kari “mutha fuckin” Nickles
Unfortunately, there are no pics that I have of the fun filled nights in the VIP room that included flogging on the cross, wandering souls looking for a break in their norm, copious amounts of Jameson’s, dear friends, and clouded memories of good times.
To friends I have made and shared many memorable nights with, you all have left lasting impressions with me. Our place will be missed.