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Club Universe

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Club Universe was a trend-setting circuit party style gay nightclub in SoMa San Francisco, California, from October 1994 to July 2002 begun by Ty Dakota and Audrey Joseph. It was located at 177 Townsend Street, and connected directly to the King Street Garage on the other side of the block on King Street. Club Universe was the longest running and most successful Saturday night gay dance venue San Francisco.

Some famous musicians performed there, including, Grace Jones, Cyndi Lauper, Erasure, B-52's, Jody Watley, and Deborah Harry. DJs who performed there include Blackstone, David Harness, Mark Farina, David Morales, Jeff Johnson, Matt Consola, Page Hodel, Pete Avila, Jamie J Sanchez, and of course it's founding DJ's Jerry Bohnam and Alex Cunningham. As head resident DJ and music director from 1997 until the club's closing in 2002, Jamie J worked behind the scenes developing the club's music policy and hiring guest DJs such as Peter Rauhofer, Manny Lehman and Razor & Guido. Many more who influenced, and are still influencing, club music and culture today performed there such as gender illustionist Heklina. Each week a new theme would be brought in for Saturday night such as a beach scene, complete with go-go dancers in lifeguard outfits sitting on lookout chairs. There were many different club productions at Townsend and the King Street Garage that promoted diversity and unity not only within the gay community, but in all of San Francisco's various scenes. Some of those parties were Club Asia (showcasing Asian club culture), Futura (showcasing Latin club culture) and Sundance Saloon (featuring country and western two-step and line dancing.).

Club Universe's final event took place on July 7, 2002 and on San Francisco Gay Pride Day in 2002, Pleasuredome, the companion Sunday Tea Dance had it's last day. More than three thousand club goers and circuit boys turned out for this memorable farewell. The club's warehouse building was demolished in 2004. A condo building now occupies the site. Due to popular demand by the gay community in San Francisco, Audrey Joseph opened a new Saturday night dance party in April, 2003 at 444 Jesse Street in the style of Club Universe. The new club and party were both named "Mezzanine". Audrey Joseph left Mezzanine in September 2003. After the decline of attendance since 2004, the new club management renamed the party Industry (Club). As of 2005, the party now only occurs on holiday weekends and for special events.


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