Toledo Talk

Bretz is closing

We would like to start this post by thanking all of our customers and staff, past and present for over 30 years of support not only to Bretz but to the LGBT community in Toledo. Tomorrow evening, December 21st will be our last night. Bretz has been sold, with the new owners taking possession Friday afternoon. While we’re not sure about what’s in store for 2012 Adams, we want to thank you all for allowing us to serve you the past three decades. So come out as we flip on “The Bretz Neon” sign one last time tomorrow for dollar night. Doors open at 10PM. From their facebook.

created by stooks on Dec 20, 2017 at 03:48:25 pm     Comments: 76

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Comments ... #

Haven't been there in years. I guess too many others haven't either. Still, sad to see it close. On the bright side, perhaps the new owner will make a real go of it.

posted by Foodie on Dec 20, 2017 at 03:59:19 pm     #  

Crowds in recent years have really fluctuated from packed to sparse. I'll miss the place, and also think it is sad another safe space for LGBTQ people in Toledo is closing. My wife and I plan to try to make it tomorrow night.

posted by Nolan_Rosenkrans on Dec 20, 2017 at 04:31:17 pm     #  

Anyone know what the new owners have planned?

posted by ckbeats21 on Dec 20, 2017 at 04:44:33 pm     #  

Sounds like it's a mystery to most of the uptown business owners. Super curious to see what's next! Nolan, if you find anything out tomorrow, please let us know...

posted by upso on Dec 20, 2017 at 06:17:12 pm     #   1 person liked this

Nolan_Rosenkrans posted at 04:31:17 PM on Dec 20, 2017:

Crowds in recent years have really fluctuated from packed to sparse. I'll miss the place, and also think it is sad another safe space for LGBTQ people in Toledo is closing. My wife and I plan to try to make it tomorrow night.

Some of us have been working pretty damn hard to make sure every place is a safe place for LGBTQ people. If it was all for nothing, I will turn in my minister license and stop being a straight white conservative who marries them. I mean... if it all hinges on one bar, not in the hearts of thousands of us.

posted by justread on Dec 20, 2017 at 09:02:06 pm     #  

Aw man. :( Lots of great memories there.

posted by endcycle on Dec 21, 2017 at 09:44:22 am     #  

I phoned a good friend of mine who I went to high school and college with who moved out of Toledo with the news last night.

I went with him a couple times when we were in college and it was a fun time. He told me that the last time he was there was a few years ago when he was home for Thanksgiving and felt like a senior citizen at the time and it was mostly young people and if you were over 25 you were out of the demographic. And he said to be fair that the reason he liked the place as a college student was because it was a younger crowd and enjoyed being around people his own age. He also stated that it felt like there were more hetrosexuals there than gay people. He said a lot of gay bars are closing up but thinks it is also a positive thing seeing that means most establishments are now accepting of all people.

A gay nephew of mine that is a college student who grew up in the Columbus area came home to visit some family Thanksgiving weekend and went there and wasn't that impressed. We all went out to Poco Loco for dinner the day before thanksgiving and a couple margarita's and him and my niece decided to walk over and check it out and Uber it back to our place after. He thought the people were pretty stuck up and quite a few hetrosexuals and my niece joked that she was getting hit on more by the guys than my nephew.

My nephew said gay bars are closing up in Columbus as well. He said that in addition to gay people preferring to hang out at mainstream bars gay people are finding dates online instead of bars.

posted by classylady on Dec 21, 2017 at 10:29:08 am     #  

Other than the bust for child porn back in the 1980s, I never heard much about Bretz. I gather that it was a fairly safe place to go, and that the crowd was mixed.

I'm not aware of any gay bars in Columbus, although I'm sure there are a few. What I am aware of, generally speaking, is that no one pays much attention to the LGBT-etc. sub-culture. I've never seen discrimination at any bars or restaurants in Columbus.

So-called dive bars don't last long in Columbus. If you know of a neighborhood bar that has sawdust on the floor, four kinds of beer on tap, and between one and three domestic fights every weekend, the place will get discovered and fill up with college kids and upper middle class types looking to slum it for the evening. So, while Joe's Bar in the middle of the block might have been a bit hard on the LGBT-etc. community at one time, that time has passed in favor of long green.

posted by madjack on Dec 21, 2017 at 11:02:10 am     #  

Greg Knott, the guy that owned the bar and was charged with child porn ended up selling the bar to someone else and died in 2010. Larry Blair who owned the Blair Realty company and Blair Lithophane museum had something to do with the financing of the bar and had his real estate office above the bar when he was alive and still a realtor.

I'm surprised they didn't stay open until January 1 since New Years Eve is one of the most profitable nights of the year for bars.

If the owner of the bar also owns the real estate I'm sure he made a nice profit as popular as that area is. I've gone to Claro at 9 p.m. on a weekend or Poco Loco later at night and had trouble finding a parking spot. When Bretz first opened there weren't many businesses in that area open at night and now you have Poco Loco, Ottawa Tavern and some other places nearby.

I used to enjoy going there in college because most of the people there were around my age. But once I reached my mid 30's I felt out of place there. If I want to go to a bar that is considered LGBT in Toledo I prefer Georgjz. George is a great guy who talks to his customers, very friendly crowd and good mix of people.

And Georgjz has great pizza as well. I have ordered take out pizza from there before.

posted by jamesteroh on Dec 21, 2017 at 11:40:41 am     #  

Obviously my age showing. Back in the day, I frequented Scaramouche and the OC - where Randy Price - former channel 13 on air personality used to hide in the corner with his entourage (I'm not outing him - he's been an on air talking head in Boston for a long time now and came out years ago) but these days my speed would be more like R House.
In reality, I haven't been to a gay bar in years. Leave that for the youngsters to enjoy.

posted by Foodie on Dec 21, 2017 at 02:52:42 pm     #  

Scaramouche was before my time but I went there when it was Joshua's. I remember the O.C. and the last night/closing party there that was a lot of fun. I remember the owner of the strip where OC was turned into a religious nut and decided to not renew any of the leases on the places because he considered it a "sin strip" OC was there, an adult book store, the Jolly Trolly, an adult movie theater and maybe some other adult businesses. He wouldn't renew leases and then the place sat almost empty for a long time.

