The next time you're hanging out at Taco Bob's in the Kalamazoo Mall reflect on how you're technically sitting at a historical site, that apparently was once a gentleman's club over 130 years ago. But what KIND of gentleman's club we talkin' bout' here?

Are we talking about a hall where guys got together socially, smoked cigars, drank whiskey, and played cards? Or are we talking about Kalamazoo's first strip club?

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The Kalamazoo Public Library recently posted an old photo of the building and a little bit of history:

Hidden in plain sight, this is an 1890 view of the stately Bassett House (a.k.a. Gentlemen’s Club House) on the northwest corner of South Burdick and West South streets. It might not look familiar but it’s still there. It was built c.1860 for John C. Bassett, a local real estate developer and dry goods merchant.

Kalamazoo Public Library (Public Domain)
Kalamazoo Public Library (Public Domain)

Changes To The Layout


Later additions by Edna Bassett and Dallas Boudeman surrounded the building, but look up next time you pass it on South Street, and you’ll see the remains of the old house behind the newer (c.1906) additions. If you’ve ever dined indoors at Taco Bob’s, you were sitting inside one of the original parlors.

Don't Get Your Hopes Up

As one person pointed it out, it wasn't exactly a strip joint saying it wasn't ".THAT kind of "Gentleman's Club," It was more of a social club or fraternal organization at the time. Now that's not to say they WOULDN'T have brought in the entertainment of ladies of the town at the time, but I'm not gonna put disrespect on anyone's name or club.

Colorized Pictures of Early Kalamazoo That Will Blow Your Mind

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