Very little is known about The Regency East, except that it was a semi-elegant bar in a less-than-elegant neighborhood 'where car break-ins and muggings were common'.
Even the address is in question. The first listing we've been able to locate is in the 1964 national 'gay guide' "Directory 43", where it is listed as being at 1400 N. Water St. But all later guides typically listed it as being at 1840 N. Water St., the current site of the Red Lion Pub. A single 1970 national gay guide (Bob Damron's) lists it at 1758 N. Water St, so we speculate that the bar may have moved late in its life. However, everyone who remembers the bar places it in what is now the Trocadero bar, which is at 1758 N. Water St.
It is known that the bar in the Trocadero building was originally called Nautz & Mike's, a pretty typical Gettelman Brewing Company bar in the 1950s. But exactly when it became a "gay bar" named the Regency East, and for how long it was open, is not known. Further research on address(es) and years open is needed.
According to various contributors, the bar may have originally been run by George Defenbach(sp). It's said that by night shift all the bottles were full again, and thus drinks became tastless & business went elsewhere. Another contributor remembers it being run by Dick Shannon, and they say one of his bartenders was named George, who opened the Ten Hundred East Bar about 1970. (Are these the same 'George'?)
More information about this business is welcomed from anyone who can contribute it. (The building has housed the popular mainstream bar and restaurant "Trocadero Gastrobar" since 2001.)
Recollections: The following are recollections of others who have been kind enough to submit their personal memories to the webmaster. You are welcome to do the same!
George Defenbach(sp) then ran it. By night shift all bottles were full again. Drinks became tastless & business went elsewhere. On closing George was given a dieffenbachia plant. Closed early 70's. Forced out to make room for a bar owner that was losing his bar to make way for the freeway. It became a sports bar.
I can't add too much to the history except that when I started going there (in 1966), it was run by a guy by the name of Dick Shannon. One of his bartenders was named George, who opened the Ten Hundred East Bar about 1970.
Credits: contents, design and arrangement by Don Schwamb.
Major information and photo by Michail Takach.
Last updated: February-2020.
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