My favorite bar was the Copa when it first opened but after a year or so it started going downhill fast.

I think a lot of the problem with Bretz is they continued to cater to a young crowd and the LGBT college age kids really don't care if the bar they go to these days is LGBT or not.

Columbus still has a few popular LGBT bars and in Toledo Georgjz seems to be doing pretty good and Legends just did a nice remodel

posted by jamesteroh on Dec 21, 2017 at 03:15:50 pm     #  

Tells you how long since I've been - had to look up Georgjz as I've not heard of them before. Looks interesting.

posted by Foodie on Dec 21, 2017 at 03:49:17 pm     #  

Georgjz is a pretty nice bar. There's a parking lot next to it and unlike Bretz if you are over 30 you don't feel like a dinosaur:) George does a lot for the community and had the love fest this summer. It's worth driving by the bar just to check out the mural on the wall on the west side of the building.

posted by jamesteroh on Dec 21, 2017 at 04:50:18 pm     #  

upso posted at 06:17:12 PM on Dec 20, 2017:

Sounds like it's a mystery to most of the uptown business owners. Super curious to see what's next! Nolan, if you find anything out tomorrow, please let us know...

So far, the owner won't return my calls, and from what I can gather from staff, they haven't been told what's up. They were also only told yesterday it was closing tonight.

posted by Nolan_Rosenkrans on Dec 21, 2017 at 05:05:26 pm     #  

so strange

posted by upso on Dec 21, 2017 at 06:43:59 pm     #  

Ran into a gay couple I know that lives downtown during the art loop tonight and they haven't been to Bretz in years. They were uptown to have dinner at Poco Loco and check out a couple stores earlier and decided to walk over to Bretz after Poco Loco for one farewell drink to find them closed and didn't realize they weren't open until 10.

They commented that there were quite a few people Uptown and glad they decided to do the bus to Adams street instead of drive because Adams was so packed they probably couldn't have found a parking spot and all the Adams streets establishments seemed to thriving at 7 p.m. They feel that owner isn't in tune with what's going on in her own neighborhood.

Something I found interesting is that they said it's a hetrosexual woman that owns the bar now.

posted by classylady on Dec 21, 2017 at 09:26:56 pm     #  

Great Blade article Nolen.

I thought about going but have to work today and was told there was a line over a block long to get in so decided not to go.

Sounds like Georgjz really benefited last night as well. Some of my friends went there and saw the line and went over to Georgjz and they said a lot of others did the same thing. Between that and the stuff happening in downtown he probably had a pretty good night.

posted by jamesteroh on Dec 22, 2017 at 09:31:13 am     #  

The line to get in last night was around the block.

Thanks, James.

posted by Nolan_Rosenkrans on Dec 22, 2017 at 09:59:22 am     #  

I found out a friend of mine was attacked last night outside of Bretz after he left the bar. Tommy Wilcox was called a "fag" and had the shit beaten out of him. He has a broken nose and I heard he may have a fractured skull and his phone was stolen. He is going to survive and is conscious now and the perp was arrested today.

What the hell is wrong with people? I will walk to Poco Loco or Claro with my boyfriend when the weather is nice and now this has me nervous. I thought that area was pretty safe now but apparently it's now.

posted by classylady on Dec 22, 2017 at 06:25:51 pm     #  

I heard about Tommy. He's a bartender at RHouse. Really sad. According to facebook his nose is broke and he has a hairline facture on his scalp and sounds like it was a hate crime. I'm glad they caught the person.

I'm surprised this story didn't make the news.

The old owner posted this on facebook:
Dear Community,
From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank every one of you for the tremendous farewell to Bretz last night.
When I took ownership of Bretz a decade ago, I had no idea the different kinds of ups and downs I would face or the wonderful friends and memories I would make. Being a part of this community has had a tremendous impact on me, and I hope I have been able to return this feeling to the community throughout the years.
Bretz was always a special place to many people, for a variety of reasons. Importantly, it provided a safe space where LGBTQ individuals could relax and enjoy themselves at a time when they may not be comfortable or safe expressing themselves elsewhere. LGBTQ bars have, and continue to, serve this function for many that need it.
As society has finally become more accepting of the LGBTQ community, the role these spaces play in the community have diminished, and many have been forced to close when the cost of keeping them open became too much.
Sadly, that’s what happened to this space I love so much on Adams Street. To be blunt, Bretz had been losing money for quite some time when I was approached with an offer to sell the business, along with the building, to an undisclosed buyer.
At first I refused and spoke with other community members and business owners that would be open, willing, and able to purchase Bretz and keep it open for the community. Unfortunately, in the end, none of these options worked.
As you know, with a heavy heart we celebrated one last time before closing the doors last night. While I hope the new owners will reopen, I truly do not know who they are or what their plans are.
In the midst of our farewell celebration, it became even more apparent that those LGBTQ spaces that remain are vital to the community and need to be supported before they have to close their doors.
This was apparent not just in the outpouring of emotion over the closing of Bretz, but in the actions that occurred later that night. As some of you may now know, Tommy Wilcox, bartender at R-House and all-around wonderful person, was physically assaulted after leaving the celebration by individuals using hate slurs. While acceptance may be more wide spread than ever before, there is still a long way to go, and we need these safe spaces to remain. I wish Tommy a speedy recovery, and hope he is out of the hospital in time to enjoy the holidays with his loved ones.
Finally, I want to thank the numerous individuals that have worked for me over the last decade. It’s no secret that some have not gotten along with me or that some are like family to me. Regardless of which of those categories you may belong to, if you worked at Bretz at anytime over the last decade, please know that you’ve meant something special to those that came to Bretz, and to me. I hope all of you (yes, really, ALL of you) find a new place that means as much to you as Bretz did.
I will miss all of you. I will miss the great celebrations we had every year, especially Pride. I will miss you, Bretz.
Sincerely,
Michelle Woda

