Did you know that Cleveland has a multitude of LGBTQ-owned/operated businesses and resources?
Whether you are moving to the area or have lived here for some time, it is nice to know about the LGBTQ community that surrounds you. It may even be possible that you are not aware of all the places and resources that our city has to offer.
Every day we see many businesses that refuse to serve us. They use religious freedoms as their get-out-of-jail-free card. So it is high time that we support the business owners of our communities
**due to current Covid restrictions, hours of operation may be subject to change and maximum occupancy limits. Please check before heading out.
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LGBTQ Owned Shopping
The Dean Rufus House of Fun
1422 W 29th St, Cleveland, OH 44113
I wrote a review about TDRHOF shortly after I started blogging almost three years ago. As a southern man, I can say I know hospitality pretty well. It is a cornerstone of southern culture. Dean is the epitome of that kind of southern decadent charm. From the minute you walk in you’re welcomed with a warm smile and left feeling like you are at your best friend’s house.
No matter what you are looking for it is a guarantee that Dean probably has it. From specialty clothing, incense, videos, crystals, and Pride merchandise. Are you looking for vinyl records? He has one of the best selections in town. Not to mention that his shop is a part of the LGBTQ history of Cleveland. *Be sure to check out the historical sign out front.
If you need something unique or fun, Be sure to drop by and see his many wares.
10906 Clifton Blvd. Cleveland OH 44102
Are you a pet owner and in need of some fun, fashionable, functional, and one-of-a-kind gifts? Pet-tique has you covered. If you consider your pet(s) family, then this place is for you. The owners of this shop put quality and care of your four-legged family members, above everything else.
If you have any questions about their store visit their webpage and use the contact page and either Emma, Chloe, Roo, Bitzy, or Nemo, their five pugs, will respond to you as fast as their little paws can type.
Soothing Sloth Soap Shop
This shop sells soothing soapy scents that are the labor of love of two guys with a passion for self-care and crafting “honest, natural, quality products.” And they have been producing their beautiful bath products in the Cleveland area since 2017.
Their passion is quality of life and finding the needed “me” time so you can log off from the world for some much-needed self-care. Their products are safe for adults and children. Every item is vegan, hand-crafted, sulfate-free, and never animal tested. Head on over to Soothing Sloth Soap Shop and stock up for your next “me time.”
1384 Bonnieview Ave Lakewood, OH 44107
“From tarot to crystals to sex magic, this group of knowledgeable witches are here to help.” Located in the Lakewood area, this little shop of amazing curiosities is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the crowded streets. It has an otherworldly feel to it like it is out of some magical storybook.
Miranda Scott, the owner of Coven, created the shop as a safe space of empowerment. A place where people could come back to who they always have been. She strives to have her business be more than a storefront. It is a means for a community to connect. A place where they can hold teachings and events (prior to and hopefully after Covid) and a website that can help you through your journey of personal discovery.
Stop by their store for a unique witchy experience.
The Side Quest
17900 Detroit Ave Lakewood, OH 44107
Sometimes you need a place that feels like home. A place that celebrates the nerd, geek, and pop culture genius that you are. Welcome to The Side Quest. Every night has something to discover, from trivia, gaming, theme nights, and lecture series, you will never be “board.” (Get it? Game reference)
Don’t get lost on your quest, there is more to offer than just specialty nights. Fancy a crafted cocktail or a pint of mead, The Side Quest can level you up. The menu offers nerd-themed creations like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Wraps or an Army of Darkness-inspired, This Is My Boom-stick steak sandwich. They also have a nice selection for vegans and vegetarians.
The Side Quest is committed to “providing a safe, harassment-free, experience for everyone, regardless of sex, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, appearance, body size, race, nationality, or religion.”
Remember, after you slay your next dragon, head on over to The Side Quest for a much-needed reward.
Felice Urban Cafe
12502 Larchmere Blvd Cleveland OH 44120
Fantastic food and a relaxed setting in a quaint turn of the century home is what keeps people coming back to Felice Urban Cafe. Margaret Mueller bought this Victorian house in 2003 and five years later opened the restaurant. The passion and personality of Margaret quickly gave rise to this “beloved mainstay” in what was soon to be the art and antique district of Larchmere. In 2017, Margaret’s grandson Jack Mueller and his husband Paul Neundorfer purchased the restaurant. They pledge to continue the same reputation and to continue to be an anchor to the neighborhood.
They pride themselves on locally-sourced produce. They even use ingredients from their onsite garden to continue to make eclectic, fresh, house-made food. Their menu has enough to satisfy anyone who is hungry for some amazing real homemade cooking. Be sure to check them out.
Chill Pop Shop
Various locations across Cleveland and in grocery stores near you
Sometimes we need sweet treats, right? Clevescene.com called these two the “unofficial ‘Ice Queens’ of Cleveland. Elizabeth and Maggie Pryor are the brains behind Chip Pop Shop. Their passion is to bring you frozen fruit pops that are made with only the best, sustainable, fair trade, vegan friendly, and allergen-free products they can.
