Photo by Seve Charing
Photo by Seve Charing
Hippo owner Chuck Bowers in his office surrounded by nostalgia

Music was pulsating throughout the night as Maryland’s largest gay bar, Club Hippo, celebrated its 40th anniversary on July 7.  The popular club is situated on the corner of Eager and Charles Streets in the heart of Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood.

The staying power of the club over its 40-year tenure is not lost on its owner Chuck Bowers.  “This is unheard of,” he said in his nostalgia-filled office. “It’s because of the people in the community.  I hope and pray it continues.”

Farrell Maddox, who works at the Hippo as a DJ agreed.  “It’s amazing that a club can maintain its presence in the community for this length of time.  It’s a tribute to Chuck because he keeps reinventing things.”  Bowers has owned the bar since 1978.

International rock star DJ Drew G, DJ Rosie and Baltimore diva Shadina B led the entertainment.

In celebration of the community’s support, there were drink specials and giveaways, such as 40 $50 gas cards and a cruise for two on Carnival.  There was no cover the entire night.

Club Hippo, which hosts a number of pageants and other large events, has a spacious dance floor in one section of the club, a saloon with two pool tables and a video-karaoke bar.

See the two-page photo spread of the 40th anniversary celebration inside.

Author Profile

Steve Charing
Steve Charing
Steve Charing has contributed to Baltimore OUTloud since its inception in 2003 as a reporter, reviewer, columnist and editor. He has written over 1,500 articles for Baltimore OUTloud covering a wide swath of topics and was well known for his OUTspoken column. From 2009-2011 Steve was the paper’s managing editor and from 2014-2015 he was the local news editor. While performing those duties, he had also served as the Baltimore news correspondent for the Washington Blade. He also writes for his blog, Steve Charing OUTspoken.Steve began his LGBT journalism career in 1980 making him the most senior writer in Baltimore's LGBT press. He became the chair of the Gay Paper newspaper committee and thus its editor in 1983 whereby he changed the name to Baltimore Gay Paper. He served in that capacity until mid-1984 but continued to write for the publication through the years.