posted by jamesteroh on Dec 22, 2017 at 09:05:34 pm     #  

Made the Blade-
http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2017/12/26/Man-allegedly-assaulted-called-homophobic-slurs.html

posted by stooks on Jan 03, 2018 at 07:05:57 am     #  

Tommy is recovering and will be ok.

It pisses me off how the city is handling this. They aren't going to treat this as a hate crime and there was no mention of the homophobic slurs in the police report.

How can this not be a hate crime? He was bashed within an inch of his life outside a gay bar and called a couple homophobic slurs.. And I don't understand why they aren't releasing the info on the attacker.

Apparently there have been a couple other robberies in this area recently. This incident has made a couple people I know a little nervous about this area and it's sad because Poco Loco and Ottawa Tavern have done a lot to try to improve it.

I had lunch at Poco Loco yesterday and noticed there was a large construction dumpster in the front of the building on Adams.

On one of the Facebook pages someone reported that the owner of a former bar on Alexis called Pulse was going around bragging he bought it and is going to open up an "urban/hip hop" themed bar there. I don't remember a night club named Pulse on Alexis but from the responses on the facebook post it sounds like the club had a lot of problems and I'm hoping it is a fake rumor and if it is true hopefully it won't cause problems for places like OT and Poco Loco who have helped improved the neighborhood.

posted by jamesteroh on Jan 03, 2018 at 11:20:41 am     #  

This would be terrible news.

posted by Xbuckeyex on Jan 03, 2018 at 11:24:07 am     #   1 person liked this

Hopefully the rumors are false. The sad thing is the entertainment district ends there so if people have open containers from that club and want to be on the street legally with them that will mean walking east on Adams where bars like OT, Manhattans and Poco Loco have invested a lot of money and work to improve the area. Hopefully the business owners and residents in the area will contest the liquor license being transferred if this is the case. I heard he had a lot of problems with his place on Alexis as far as things like drugs and crimes.

posted by jamesteroh on Jan 03, 2018 at 11:39:27 am     #  

If this is the same owner, no matter what name that bar on alexis has had, there are nothing but problems. The worst being a murder on new year about 5 or 6 years ago. http://www.norwalkreflector.com/News/2013/09/11/Man-gets-15-to-life-for-murder-of-young-mom-in-bar-brawl

posted by TrilbyGuy on Jan 03, 2018 at 11:54:40 am     #  

Pulse nightclub opened around fall-winter 2014. It was in front of the Ice House on Alexis, next door to Original Gino's. A short while after opening, a woman was struck by a stray gunshot in the buttocks on the dance floor. There was another incident later in the parking lot. They remained open and installed metal detectors at the entrance along with a uniformed police officer. I went there once to check it out as I am a fan of djs and dance clubs. It was an urban/hip-hop club, black white ratio was 100-1. In 2015 it changed names to club Envy and closed a year later after they lost their liquor license.

From Blade story April 13, 2016:
"Pulse Ultra’s address turned up in 24 police reports in 2015 for assaults, drug abuse, drug possession, drug trafficking, disorderly conduct, public indecency, theft, firearms incidents, and aggravated assault. The establishment is now known as Envy night club."

posted by mixman on Jan 03, 2018 at 12:17:49 pm     #  

South Beach was down the street. That's still open as Encore nightclub I think.

posted by mixman on Jan 03, 2018 at 12:20:48 pm     #  

mixman posted at 12:20:48 PM on Jan 03, 2018:

South Beach was down the street. That's still open as Encore nightclub I think.

My bad. Both places are always trouble and I mixed them up.

posted by TrilbyGuy on Jan 03, 2018 at 01:04:18 pm     #  

"To be blunt, Bretz had been losing money for quite some time"

^

Really a key point that wasn't mentioned enough.

It has been mentioned here for many years. Eventually only the very well-heeled can keep a sinking ship afloat.

posted by 6th_Floor on Jan 03, 2018 at 05:29:00 pm     #  

There are a few things that I think are responsible for Bretz failing.

Most young LGBT feel welcome at any establishment. I haven't been there in years but was told the music was dated but they were trying to keep the young crowd. We have non-smoking laws and while I love them, it discourages smokers from going out. There are also tougher dui laws now (which I also favor but discourage people from going out even though there is now Uber and lyft(

I think it had a good business model when Greg Knot the original owner started the bar 30 years ago. The place was always packed on weekends.

But from what I understand the new owner wasn't good about running a bar. I heard she wasn't even a member of the LGBT community. Regardless she was only at the bar occasionally and when Greg owned it he was there all the time and knew he regular patrons. Georjgz down the street has an owner that is there a lot and interacts with his customers and knows what is going on uptown.

The final night was a good example. A few people on an LGBTQ facebook page I am on commented they were out for the art loop and the shopping event and someone else was at Poco Loco for dinner and they all wanted to go there for one last drink and the bar was closed and didn't open until 10. A good business owner would know that the area would have been packed that night. While all the other establishments on Adams were packed she was closed.

posted by jamesteroh on Jan 03, 2018 at 08:35:57 pm     #  

There are a few things that I think are responsible for Bretz failing.

