3356 North Halsted Street
How long have you own Roscoe’s?
We opened on Good Friday, April 1, 1987. We were lucky to be in the right spot at the right time, and business flourished as soon as we opened our doors.
How long have you lived in Chicago?
I’m originally from Des Moines, Iowa, but I’ve been here…longer than you’ve been alive!
How long have you been a part of Northalsted?
We’ve been a part of the Alliance since the day we opened. Northalsted is the Chamber of Commerce for the district and they bring people’s consciousness together and that’s a good thing for the neighborhood.
How long have you worked with the SSA #18?
I’ve been chairman of the SSA since it began! I was involved with one of the very first SSAs on Broadway, and then we formed Northalsted’s SSA roughly 15 years ago.
What other careers did you have before you decided to start Roscoe’s?
I was a Respiratory Therapist for 15 years. I trained at Northwestern, worked at Illinois Masonic and the Children’s Hospital. I also taught at Northwestern in Respiratory Therapy. While I was doing that, I took an interest in real estate and building renovation. Roscoe’s was the first bar I was ever involved with, and that actually came from trying to preserve a historic building. Our building was set for demolition and I wanted to save the building and realized this was a perfect place to start a gay bar.
What is favorite place in Boystown?
Yoshi’s Café is my favorite place. It is truly a model of great community. Everyone I know loves eating there too. The quality is unbelievable and every dish they serve is a work of art. The initiative that Yoshi had put into the business is still carried on by his family today, and most of their staff have been there for 20 years or more. They are doing something right for their staff and the neighborhood.
What does the future of our neighborhood looks like?
We have many different types of people, coming from all over the world, and they feel safe and comfortable to enjoy themselves in our world-class entertainment district. It would be wonderful if we could continue to cultivate daytime business to make sure our neighborhood is always vibrant and lively.
What does the future of our community look like?
I think we are becoming more inclusive. There’s diversity to all the different facets of our neighborhood. You see many different types of families here, gay couples with children, straight couples without children, and I think our community is headed toward making this a common occurrence. We recognize that family and community comes in all shapes and sizes. As far as the next frontier, I’d like to see a gay president! From a world view, I think we are in a great leadership position to spread positive values and help promote social change and equality.
How do you exude Pride every day?
I come to work! I try to promote values that are important to our community, and my Pride comes from sharing my insights and values with the world. I take Pride in promoting happiness and joy, and I think that’s what I am intended to be here for.
What is something people don’t know about you?
I came from a very large family. There were nine children in my family, who have gone on to do many different things (it was a mini community in itself)! We have priests and nuns, doctors and bar owners, but everyone has respect and love for each other regardless of our small differences.