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Scott's Gay Guide to Chicago

Scott's Gay Guide to Chicago

Guides to great cities by the locals who know them best!

Originally published on

Name: Scott Cramer
Age: 27

Profession: Publicist, Talent Buyer, Promoter

City: Chicago

Relationship Status: Single

Sexuality: Gay

What are some of the things you love most about Chicago?


What are some of your least favorite things about Chicago?

If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all... right?

What gym do you like most in Chicago? Why?

I actually just joined this gym by my house today, I think it's Gold's, maybe it's World? Who knows, but I should be beefy soon.

What are some great restaurants for a night out with gay friends in Chicago?

Pingpong is a great place; I also fancy Alice and Friends: I'm not vegetarian but they make a damn good almond unchicken; otherwise, I'm easily found stuffing my face at Pick Me Up.

What are some great restaurants for a romantic gay date in Chicago? What about these restaurants appeals to you?

Lula Cafe, if I want low-key and casual because it has a comfy atmosphere and light food. Geja's Cafe, if it's more of an upscale rendezvous, because it is lit by candles and is a little more intimate.

What are your favorite gay bars and/or dance clubs in Chicago? What do you like about them?

I would have to say Berlin, because it's the only place with a raunchy personality and attitude. I don't really care for most of the gay bars, because it's the same old story with the same tired people. I'm more a fan of the gay events held on off nights at 'straight' bars.

What are your favorite gay parties or events in Chicago, if any? What is the crowd or scene like at those places?

ChancesDances (third Monday of every month at Subterranean), Off Chances (some Tuesdays at Dannys), and FKA (first Thursdays at Big Chicks). To describe in a couple words... it's dark, with dancing, minus gaybots.

Where is the best public place for a gay person to make out in Chicago?

That depends on how drunk you get me.

What is the gay community like in Chicago? Do you consider yourself to be part of any particular "scene"?

Scenes are for amateurs.

Are you involved with any LGBT community organizations in Chicago? Which ones? What do you like about those groups?

I am a part of Estrojam/Decibel which is a fest held in Chicago every year, and I'd like to be a part of Reeling next year, as I am a huge movie addict.

Estrojam/Decibel is extremely music-driven; it has featured and previewed many up and coming GLBT artists for years now. As far as Reeling goes, I think I mentioned that I love films.

What do you think of the annual LGBT pride celebration in Chicago? Do you usually attend? What are the highlights for you? What do you like least about it?

The Pride Parade is wild -- a whole lot of gay in one day. I do attend every year, as I am usually on one of the floats. I don't think I would like to attend it any other way, besides being on a float. It is the best way to see the whole event go down. The only downfall is rain, since this past year we rode the float in the rain for what seemed like forever.

Do you have a particular fashion style? Where do you shop for clothes?

My style is hard to describe, but I can be found shopping at Una Mae's, Penelope's, and Knee Deep, to name a few...

Where do you go for other forms of entertainment -- live theater, concerts, movies, art exhibits? Are there any local gay performance groups, bands, or artists that you're a fan of?

For live theater, I enjoy 'Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind' held by the Neo-Futurists. Too Much Light has an ever-changing menu, and attempts to perform 30 plays in 60 minutes.

For concerts, I like to see rock shows held by the Abbey and Empty Bottle. For movies, the best selections are found at the Century Theater. For art exhibits, I attend shows at the Happy Dog Gallery, Heaven Gallery, or Knee Deep's monthly show and midnight sale.

If you had gay friends visiting from out of town for the first time, what are some "musts" that you'd recommend they see or do?

If it fell on a Chances or FKA night I would send them to one of those events; otherwise I would send them up to Halsted.

What city (or cities) in America would you most like to visit next, and why? Are there any specific spots there (theaters, nightclubs, historic sites, etc.) that you'd really like to see?

Portland, because I hear the bars are good, the boys are dirty and hot, oh, and the cops ride on horses?

Written and originally posted by Josh Rotter for

For some, growing up anchored in an isolated Midwestern town might result in cultural stagnation. For Scott Cramer, however, this environment acted more as an impetus, serving to cultivate an intense curiosity and insatiable ambition for developing Chicago's new music and entertainment industry. Starting at The Abbey Pub as an intern, he stomped the urban miles, hanging concert posters in whatever indie music store would have them, stamping hands at venues, and answering phones. Today, having delegated these glorified grunt responsibilities, Scott is the publicist and assistant booking agent for The Abbey; as well as host and organizer for many indie GLBT events. Having honed his ear and eye while scouting talent, Cramer went on to create in part, Flawless at IV, hosting DJ's such as Sharam Jey, Lady Kier, and Derrick Carter. Continuing to expand his vision, he formed a partnership with Jillian Valentino; together they gave birth to Chicago's once groundbreaking Outdanced (previously Tuesdays at Funky Buddha) where artists such as Peaches, JD Samson of Le Tigre, Leslie and the Lys, Larry Tee, Margaret Cho, and Sophia Lamar resuscitated Chicago's Tuesday night dance scene. Currently, Outdanced lives on to present many events throughout Chicago. Cramer works regularly with the Abbey, Empty Bottle, and holds Stardust weekly, Thursdays at Berlin. His events have been featured in numerous publications and on the web, steadily conquering the city's hippest venues, one night at a time. For more on Scott, head to:

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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