Most young LGBT feel welcome at any establishment. I haven't been there in years but was told the music was dated but they were trying to keep the young crowd. We have non-smoking laws and while I love them, it discourages smokers from going out. There are also tougher dui laws now (which I also favor but discourage people from going out even though there is now Uber and lyft(

I think it had a good business model when Greg Knot the original owner started the bar 30 years ago. The place was always packed on weekends.

But from what I understand the new owner wasn't good about running a bar. I heard she wasn't even a member of the LGBT community. Regardless she was only at the bar occasionally and when Greg owned it he was there all the time and knew he regular patrons. Georjgz down the street has an owner that is there a lot and interacts with his customers and knows what is going on uptown.

The final night was a good example. A few people on an LGBTQ facebook page I am on commented they were out for the art loop and the shopping event and someone else was at Poco Loco for dinner and they all wanted to go there for one last drink and the bar was closed and didn't open until 10. A good business owner would know that the area would have been packed that night. While all the other establishments on Adams were packed she was closed.

posted by jamesteroh on Jan 03, 2018 at 08:35:58 pm     #  

There are a few things that I think are responsible for Bretz failing.

Most young LGBT feel welcome at any establishment. I haven't been there in years but was told the music was dated but they were trying to keep the young crowd. We have non-smoking laws and while I love them, it discourages smokers from going out. There are also tougher dui laws now (which I also favor but discourage people from going out even though there is now Uber and lyft(

I think it had a good business model when Greg Knot the original owner started the bar 30 years ago. The place was always packed on weekends.

But from what I understand the new owner wasn't good about running a bar. I heard she wasn't even a member of the LGBT community. Regardless she was only at the bar occasionally and when Greg owned it he was there all the time and knew he regular patrons. Georjgz down the street has an owner that is there a lot and interacts with his customers and knows what is going on uptown.

The final night was a good example. A few people on an LGBTQ facebook page I am on commented they were out for the art loop and the shopping event and someone else was at Poco Loco for dinner and they all wanted to go there for one last drink and the bar was closed and didn't open until 10. A good business owner would know that the area would have been packed that night. While all the other establishments on Adams were packed she was closed.

posted by jamesteroh on Jan 03, 2018 at 08:35:59 pm     #  

Thu, Jan 4, 2018 - Toledo Blade - Police potentially looking into 'hate crime'

Excerpts:

Toledo police said they have identified a suspect potentially responsible for an assault outside Bretz nightclub that is now being investigated as a possible hate crime.

A police report dated Dec. 22 detailed Mr. Wilcox’s account of the attack but did not mention the homophobic slurs Mr. Wilcox said he was called. Under a section of the report titled “Hate Bias Type” the report said, “Not Reported.”

Mr. Wilcox said he is frustrated that homophobic epithets uttered at him were not mentioned in the police report. He admitted he was intoxicated and concussed after the assault, but was emphatic he told the responding officers and detective about the slurs.

Toledo police this week said officers know of the attacker’s supposed use of slurs — even if the original report did not reflect that knowledge. They’re now investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.

Officers have a suspect and the detective on the case is working on bringing that person in for questioning, said Sgt. Kevan Toney, the Toledo Police Department’s spokesman.

Under Toledo municipal law, an incident is characterized as a hate crime if it was motivated by race, religion, color, sex, handicap, age, or a “person’s actual or perceived heterosexuality, bisexuality, homosexuality, or gender identity.”

Toledo’s ordinance only applies to misdemeanors, said Jeffrey Lingo, criminal division chief of Lucas County prosecutor’s office.

posted by jr on Jan 04, 2018 at 01:09:39 pm     #  

Hopefully the guy will get charged with a hate crime and not get off with a hand slap.

posted by jamesteroh on Jan 04, 2018 at 03:14:25 pm     #  

I totally understand the value of Bretz to the lgbtq community. I get why they and other long-term patrons would be sorry to see it close, and concerned about finding alternatives where they can feel as comfortable. Got it.

What I don't understand (I mean that sincerely, if you can esplain it, great) is what gives the lgbtq community oversight of how the new owner intends to use the property (within the law.) Is it because it happens to be a church? A church that is not on the leading edge of gender and identity acceptance? Certainly a church I would not belong to, but that building is theirs, not mine. I was sorry to see Frank Unkle's close. That didn't give me any sway to prevent the Zoo from using it as their offices. Now THAT's a sin.

Maybe someone in the lgbtq community or just someone who values their business should make their own investment to replace Bretz with something else. Clearly there is a market.

posted by justread on Feb 01, 2018 at 01:06:07 pm     #   5 people liked this

From what I've gathered from many of my friends through online, in person and other forms of communications is that there are a few reasons why some people are expressing concern.

1. When Claro moved into the neighborhood, it angered some because they are directly tied to an anti-gay religious organization and have tasked themselves with bringing some light to the darkness (paraphrasing) that is Adams St. If you spend some tie on Adam street, you'll realize we just need more street lamps. You can imagine, the presence of Claro already has some on edge.

2. No one knew Bretz was up for sale because it technically was not on the market. The owner of Bretz was approached by a blind trust with an offer they could not refuse. The owner had no idea it was coming from an anti-gay church. More than one person has mentioned that the church leader was told by God to buy the building.

3. I think all of this seemingly coming out of nowhere is just generally ruffling lots of feathers. Pretty much the rest of Adam's street is VERY gay-friendly. The businesses and patrons just want to get a better understanding of the intent of the new owners. Is it anti-gay? Is it something else? Could it be something else? There is an opportunity to have dialog up front, vs. just responding to whatever ends up going into the space.

posted by upso on Feb 01, 2018 at 01:19:15 pm     #   3 people liked this

Thanks for posting that info Upso.

