Club Laurel

Alternate Names: 
Club Laurel
Jay's Club Laurel
Type: 
bar
club
First Document: 
1968
Last Document: 
1971
Address: 
Club Laurel
12319 Ventura Blvd
North Hollywood, CA 91604

Jay's Club Laurel, later just Club Laurel, was a gay bar on Ventura Boulevard, which was open from 1954 to 1968. "Noted for her sultry style within the 1940s nightclub scene in San Francisco, singer Beverly Shaw (1910-1990) moved to Los Angeles in the early 1950s to continue her musical career.  She performed at the Flamingo, a lesbian bar in Hollywood, and later at CLub Laurel in Studio City, which she eventually bought and operated for fourteen years.  During this time Shaw adopted the moniker, 'Beverly Shaw, Sir!' after hearing Groucho Marx refer to Talluluh Bankhead as 'sir' in an interview.  In the late 1950s, or early 1960s, Shaw started her own record label, Club Laurel Records, and recorded her only full-length album, Songs 'Tailored to Your Tastes.' Shaw continued to perform into the 1960s at Joani Presents, a lesbian nightclub in North Hollywood, and at Larry's Supper Club in the San Fernando Valley. 

The Club Laurel

By Bobby Hughes

There is a club where I hang out,
Where the oddest people are about.
Some are alright, but others-well,
I'm not in a position to tell!

The owner is an infamous dame-
Beverly Shaw, sir, is her name.
Nightly, she sings up a real good show
And there's nothing this lady don't know!

Cute waitresses, anxious to pour-
Will grab you as you enter the door.

As you sit down in drunken repoire,
She smiles, We have no hard liquor.
And recites the familiar refrain...
We serve beer, wine, champale & champaign!

Soon you are enjoying the atmosphere,
Only to find your lap full of beer.
You may sip your drink slowly and stall
But you are in for more before last call!

Wity remarks fly through the air!-
People are cruising-everywhere!!
What's your name sweetie!-suffer bitch!!
-The marijuana corner for you-witch!

The phone ring brings the cry, I'm not here,
-The receiver gets sequins in my ear!

Somebody is always bound to insist-
You must try Beverly's mystery twist!

Many mulled voices-as you leave,
Whisper stories you won;t believe.
Fantastic tales that deceive-
Fill the room with intrigue-intrigue!

For this intimate club you will yearn,
And time after time you will return.
You can't escape-the gay-the sublime.
The Laurel, each night, at twilight time!

"The Club Laurel by Bobbie Hughes, undated, on a display poster in the Beverly Shaw Collection.

 

Citations: 

Magpie 11-68, Magpie 5-69, Lulu Awards 1969, The Timely Gay Bar Guide 1970, Gay Guide '71

Club Laurel