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Hardware Store Keeps Turning Into Gay Bar





HEquipment, a hardware store in South Tampa turns into one of Tampa Bay’s hottest gay bars every weekend, much to the chagrin of owner Doug Pantzler.

“I got nothing against the gay community,” he said. “Far from it actually; lots of those guys – and gals – do fine work and are among my best customers. But I didn’t open this place to be a nightclub.”

The store, whose advertising tagline is “tools and so much more”, is intended to cater to real men who work hard on home improvement projects. 

“That’s not a negative judgment on anybody’s sexuality,” said Pantzler. “I just wanted people to know it’s not a JoAnn’s or a Michael’s.”

Pantzler said he has to start every Monday morning by chasing out the assortment of twinks, bears, daddies, queens, chasers and DJs that accumulates there over the weekend.

“It’s not an ideal way to begin a week of selling ball peen hammers and mitre saws,” said Pantzler. “Because it’s a hardware store and definitely not a gay nightclub.”

“It’s definitely my favorite gay nightclub,” said Fred Gradding of Tampa. “After all, I’m gay and I love checking out tools. Because I’m currently restoring an old house and I build birdhouses as a hobby.”

“Plus, ‘tool’ is a euphemism for penis and I like that too,” he added.

Clark Brooks

About Clark Brooks

Senior Supreme Executive Premium Content Editor for Tampa News Force. Comedian, writer and ordained minister. ClarkBrooks.com. Twitter: @ClarkBrooks | Instagram:@ClarkBrooks54

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