I've found most of the businesses, including Claro, on Adams to be friendly to all. In fact in August on a Sunday a few of the restaurants on Adams had a pride brunch. I remember Poco Loco (which is normally closed on Sunday), Manhattans, OT and Wesley's participating and there was at least one other place I can't remember. It was pretty cool, it was a flat donation amount (I think it was around $10) and they gave you a wristband and you could go to the various restaurants that each had some type of food and it was all you could eat at any restaurant by just showing the wrist band, you only had to pay for your drinks and a few of the places had a special drink.

I'm hoping that the church doesn't try to cause problems for the Adams Street businesses. Uptown has had a couple good places open up on Adams street with good food and the owners are doing a good job of trying to attract a decent clientelle and keeping the area safe.

I'm just hoping that the church doesn't cause por

posted by jamesteroh on Feb 01, 2018 at 01:36:58 pm     #  

upso posted at 01:19:15 PM on Feb 01, 2018:

From what I've gathered from many of my friends through online, in person and other forms of communications is that there are a few reasons why some people are expressing concern.

1. When Claro moved into the neighborhood, it angered some because they are directly tied to an anti-gay religious organization and have tasked themselves with bringing some light to the darkness (paraphrasing) that is Adams St. If you spend some tie on Adam street, you'll realize we just need more street lamps. You can imagine, the presence of Claro already has some on edge.

2. No one knew Bretz was up for sale because it technically was not on the market. The owner of Bretz was approached by a blind trust with an offer they could not refuse. The owner had no idea it was coming from an anti-gay church. More than one person has mentioned that the church leader was told by God to buy the building.

3. I think all of this seemingly coming out of nowhere is just generally ruffling lots of feathers. Pretty much the rest of Adam's street is VERY gay-friendly. The businesses and patrons just want to get a better understanding of the intent of the new owners. Is it anti-gay? Is it something else? Could it be something else? There is an opportunity to have dialog up front, vs. just responding to whatever ends up going into the space.

Thanks upso.

posted by justread on Feb 01, 2018 at 01:41:50 pm     #  

24 did a story and interviewed Nick Komives about it:
http://nbc24.com/news/local/lgbtq-community-concerned-with-new-owner-of-former-bretz-location

posted by jamesteroh on Feb 01, 2018 at 01:43:54 pm     #  

"The owner of Bretz was approached by a blind trust with an offer they could not refuse. The owner had no idea it was coming from an anti-gay church."

Do you have any info on what kind of agreement was in place between Bretz and the building owner? Change in ownership does not affect a lease, so was Bretz' lease up at almost the exact time the building was sold? If I buy a building today, I'm legally bound to honor the lease that was in place before it changed hands.

posted by Johio83 on Feb 01, 2018 at 02:06:38 pm     #  

I believe the owner of the building owned Bretz. Not sure if there was a lease in place...

posted by upso on Feb 01, 2018 at 02:27:23 pm     #  

Geeze. That must have been quite the offer he got, if he was willing to jeopardize his business as well.

posted by Johio83 on Feb 01, 2018 at 02:30:23 pm     #  

The bar was originally owned by Greg Knott and Larry Blair who were both realtors. I knew Mr. Blair when he was a realtor (he had his realty company above bretz and is the same Larry Blair who owned the lithopane glass museum). Both nice guys. It's my understanding that the lady Greg sold the bar too isn't a member of the gay community and wasn't at the bar very often and the bar was only open a few nights a week so it's hard to be profitable when you run a business like that.

According to the auditor's site she took a loss on the sale of the building, not sure about the business. I was told she had been trying to sell the business for quite some time.

My boyfriend and I would go dancing there sometimes when Greg owned the bar but once we got to the age of 35ish we felt out of place there and he had designed the bar for the younger crowd.

I like Georgjz419 on Adams next to JD Wesley's for an occasional cocktail. They have the best pizza in the downtown area and we have gone in several times and had a cocktail/beer while waiting on a pizza to be made to take home. George was going around introducing himself when he first opened to his patrons and it's not unusual to see him walking around the bar talking to customers.

posted by classylady on Feb 01, 2018 at 04:02:01 pm     #  

I wouldn't be too concerned about the church. In today's SJW environment, they'd be protested, boycotted, vandalized or worse if they become vocal anti-gay loudmouths - which they'd have every right to do.
And those who disagree with their POV would have the same right to VOICE their opinion. But only with VOICE - written or spoken.

posted by Foodie on Feb 01, 2018 at 07:59:06 pm     #   1 person liked this

Village on Adams posted this on their facebook. They also stated Zombie Crawl will begin at 20th and Adams now.

The Adams Street entertainment district has become a safe place for all and Bretz was truly a leader in these efforts. They were a staple in our community and a home for the LGBT community for decades and we were heartbroken at their closing last month. The Village on Adams wants to ensure our shop, bar, and restaurant patrons that the street will remain a safe place and continue to support equality for everyone, no matter what. Adams Street is a place for love, understanding, support, and celebration. We stand with the LGBT community and will strive to continue the actions of Bretz and LGBT-owned businesses on Adams and around our city. Toledo Loves Love.

posted by jamesteroh on Feb 01, 2018 at 08:52:57 pm     #   1 person liked this

Could the City's planning commission block the sale? What about city council?

posted by Dappling2 on Feb 04, 2018 at 12:14:10 pm     #  

There would be no reason to block the sale. Everything that has happened is perfectly legal.

posted by upso on Feb 04, 2018 at 12:54:31 pm     #   1 person liked this

Dappling2 posted at 12:14:10 PM on Feb 04, 2018:

Could the City's planning commission block the sale? What about city council?

There are federal laws against using zoning to discriminate against religions. They are expensive to fight, and municipalities generally lose.

