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Club Pantheon to become Cure Nightclub, still offer LGBT-friendly nightlife

Club Pantheon to become Cure Nightclub, still offer LGBT-friendly nightlife

Desiree Valentino, The 2014 Empress of Charleston Pride, performed at Club Pantheon in July for Pride’s 2015 pageant. Although the club will now be called Cure Nightclub starting this weekend, it will still host drag shows and cater to the LGBT community. (Brandon T. Hunter/Provided/File).

Club Pantheon may have shut its doors on Sunday, but the nightclub known for its LGBT-friendly atmosphere isn’t going anywhere.

Daniel Brinker, owner of Dudley’s on Ann, purchased Pantheon this week after the owner, John Clarkin, retired. Brinker is reopening the bar on Friday under its new name, Cure Nightclub, but he said its look and purpose will pretty much stay the same for now.

Both Dudley’s and the former Pantheon, which are a half-block away from each other on Ann Street, have served the LGBT community for more than 30 years. While Dudley’s mostly functioned as a dark, quiet pub for many years, Pantheon was a dance club that hosted drag shows on weekends.

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Brinker also bought Dudley’s from Clarkin in 2012, and he began pushing it more towards an “everybody bar,” as he calls it. He replaced the decades-old tinted windows with large, clear ones at the front of the room, and began hosting drag shows once a week. The door is always open to the whole community, LGBT or straight.

Brinker said he’s hoping he can apply that same concept to Cure.

“We’re definitely trying to expand the Dudleys idea, sort of being the everybody bar, but still focus on the LGBT community for sure,” he said.

Cure will still host drag shows Friday through Sunday, and Brinker hopes to start having live music a few times a week starting this summer.

Brinker also said he hopes to update the nightclub’s look incrementally over the next few months.

“I’m just hoping to do what we’ve done at Dudley’s on a much grander scale. We can do so many more things at the bigger space,” he said.

The bar will continue supporting LGBT advocacy groups, including Lowcountry AIDS Services and Charleston Pride, by hosting fundraisers and other special events. Brinker is the Chief Operating Officer of this year’s Charleston Pride Festival in August.

Reach Abigail Darlington at 937-5906 and follow her on Twitter @A_Big_Gail