Twist Social Club is unapologetically gay.
But as queer as it is, the Cleveland club is just as trailblazing. From helping bring the Gay Games to Northeast Ohio in 2014 to being the only LGBTQ Browns Backers location, the club is one of the region’s most important gay destinations.
Since 1999, Twist’s mission has been to create a welcoming space for entertainment the LGBTQ community can’t find elsewhere, owner Constantine Katsaros says. The voices of the patrons and local performers create the culture at the Clifton Boulevard bar.
“It’s a very strong, tight-knit community," says Katsaros, who co-owns the bar with Jack Messer. "Everybody’s always willing to pitch in.”
Despite the imagery the word "club" might evoke, Twist offers a cozy atmosphere, opting for rustic brick walls and a funky chandelier over hyper-modern bar decor. In warmer weather, cool off with a frozen strawberry daiquiri ($10) or signature Jello shot on the patio.
Thursday drag night is the club’s biggest weekly event, but it also hosts popular karaoke and trivia nights as well as weekend brunches of barbecue fare. It’s a haven with a little something for everyone.
“We definitely pride ourselves, first and foremost, as a safe space, a gathering space and a place where we can really celebrate the gay culture,” says Katsaros. 11633 Clifton Blvd., Cleveland, 216-221-2333, twistsocialclub.com