It's an interesting way to 'fight' behavior that groups are opposed to. Instead of picketing and protesting, a la SJW, use the almighty dollar to remove it. Not unlike corporate shareholder activism. Not saying I agree with the group that bought the building, just saying its a peaceful and quiet way to push change in an area.

posted by not_me on Feb 04, 2018 at 02:24:14 pm     #  

There are plenty of buildings in the area that are ripe for development. If the community feels like they've been wronged, then rally together, find a willing owner/operator, and establish a new spot. Like I keep saying, the previous owner willingly sold it, so it's not like there was some nefarious plot to pull the rug out from under Bretz. Unless there's part of the story that hasn't been made public, everything that has happened has happened fairly.

posted by Johio83 on Feb 05, 2018 at 09:31:31 am     #  

This story is confusing.

"No one knew Bretz was up for sale because it technically was not on the market. The owner of Bretz was approached by a blind trust with an offer they could not refuse. "

"... the previous owner willingly sold it, so it's not like there was some nefarious plot to pull the rug out from under Bretz. Unless there's part of the story that hasn't been made public, everything that has happened has happened fairly."


Comments further up in this thread imply that the Bretz owner and the building/property owner were the same person or group, but I infer from the Blade story below that two different parties owned the business and the property.

Based upon the Blade story below, for three years, the Bretz owner tried to sell the business. When that failed to happen, the property owner sold the building, which obviously meant that Bretz had to close.

It appears that since nobody wanted to buy Bretz, then the building went up for sale in October 2017, and Bretz remained open until someone bought the building. Bretz announced its closure in late December 2017. The official sold date for the building was listed as January 2018, but I assume that the parties made some kind of purchase agreement in December.


Feb 2, 2018 - Toledo Blade - Bretz nightclub purchased by anti-LGBTQ group

Lucas County auditor records show the building at 2012 Adams was purchased Jan. 3 for $148,000, with Midland Agency of Northwest Ohio Inc., which is listed as trustee for the new owner.

The directors of the Greater Toledo House of Prayer said they had outgrown the space in a rented office building in downtown Toledo where the church had been holding services for several years, and needed a larger facility for worship.

"In October, 2017, the ministry became aware that the Adams Street building was available for sale ..."

If nobody knew the building was for sale, how did one church know that the building was for sale back in October?


Blade:

"In October, 2017, the ministry became aware that the Adams Street building was available for sale, then toured the building, and determined the space would work well for the group. GTHOP was informed by the owner of Bretz, that over the past three years, efforts were made to sell the business and keep the nightclub open. However, negotiations with interested parties never materialized into a sale of the business, leading the bar owner to make the decision to close the establishment. Knowing this, the property owner eventually decided to sell the real estate," the directors said in the release provided by Richard Kerger.


GTHOP was informed by the owner of Bretz?? I'm assuming that these were not direct communications because that does not align with what was posted earlier in this thread by others.

"The owner had no idea it was coming from an anti-gay church."

Comment above that excerpted or copied from a December 2017 Facebook posting:

The old owner posted this on facebook:
To be blunt, Bretz had been losing money for quite some time ...

While I hope the new owners will reopen, I truly do not know who they are or what their plans are.

Maybe the Blade story lacks information about how and when the parties communicated. Did GTHOP tour the building in October or December? Did the Bretz owner not know who toured the building?


More from the Blade story:

A Christian group with anti-LGBTQ views has purchased the former Bretz nightclub on Adams Street in the UpTown District and plans to renovate the building to use as their new place of worship.

In a news release provided by their attorney, The Greater Toledo House of Prayer denied statements made earlier this week by a LGBTQ organization that claimed the former gay dance club was bought by a hate group.

"Public statements have been made suggesting that GTHOP was itself involved in the closing of the nightclub, however this is not accurate," the group's board of directors said in a statement.

The Greater Toledo House of Prayer statements of belief on its website show it views LGBTQ people as immoral, stating that it considers homosexuality, bisexuality, and having a gender identity different than the birth sex chromosomal level are against the group’s values.

Jo Jakeway, chair of the Promise House Project — a nonprofit for runaway and homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youths — said that the Bretz building was bought by an organization with ties to the controversial International House of Prayer.

Mrs. Jakeway said Friday she doesn't know for sure if the local Christian group is affiliated to the International House of Prayer. However, she said she has concerns about the motivation behind buying the former gay nightclub.

posted by jr on Feb 05, 2018 at 11:28:46 am     #   1 person liked this

"the property owner sold the building, which obviously meant that Bretz had to close."

Only if Bretz was operating without a lease in place, or the lease happened to expire right before the building changed hands (which could be the case, as it was the end of the year)

posted by Johio83 on Feb 05, 2018 at 11:33:38 am     #  

Johio83 posted at 11:33:38 AM on Feb 05, 2018:

"the property owner sold the building, which obviously meant that Bretz had to close."

Only if Bretz was operating without a lease in place, or the lease happened to expire right before the building changed hands (which could be the case, as it was the end of the year)

I think I read that the building owner was the business owner, and had been losing money for some time. Perhaps this is not correct.
But this would make any issue of lease moot.

posted by justread on Feb 05, 2018 at 12:00:43 pm     #  

I disagree about it being illegal for city council or the planning commission to stop the sale.

You have laws, but you also have what is morally right.

For example, Obama said many times he couldn’t unilaterally implement the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program because he wasn’t a “king.”

Then he did it anyway, which was technically a violation of the law and executive branch privilege. However, people stood behind this skirting of the law because it was for the greater good.

The same thing happened with the Affordable Care Act. Portions of the law were waaived, the executive branch allocated money, etc. All of these were a violation of the law.

If stopping a "hate group" from buying a property calls for an ignoring a law, so be it. There are laws and there is what is right and for the greater good.

posted by Dappling2 on Feb 08, 2018 at 12:21:49 pm     #   1 person liked this

Dappling2 posted at 12:21:49 PM on Feb 08, 2018:

I disagree about it being illegal for city council or the planning commission to stop the sale.

