Three Sisters Tavern
Three Sisters Tavern, sometimes abridged as Three Sisters and nicknamed "Six Tits", was a gay bar and strip club in Portland, Oregon, United States. The bar was founded in 1964 and began catering to Portland's gay community in 1997 following the deaths of the original owners. The business evolved into a strip club featuring an all-male revue. Also frequented by women, sometimes for bachelorette parties, Three Sisters was considered a hub of Portland's nightlife before closing in 2004.
|Address||1125 Southwest Stark Street|
|Location||Portland, Oregon, United States|
|Owner||John P. Katchis (d. 1964) and Georgia Lykos Katchis (d. 1997); Athanasios "Saki" Elftherios Katsavopoulos (d. 2010) and Sotiria "Sandra" Katchis Katsavopoulos|
|Type||Gay bar, strip club|
Description and historyEdit
Three Sisters Tavern opened in 1964 as a family business. John P. Katchis and his wife Georgia owned and operated the business until his death four months later (1964) and her death in 1997. The couple were survived by their three daughters, one of whom, Sotiria "Sandra" Katsavopoulos, along with her husband Athanasios "Saki" Katsavopoulos, acquired ownership and began catering to Portland's gay community, eventually turning Three Sisters into a gay bar and strip club.
The bar was located at 1125 Southwest Stark Street and featured an all-male nude revue, a dance floor, and shows. The Portland Mercury described it as an "institution of stiff drinks and stiffer male dancers", where "hot men perform theatrical and acrobatic stripteases on stage, then get naked and wag their penises in your face". Dancers often were costumed as angels, businessmen, construction workers, cowboys, police officers, or United Parcel Service (UPS) delivery men. After Three Sisters closed in 2004, some of the featured dancers began performing at other Portland venues, including Jefferson Theatre.
Three Sisters catered both to gay men and to women, who sometimes attended as part of bachelorette parties. The Oregonian described the "bachelorette bunnies" who used to frequent this bar as well as two others: Silverado and the Viewpoint. The paper's Lee Williams wrote:
Hippoty-hoppity they go – these fuzzy, suburban-soft little critters jump all over Stark Street and the Viewpoint running wild to celebrate one last night of 'Sex in the City' singledom. They crowd downtown's male strip-club stages holding dollar bills up to get a glimpse of a few last carrots before hopping down that wedding-trail home. They are particularly agile small mammals, able to hold a drink and a friend's hair while she's throwing up.
In their book Secret Portland, Oregon: The Unique Guidebook to Portland's Hidden Sites, Sounds and Tastes (2003), Ann Carroll Burgess and Linda Rutenberg called Three Sisters "the hub of Portland's gay bar nightlife", offering a "great" dance floor and "impressive" entertainment. The Portland Mercury's Katie Shimer called the bar "one million percent fun" and said, "Whatever your fetish, the strippers deliver ... Make sure you stuff your pockets with singles, 'cause you'll be spending at least a good hour at the rack." Similarly, the Seattle alternative weekly The Stranger said the venue was "perhaps the funnest place in all the world ... especially when the fellers trot on stage in a vast array of hilarious costumes". The paper's Wm. Steven Humphrey wrote, "These nudie cuties were born to entertain, and prove it by leaping from stage to tabletop, hanging naked upside down (by the tops of their FEET!!), and if you're extremely lucky, gingerly lifting a dollar bill off your forehead with their ass cheeks. Now that's talent!" Byron Beck of Willamette Week said the dancers at Three Sisters "[turned] a quaint queer tavern into the most mouthwatering of watering holes in P-town". The paper also called the club "the best place to view wiener-wiggling".
- Beck, Byron (August 23, 2006). "The Other Jefferson Dancers". Willamette Week. City of Roses Newspapers. Retrieved July 14, 2015.
- "Obituary: John P. Katchis". The Sunday Oregonian. August 16, 1964. p. 47.
[John P. Katchis] owned and operated the Blue Baboon Tavern in Portland for 22 years, and the Three Sisters Tavern the last four months.
- "Athanasios Elftherios Katsavopoulos". KATU. Retrieved July 14, 2015.
- "Georgia J. Katchis". The Oregonian (Sunrise ed.). January 12, 1997. p. D11.
- "The Very Best of Gay Pride 2001!". The Portland Mercury. Portland, Oregon: Index Publishing. June 14, 2001. Retrieved July 14, 2015.
- Burgess, Ann Carroll; Rutenberg, Linda (2003). Secret Portland, Oregon: The Unique Guidebook to Portland's Hidden Sites, Sounds and Tastes. ECW Press. p. 161. Retrieved July 13, 2015.
- Caraeff, Ezra Ace (November 20, 2009). "End Hits' Musical Tribute to Portland Strip Clubs (Part Five)". The Portland Mercury. Retrieved July 13, 2015.
- Shimer, Katie (June 16, 2005). "Vaseline Alley: A Sampler of Downtown's Gay Bars". The Portland Mercury. Retrieved July 13, 2015.
- Humphrey, Wm. Steven (March 14, 2002). "Booze and Strippers Separating Them Defies Natural Law". The Stranger. Index Newspapers. ISSN 1935-9004. Retrieved July 14, 2015.
- Williams, Lee (May 27, 2005). "Cover Story: The Fauna Bachelorette Bunnies". The Oregonian (Sunrise ed.). p. 11.
- Blair, Stephen (March 7, 2002). "Right as Wain". Portland Tribune. Portland, Oregon: Pamplin Media Group. OCLC 46708462. Retrieved July 14, 2015.
- "Gossip Should Have No Friends". Willamette Week. August 9, 2006. Retrieved July 14, 2015.
- 1999 Portland Gay History Walking Tour, Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest
- The Death of Sex: Why PDX's gay scene will never be the same. by Byron Beck (July 11, 2007), Willamette Week