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Last night at Man’s Country Chicago

Opened in 1973, Man’s Country Chicago was the dream of Chuck Renslow, the entrepreneur and gay rights figure who died last June at age 87. Renslow founded the annual International Mr. Leather contest and the Leather Archives & Museum in Rogers Park. While the AIDS epidemic prompted other U.S. cities to close gay bathhouses in the 80s, Man’s Country persisted. In 1987, Renslow and his partner of three decades, Ron Ehemann, opened the nightclub Bistro Too in another section of the building. That club played host to big-name performers such as the Village People and Divine, as well as a variety of cabaret acts: dancers, comedians, magicians, hypnotists, even drag-queen wrestling. It was closed in the 90s, around the time that Man’s Country became an Internet pornography pioneer, posting videos of strippers’ performances to the Web… read more >

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