You have laws, but you also have what is morally right.

For example, Obama said many times he couldn’t unilaterally implement the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program because he wasn’t a “king.”

Then he did it anyway, which was technically a violation of the law and executive branch privilege. However, people stood behind this skirting of the law because it was for the greater good.

The same thing happened with the Affordable Care Act. Portions of the law were waaived, the executive branch allocated money, etc. All of these were a violation of the law.

If stopping a "hate group" from buying a property calls for an ignoring a law, so be it. There are laws and there is what is right and for the greater good.

Your essay betrays your thesis statement.

posted by justread on Feb 08, 2018 at 12:55:51 pm     #   4 people liked this

How can the city stop the sale seeing it has already occurred?

There is a little bit or irony with us complaining a bar is selling to a church. Usually it's churches that complain about bars moving in an area

posted by classylady on Feb 08, 2018 at 02:43:50 pm     #  

More irony: A group of people who have been wrongly pre-judged for years feeling upset about a group of people they don't know, based on perceived differences, in advance, for offenses not yet committed or threats realized. Just in case.

posted by justread on Feb 08, 2018 at 02:56:14 pm     #   12 people liked this

Seeing the history of this church and their clear views of homosexuality on their website I can understand why the gay community is nervous about what this group has planned.

posted by classylady on Feb 09, 2018 at 12:13:51 pm     #   1 person liked this

the gay community is nervous about what this group has planned.

What exactly has this group planned that has the "gay community"
nervous? (I understand they have things on their website that we don't like.) What do they have planned?

posted by justread on Feb 09, 2018 at 02:01:22 pm     #   1 person liked this

"... the gay community is nervous about what this group has planned."

Our entire community should always be nervous by what local government has planned.

Nothing is more dangerous than a politician who decides to think.

posted by jr on Feb 09, 2018 at 03:46:17 pm     #  

Full disclosure: lest anyone get uncomfortable, I am making philosophical points, not anti-gay points. A dear sibling and my child are both gay. I became part of the "gay community" when I signed the first marriage license.

If some group comes in with bad intentions and commits bad acts, it is not going to go well for them. Nor should it. The same free market that allowed them to buy the building will not be kind.
Hopefully, at some point, there will be some dialog and some of the fear can either turn to resolve, or be allowed to dissolve.

posted by justread on Feb 10, 2018 at 05:53:00 am     #  

I take issue with your ironies, Justread - the House of Prayer groups have already showed what they are about - tacitly promoting the "kill the gays" bill in Uganda a few years ago is enough in my book to be concerned about their activities as a gay man. I think you are trading in false equivalencies. It's not a 'perception' - it's their actions. What did the 'gay community' do to this organization (I refuse to call it a 'church') to cause its followers to promote such a law?

posted by swampprof on Feb 10, 2018 at 10:38:51 am     #  

I think it's foolish for small minority groups like the LGBT community to give the benefit of the doubt to a group that has already demonstrated in its words, actions (conversion therapies) and its work in Uganda. Furthermore, the suggestion that gays and Christianity are someone one equal footing in US society is patently absurd. When did the LGBT community elect a government that outlawed Christianity? When did the LGBT community promote conversion therapy for "immoral Christians"? When did the LGBT community ignore a plague that consumed the Christian community? When did the LGBT community get scientists to label faith a mental illness? Of course, good "Christians" in the US have done that for decades to the gay community, not the other way around. We can't sit back and wait for them to act again on their "good Christian" consciences. I've known plenty, PLENTY of good Christians who do not target vulnerable minority groups and define themselves against those minority groups. The House of Prayer groups, and others like them, make enemies of vulnerable people in order to shore up their own fragile, charismatic leaders. This is a pattern as old as the hills.

posted by swampprof on Feb 10, 2018 at 10:45:18 am     #   2 people liked this

Last o' the morning: The Blade has again published a workingman's friend editorial, this time about actor John Mahoney, who died this week. He played Frasier's dad. What the editorial conveniently omitted was that Mahoney did all this amazing stuff while gay.

http://www.toledoblade.com/Editorials/2018/02/09/Frasier-s-dad.html

https://intomore.com/culture/Why-The-Media-Is-Keeping-John-Mahoney-In-The-Closet/2334deba14374df7

posted by swampprof on Feb 10, 2018 at 10:49:23 am     #  

When did they do it that is what is being suggested in this blog about oh it doesn't matter if a law is broken if we stop them from buying a building etc.

posted by In_vin_veritas on Feb 10, 2018 at 10:49:55 am     #  

Freedom of Religion?

posted by ThePhysician on Feb 10, 2018 at 12:17:13 pm     #  

swampprof posted at 10:38:51 AM on Feb 10, 2018:

I take issue with your ironies, Justread - the House of Prayer groups have already showed what they are about - tacitly promoting the "kill the gays" bill in Uganda a few years ago is enough in my book to be concerned about their activities as a gay man. I think you are trading in false equivalencies. It's not a 'perception' - it's their actions. What did the 'gay community' do to this organization (I refuse to call it a 'church') to cause its followers to promote such a law?

I will stand between the gays and the people who killed gays in Uganda who are coming to Adams St. to kill our gays. I promise.

posted by justread on Feb 10, 2018 at 12:32:18 pm     #   1 person liked this

justread posted at 12:32:18 PM on Feb 10, 2018:
swampprof posted at 10:38:51 AM on Feb 10, 2018:

I take issue with your ironies, Justread - the House of Prayer groups have already showed what they are about - tacitly promoting the "kill the gays" bill in Uganda a few years ago is enough in my book to be concerned about their activities as a gay man. I think you are trading in false equivalencies. It's not a 'perception' - it's their actions. What did the 'gay community' do to this organization (I refuse to call it a 'church') to cause its followers to promote such a law?

