In May, developer Tom Sherwood Sr. opened the Diving Horse Cabaret and Steakhouse, formerly the sprawling Club Tru entertainment complex, which began as a tiny gay bar called the Brass Rail.
ATLANTIC CITY — John Schultz is quick to point out that the Brass Rail, a 12-seat bar sited off a one-way side street in midtown Atlantic City, was not the catalyst to what was once a thriving social scene for the area’s gay community. That existed long before he purchased the bar in 1971, he says.
But the Brass Rail certainly has its rightful place in Atlantic City history, as it set Schultz on his way to becoming an entertainment magnate of sorts and later one of Atlantic City’s best-known philanthropists, who continues on that mission with partner Gary Hill and the Schultz-Hill Foundation. About 20 years ago he also created Atlantic City’s Metropolitan Business & Citizens Association, which has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to various charitable, civic and non-profit organizations over the years.
Schultz parlayed the Brass Rail into a sprawling, multi-functional entertainment complex called Club Tru, but for the better part of the last three years the complex was non-operational. Part of the reason is that developer Tom Sherwood Sr., who purchased the 55,000-square-foot complex from Schultz, was sort of planning a strategy for the property and sinking a lot of personal capital into upgrades and restoration.
The flagship of the complex is the Diving Horse Cabaret and Steakhouse — an upscale gentleman’s club on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard that opened in May, and is flanked by what will be LUXX nightclub (called Studio Six when Schultz owned it), set to open in October. But what seemed to get sort of lost in the shuffle was the Brass Rail — until about two weeks ago when it reopened for the first time in seven years to a weekend-long gala celebration.
“Our grand opening was pretty big, and we’re getting stronger and growing a steady clientele every day, but we’re not where we used to be quite yet,” says Brass Rail manager Jimmy Duffy, who previously worked for Schultz for 12 years. “We’re just building back the business now. Tom [Sherwood]’s done a nice job with it. The whole place looks new. The bar’s been resurfaced, a new tile floor was put in — it’s beautiful. It looks like it’s brand new.”
Currently the Brass Rail is open 2pm to 4am daily, and Duffy says he’d like to turn it into a 24-hour establishment as it once and always was. It has a daily Happy hour from 5-8pm that includes $2 domestic beer and $3 well drinks, and every Sunday (starting around 9pm) there are drag shows and male strippers, and Friday through Sunday nights DJ Joey “The Hatt” and DJ Jimmy DePre spin the hits.
“I’m also bringing back karaoke on Thursday nights with our former host, Millie,” says Duffy.
Last May’s grand opening of the Diving Horse Cabaret & Steakhouse was among Atlantic City’s social events of the spring, touting a sort of who’s-who list of the resort’s top executives and dignitaries with a swagger that was certainly justifiable.
It took me years to realize that my father was judging himself as harshly as he was me. His thought process was different. He was judging himself, his wife, their union and their way of raising children, fully questioning in his mind, “What did we do wrong?”
It’s a partnership that has become almost legendary in Atlantic City — John Schultz and Gary Hill ....
This GLBT population consistently frequents areas/genres that cater to multiple orientations. They are not limited to the old definition, but are more so driven to openly enjoy themselves in environments that are mutually sensitive — and not offensive.
The show was created in the early 1990s by former Atlantic City Councilman John Schultz and his partner, Gary Hill, and held at their old Studio Six nightclub, once considered the epicenter for gay life in Atlantic City.
The Greater Atlantic City GLBT Alliance, the organization will launch a new Web site on Thursday, Oct. 1.
'Everything we do as a society is based on love. I want to welcome everyone. Our arms are open to all aspects of our culture.'
ATLANTIC CITY — Paint the town rainbow — the gay community is flocking full force back to the city that’s always turned on! Recently Atlantic City's first in-casino gay bar, Prohibition nightclub at Resorts, opened its doors to tremendous hoopla, and with that club’s success came the emergence of another GLBT-themed establishment — one that had been a pioneer during the first giant wave of gay clubs that helped spawn a thriving GLBT community in the seaside resort during the 1970s and 1980s. Can lightning strike twice? The Brass Rail — once part of the Club Tru complex created by John Schultz and partner Gary Hill — will have its formal grand re-opening in a weekend-long affair starting Friday, July 29, with an invite-only party from 7-9pm Friday. After 9pm the club opens to the public, and the fun doesn’t end until Monday, Aug. 1, at 6am. Presented by Stoli vodka, the gala will include an appearance by Claudia DuMont, who will be accompanied by the New York City Strippers, starting midnight Friday. On Saturday at midnight “Faresa” performs, and on Sunday from 9pm-1am guests will be treated to the outlandish antics of Lady La Belle — one of the popular contestants from the recently resurfaced...
“I do a lot of business in Seattle, New York and other parts of the country, and whenever I’d host clients in A.C. I kept hearing ‘where is there a gentleman’s club?’ There are strip clubs, but no gentleman’s clubs and I wanted to open an upscale place where businessmen can enjoy themselves in a clean, safe environment without the strip-club mentality.”