April 2011

Another blog. About Portland. And other stuff too.

about | archives | twitter | flickr | potma | iphone snapshots | facebook | yelp
rss feed | youtube | links | the burning log


Questions? Comments? Reservations?
anotherportlandblog[at]gmail[dot]com

Another Portland Blog

Monday, July 17, 2006

 

The time my grandmother went to Mary's Club...




So this is a belated tribute to the late, great Roy Keller, a local pioneer of a different breed. I can't say I ever met the man personally but, a few months ago, I watched his daughter and a bouncer break up a fist fight in Mary's Club, the old piano bar down on SW Broadway that he transformed into the region's first strip club.

While it may not be what comes to mind when you're slapping a "keep Portland weird" bumpersticker on your car, I'll go out on a limb here and say it's one of the most unique businesses in town. Take, for example, the black-lit mural of shipyards that wrap around the back wall. Mary's Club also shares a swinging door with El Grillo, the Mexican restaurant next door where you can order a beef tongue burrito.

Word to the wise, if you ever have to hit the bathroom while dining there, you'll have to head next door. To be honest, this is why Mary's Club holds the title of "First Strip Club I've Ever Set Foot In." They also have this really amazing stripper with a giant snake tattoo that spins around like a break dancer and, while hanging upside and slowly sliding down the stage's pole, can jiggle her...nevermind. The place is weird, you get the idea.

Also, as I just learned over the weekend, once upon a time Mr. Keller was my grandparents' neighbor. Somehow, back in the early '60s when Mary's Club was making the transition between piano bar and full-fledged strip club, my grandfather convinced his wife and his sister to head down there for a night on the town. As she regaled my mother with this story a few days ago, my grandmother reportedly told tale of a "shocking" cabaret singer on stage that evening. "She came out dressed like a man," she said. "A man! Can you believe it?!" And then, much like Julie Andrews in Victor/Victoria, she sang a couple of songs and that was pretty much it.

I don't know if either of my grandparents know what goes on down there nowadays. Maybe I should call them up and tell them about the snake lady.

Here's to you, Mr. Keller. Thanks for helping to turn Portland into the city with the highest amount of strips clubs per capita in the United States. And for given my elders something to blush about all these years later.

Comments: Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]



Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home


SEARCH THIS BLOG? SURE, NO PROBLEMO, AS BART SIMPSON USED TO SAY....





www.flickr.com




-archives-

  • October 2003
  • November 2003
  • December 2003
  • January 2004
  • February 2004
  • March 2004
  • April 2004
  • May 2004
  • June 2004
  • July 2004
  • August 2004
  • September 2004
  • October 2004
  • November 2004
  • December 2004
  • January 2005
  • February 2005
  • March 2005
  • April 2005
  • May 2005
  • June 2005
  • July 2005
  • August 2005
  • September 2005
  • October 2005
  • November 2005
  • December 2005
  • January 2006
  • February 2006
  • March 2006
  • April 2006
  • May 2006
  • June 2006
  • July 2006
  • August 2006
  • September 2006
  • October 2006
  • November 2006
  • December 2006
  • January 2007
  • February 2007
  • March 2007
  • April 2007
  • May 2007
  • June 2007
  • July 2007
  • August 2007
  • September 2007
  • October 2007
  • November 2007
  • December 2007
  • January 2008
  • February 2008
  • March 2008
  • April 2008
  • May 2008
  • June 2008
  • July 2008
  • August 2008
  • September 2008
  • October 2008
  • November 2008
  • December 2008
  • January 2009
  • February 2009
  • March 2009
  • April 2009
  • May 2009
  • June 2009
  • July 2009
  • August 2009
  • October 2009
  • November 2009
  • December 2009
  • January 2010
  • February 2010
  • March 2010
  • April 2010
  • August 2010
  • September 2010
  • October 2010
  • November 2010
  • January 2011
  • February 2011
  • March 2011
  • April 2011

  • Clicky Web Analytics


    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?