I will stand between the gays and the people who killed gays in Uganda who are coming to Adams St. to kill our gays. I promise.

The "killing" is symbolic in this case, but the aims are not dissimilar. "Bringing light to the darkness" of Adams St, is an agenda not so hidden, don't you think?

posted by swampprof on Feb 10, 2018 at 12:47:44 pm     #   4 people liked this

Who watches "Shameless?" Ian Gallagher is "Gay Jesus" who takes over an old church to house his LGBTQ supporters. It's like Bretz in Toledo only in reverse.

posted by ThePhysician on Feb 10, 2018 at 03:34:54 pm     #   1 person liked this

If suppression oppression my wallet is bigger than yours so might makes right is the point will stand shoulder to shoulder with you justread.

posted by Mariner on Feb 10, 2018 at 05:48:08 pm     #  

swampprof posted at 12:47:44 PM on Feb 10, 2018:
justread posted at 12:32:18 PM on Feb 10, 2018:
swampprof posted at 10:38:51 AM on Feb 10, 2018:

I take issue with your ironies, Justread - the House of Prayer groups have already showed what they are about - tacitly promoting the "kill the gays" bill in Uganda a few years ago is enough in my book to be concerned about their activities as a gay man. I think you are trading in false equivalencies. It's not a 'perception' - it's their actions. What did the 'gay community' do to this organization (I refuse to call it a 'church') to cause its followers to promote such a law?

I will stand between the gays and the people who killed gays in Uganda who are coming to Adams St. to kill our gays. I promise.

The "killing" is symbolic in this case, but the aims are not dissimilar. "Bringing light to the darkness" of Adams St, is an agenda not so hidden, don't you think?

Everybody has an agenda. I'm betting on our gays. The more diabolical the plans of the evil conspiring church, the more I am betting on our gays. Even if this becomes a real estate war. Gays have economic power too. This is a little like worrying about the next Nazi march in Toledo. They aren't going to have fun here. They do have rights though.
In the final analysis, Adams St. seems not a fertile field for biggots of any kind.

posted by justread on Feb 11, 2018 at 04:11:46 am     #   2 people liked this

You did no ascribe "In the final analysis" properly to JFK so join Larry in the back of the room and no fighting please.

posted by Mariner on Feb 11, 2018 at 10:24:04 am     #  

The "killing" is symbolic in this case...

If I'm going to get killed, I'd much rather be killed symbolically than actually.

I find this discussion somewhat specious. By all accounts, Bretz was losing money, and so closed. The building that housed Bretz is being sold (or has already been sold) to someone else. It remains to be seen what the new owner will do with the property, but whatever they do, if it's a commercial venture then it will succeed or fail. And that's that.

If the LGBT etc. ad nauseam wants another gay bar in town, let them form a corporation and open one. If they (meaning gays) are, for some insane reason, afraid of what the new owner will do to them, let them join the Pink Pistols and learn to defend themselves.

posted by madjack on Feb 11, 2018 at 05:31:41 pm     #  

It's a bit of hyperbole, but I'm unsettled particularly with Pence as Veep and the not-so uncoded racisms that Trump regular tweets. I'm a reformed Hoosier, and watched closely the garbage Pence unleashed there. While I have no evidence that any church or organization is fomenting violence, they speak in terms of 'immorality' that convince unstable people that violence is the remedy, and that laws limiting civil rights for LGBTs are just fine. I know as Americans we try awful hard to convince ourselves of the march of progress and the arcs of justice, but there are plenty of examples in US history of things going alright for minorities and then turning bad fast, and I fear we are on the cusp of another one of those bad turns. That's why this looks more sinister than just "business" to me.

posted by swampprof on Feb 11, 2018 at 10:34:20 pm     #   5 people liked this

I think it is wise to be vigilant, but you are experiencing things very deeply that haven't happened yet, and if they do, you will have experienced the things you fear twice.

We kind of widened out here, so I will say one president will have a gay son, the next vice president will have a gay daughter. The next will not. And so on. Indiana will still be Indiana. We will survive this and nobody is coming to get the gays. No matter what some church thinks as evidenced by what we find online and can attribute or cross-attribute. They may buy as much real estate as they wish. They may not foment violence. Unstable people are an issue either way. We are not living in a new world here, we are carrying on. Do not mistake the election of Trump as a mandate against gays. If every person who voted for Trump were a single issue voter (which they weren't), it wouldn't have been the gay issue.

On the issue of unstable people. That is what I fear. Not bigotry expressed by the newly brave inhabitants of the internet. Not guns. Not gays. I fear the legitimately sociopathic. They are so bad, even 10,000 gun laws and massive restrictions on the rest of society don't phase them. And we will keep legislating against activities that are fine when done by normal people, but can go wrong when sociopaths do it. But we will never fix the sociopaths. They will live their lives, interspersed with us, psychological bomb-clocks ticking.
No laws, a million laws. Doesn't matter to a real sociopath.

Back on Adams, St: If I were an Adams St. person, I would continue to act, think, and live in Adams St. ways. I would not allow one property to change everything. The only thing we can truly control in life is our attitude toward it, and attitude is an Adams St. advantage. I would continue to treat everybody with kindness and to value the diversity we find. I would ignore anybody who comes in with the intent to disrupt or agitate. But none of us can protect our neighborhood from the free market forever. At some point, the diversity we seek comes home as the diversity some other guy sought, too. That's how diversity works. It's awesome until one day you wake up and have nothing but Armenian restaurants for miles. Good with the bad.

posted by justread on Feb 12, 2018 at 06:04:33 am     #