Baltimore’s Club Hippo has been a gay and lesbian staple since 1972. On October 3, 2015, the bar will permanently close its doors. After 37 years of serving the LGBTQ community, owner Chuck Bowers has sold the space to CVS. The new Mount Vernon CVS is set to open in 2016.
Many members of the community are sad to see the Baltimore club close for good. One of those people is local women’s promoter, Vera Mosley. Mosley has been hosting Club Hippo’s monthly ladies party for a year. Many also know her as the founder and co-owner of Gallagher’s Bar and Grill (2000 – 2007).
“I had been looking for a venue large enough to accommodate a much overdue Gallagher’s reunion,” says Mosley. “I reached out to the Hippo with my idea. The Operations Manager, Gilbert Morrisette said ‘yes’ and offered for me to also host and promote a monthly ladies night event. Over the last 10 months, we have used several of the events as vehicles to raise funds for various Baltimore based charities, by donating a portion of the proceeds to them.”
Friday night’s event is expected to bring out over 600 party-goers. The ladies party will officially kick off at 9 p.m. with the sounds of DJ Rosie, who has been a DJ at Club Hippo for 11 years. This will be her last event at the venue.
Mosley is most proud of being able to “bring the ladies and others in the queer community together for a good time”. When it comes to the future of the queer women’s community, she recognizes that having safe spaces for women to gather and empower one another is necessary. She hopes people will continue to support other women’s events in the D.C. and Maryland areas.
“I have been going to the Hippo since I turned 21. I have spent countless weekends and rang in several new years and birthdays there over the years. Chuck Bowers created a safe, magical space that allowed the most fun, creative and talented people in Baltimore to entertain and enlighten everyone from all walks of life,” says Mosley.
The bar’s Last Ladies Night is Friday, September 25 at Club Hippo, 1 W Eager St, Baltimore, MD. 9 p.m. – 2 a.m.