Their flavors are “unique and hip.” They pride themselves on standing out from the crowd. They live behind the words that dessert doesn’t have to be bad for you and it shows in their healthy and tasty creations. When they say unique, they mean it. Want a treat that is outside the norm? Try their black pepper plum frozen pop. Needing something to satisfy your chocolate cravings, they have you covered with Coco Mocha Fudge.
They aren’t just limited to the many shops they have in the area, you can also find them at your local grocery stores. Be sure to check them out.
Bars and Clubs
The Leather Stallion Saloon
2205 St Clair Ave NE Cleveland, OH 44114
“We’re a fun neighborhood bar where everyone is welcomed – in and out of leather!”
The Leather Stallion is one of the oldest LGBTQ bars in Cleveland. They opened in 1970 and have remained a stalwart part of the community ever since. It is also one of the oldest running leather bars in the Midwest and is the home bar for the local leather community.
While they may be one of the oldest leather bars in the Midwest, they don’t stop there. They are also the home bar for the local bear community. That doesn’t mean they aren’t mindful and inclusive to our community. Their doors are always open to any LGBTQ person.
Twist Social Club
11633 Clifton Blvd Cleveland, OH 44012
Twist Social Club is a cute little neighborhood bar/nightclub that sits on the outskirts of Lakewood. They’re focused on making sure the Cleveland LGBTQ community feels at home when they come to visit. They offer monthly theme parties and some of the best DJs in the Cleveland Area.
You can visit Twist on any given night and find a fun theme night to be a part of. Mondays are comedy night, Tuesday – Trivia night, Wednesday – Karaoke, every other Thursday – a Drag show called 3sum. On Friday’s you can get your Rupaul’s Drag Race fill, and on Saturday’s enjoy a DJ-filled night.
They offer a great menu to go along with a large drink option. Be sure to check them out on any of the nights above for a fun-filled evening.
9208 Detroit Ave Cleveland, OH 44102
Cocktails Cleveland is one of the many great little bars that host drag shows in the Cleveland area. The staff is always great and the drink prices are some of the best in town. It has the feeling of “Cheers,” a place where everyone is welcome, knows your name, and is glad that you came out.
Weekends at Cocktails are for drag shows and host some of the more famous queens of Cleveland. It is a great place to get up close and personal with the performers. Make sure you have your coins, dollars, and ducats ready for them.
Cocktails Cleveland is also known as the Bearcave and celebrates the bear community.
Vibe Bar and Patio
11633 Loraine Ave, Cleveland, OH 44111
Are you are looking for an amazing bar with a great patio and to feel like you belong? Well, look no further than Vibe Bar and Patio. No matter the time of year, they have an outside brick and heated patio to enjoy. They’re known for some of the best bartenders and drinks in town with prices that will leave you money the next morning.
If you have never been to Vibe then you must check it out. Enjoy the welcoming and relaxed atmosphere from this all-inclusive bar.
Whether you are new to the Cleveland area or a long-time resident, we often need to be told about the available resources our fair city has to offer. Whether you’re looking for a place to live, real estate for a new business, assistance with things going on in your life, or community engagement, there is a place to fill the need.
LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland
6705 Detroit Ave, Cleveland, OH 44102
Since 1975, the LGBT Community Center has been serving the LGBTQ community’s needs. It was at this time that GEAR (Gay Educational and Awareness Foundation) was created to research human sexuality and sexual orientation. They also provided education for the public and provide mental, physical, and social health to the LGBTQ community.
Whether you are a Queer youth or elder, there is a program for you. They advocate open and honest discussion and provide community outreach to foster a feeling of inclusion and family. They also provide training for businesses in the area. Are you needing to volunteer some of your time? Give them a shout, they are always looking for volunteers.
B. Riley House
Resident Advocate 216-417-4832
Sometimes in life, we all need help, whether it be physical, mental, or other. The B. Riley House is there for you if you are in need of support for an addiction. They are an LGBTQ+ sober living facility and provide all LGBTQ+ people a temporary, safe, affirming recovery-oriented living space. They offer treatment services for alcohol, drug, mental health, and psychotherapy through their various partnerships. It takes courage to ask for help, let the B. Riley House be the strength you need.
In short, Plexus is an LGBTQ and Ally Chamber of Commerce. They’re the only LGBTQ business and professional organization that can offer its unique set of influential network partners. If you are or looking to become an out LGBTQ or Allied business person, this is THE group you need to be a part of. Plexus is also a part of the NGLCC (National LGBT Chamber of Commerce). If you are looking for more businesses to support, check out their business directory.
The LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance
June 2020, the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance was started by leading members of the real estate community. By October, they were accepting members from a diverse group of real estate and housing industries.
Its mission is to advocate for fair housing for all and promote LGBTQ+ homeownership. In an age where there are still laws in states that allow us to lose our homes, it is important to know there are organizations that are out there to help us find our dream home without worrying about who we are.
If you need local LGBTQ realtors, check below for a few
At your fingertips
This is a small sampling of all the resources that Cleveland has to offer for its LGBTQ community. Check out my Links page for more organizations and businesses you can support. Remember it takes a community and we should be looking out for our own.
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