Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lincoln Park Night Club

January 10, 1958 newspaper ad
Since I've been talkin' Lincoln all week, I might as well post some vintage Lincoln Park Night Club ads and a little bit of history about the place.

The earliest listing I could find for a night club at that location was the 1947 Lorain phone book. Under "Night Clubs" was the listing "Joseph Yepko" with a Stop 48 Lincoln Avenue address.

It wasn't until the 1949 book that the Lincoln Park Night Club name appeared.

Former Lorain Mayor Joseph J. Zahorec and his wife Helen managed the night club from 1954 to 1964.

Courtesy Jack Tiller Collection

Here's an ad from Feb. 1957 (below). Looks like the Music Stylists were regulars there.

Here's one from April 1958 (below) promoting a big Easter Day dance.

Here's one ten years later, from Feb. 1968 (below). It's kinda funny seeing Honest Abe in an ad for his namesake bar.

Around 1975 or 76, the night club changed its name to Big Dick's. That's the name that I remember it as, although my friends and I still referred to it as Lincoln Park (maybe we couldn't bring ourselves to call it by its new name).

The city directories revealed a variety of names after that, including Whammer Jammer Lounge (1980), Yepko's Play Pen (1981-1985), Sneakers (1986-1991), GJ Macaws (1992-?), Chances Night Club and The Flying Machine (late 1990s-?).

The building is still there today, although to look at it you would never know that it was the scene of many good times and happy memories.

Bing Maps View


Ken said...

What a dump that place was in the late seventies! Although everyone went there- the 'low' beer over 18 under 21 crowd. And obviously once it was a classy place. Sorry I missed it's great years!

Drew Penfield said...

My parents frequented the place in the late 60's/early 70's. I began going there to see live bands when it was GJ Macaws (as I recall it only kept that name for maybe 2-3 years) and then Chances. Even then it didn't look like an inviting place from outside, more like a deserted cabin in the woods you'd see in a horror movie. It was never pretty in those years, but a lot of people (me included) have a lot of great memories of the place. First place I ever played guitar on stage in front of an audience. One time my dad dropped me off there and had a laugh about the tree that was still in the middle of the parking. It had been there in the 60's. There is also a bowling alley in the basement that hasn't been used in decades. I can't quite imagine what it must have been like in it's elegant early days.

Dan Brady said...

Thanks for the reminisces, gentlemen! I remember those trees in the parking lot too!

-Alan D Hopewell said...

Big Dick's was a regular stop on our Weekend Cruisin' and Get-High tours in the mid to late 70's. The best part was all the "low" stamp guys who'd pay us to buy "high" stamp drinks for them and their dates.

Anonymous said...

I went there quite a bit during the Chances/Flying Machine era. The place was pretty run down by then, but I have great memories of it! It was THE best place to see bands in the county! I agree with Drew about the whole "cabin in a horror movie" vibe of the place. I thought the same thing the first time I went there. Still, loved that place and the times I had there.

Dave Beko

Tony said...

What is the current function of the building? It almost looks like a house. I can find Lincoln Park and Lincoln Ave off Broadway on the satellite maps but I don't see anything that matches the image from bing.

I have to say Lincoln Park looks more like just a field. I wonder if it's considered an "official" city park.

Dan Brady said...

I drove over there yesterday to grab a photo of the building, and the road is closed leading to the grounds with barricades and posted signs. It's closed up tightly, that's for sure.

I did photograph it a few years ago, I'm going to see if I can dig up those shots.

Lisa said...

Maybe a friendly neighbor will let you photograph the place from their yard? It's a huge parcel and hard to believe that barricades at the main entrance would keep out those who really wanted in.

Linda Jean Limes Ellis said...

I have been wondering what happened with "Lincoln" -- I used to enjoy dancing there with my girlfriends from 1966 to about to about 1969. I remember the revolving ball in the ceiling. Mickey and the Cleancuts was the band that I remember the most. After, I turned 21, I started going dancing with my friends at the Tropicana in Avon Lake because it seemed like a lot of the 'kids' were going there. I used to like Beaver Park in the summer for the bands and dancing during those years.

Vada said...

This is cool!

Anonymous said...

Sneakers was a great club for the 80's metal scene when hair bands were breaking. Good times in Lorain!