Below is from “The Bars That Were”
Opened 1972 in Tampa on Kennedy Blvd. This was once Tampa premier drag club, under the watchful eyes of Rene himself and his brother Ceasar. this is also where our favorite Reno bartended. Reno today is at “Metropolis.”
What fun times me and my friend Roger had. Back then(1974), both of us 22, we would drive down from Dade City where we lived, hit Rene’s (saw Gloria Gaynor and Donna Summer there) and don’t forget the great hypnotist shows!
We would then drive over to Jacks on the beach, close the bar, and then sleep on the beach. Sundays Pass A Grille was the place all the guys went to the beach. No parking meters either! What a fun safe time.
My name was Doug/Dana..
I have many wonderful memories of those days..
That was a time when drag shows were fierce and the queens were legendary. From 1978 through 1981 I saw many queens come and go..but at Renes you had to be either very talented or beautiful to work in the shows.
During those years I worked with Tiffany Arieagus “who was my personal favorite”. Tiffani Middlesexx, I was there when Rene brought her in from I think it was Ohio I could be wrong but he took her under his well seasoned wing and Boom she was Miss Florida.
Heather Fontaine, Coquina Chell, Eve Star, Sandi Cher, My beloved Kim Ross,
Erica Andress and Mellissa Mason, Tissy Malone, Gerri Day, Dana Douglas ‘the blonde goddess” Chena Black, Chena Kelly, Candi Stratton, Patti Cakes, Chelsea Hazel, Lakesha Lucky “the dancing Dynamo” Mohagany. I remember when Mahogany would be out by the pool before she got her start @ Rene’s and would do mini drag shows by the pool she wore rene down till he finally let her get on the stage and she tore it up and then went on to become Miss Florida and Miss USA. Bobbie Lake worked there for a short time she was basically what we called a Goya girl as was Gilda Golden who worked at Rene’s Briefly as well. The Goddess Roxanne Russell made guest appearances she had moved to Cali..When they would have the Chocolate Coffee and tea show that starred Arieagus, Kim Ross & Hot Chocolate the lines to get in would be around the club..That show was amazing.
The bartenders were Denis Dorado, Reno, Jerry Powel, Don Paxon, Curry Stevenson and others I cant quite remember at the moment and of course Rosie aka baby pussy ” which I named him in 1978″ who worked at the kikiki recently.Lady Tiffany would work the door “she was a hot mess” but a dear.
Eddie Coin worked the door at times in the early days and then the beloved Fruity the lesbian that wanted to be a gay man. “loved her”
It was a most magical time and if anyone from those days is still kickin and would like to contact me please do so @ DaynaDaDiva@aol.com. I would love to have a Rene’s reunion.
I have enclosed a few pieces of memorabilia..