SX Chicago party launches 'Last Saturday' events on March 26 at Manhole

Thu. March 24, 2016 8:58 PM by Ross Forman

Clubhouse Productions launches new monthly party with a Hip Hop Blatino format at Manhole

It will be a new night and a new venue for Clubhouse Productions, which for years has produced LGBT-focused parties, most notably, the Urban Last Fridays, aka, Urbano parties that were held at the now-closed Circuit Nightclub in Lakeview, driven by hip-hop music.

"The Last Fridays party at Circuit was created to bring diversity and hip-hop to Boystown at a time when no club was playing (that) music style," said D 'Bo' Bekoe, a partner and president of Clubhouse Productions. "The focus was to develop a night with a Blatino theme where everyone, no matter what ethnicity or race, would feel comfortable. The logo even included the words 'Hip Hop for All.' 

"The first challenge in going into Circuit, a primarily Latin club, was to break down the barriers between the club's primarily Mexican clientele and people of color. There was some resistance at first, but soon the parties were fairly evenly split between Latin and Black, and those who love them, as we used to say. On a strip where our customers had experienced discrimination in the past for years, they were now welcome and celebrated. The party (was) widely credited with bringing diversity to Halsted, breaking down racial and cultural barriers."

Highlights of the Urban Blatino Last Fridays included the "Hip Hop, Hits and Reggae/Dance Hall" format, along with sexy, scantily-clad Latin and Black dancers. "Not only can they dance, (but) they (also) can fill out their shorts like no others," Bekoe said. Special events included Pride & Black Pride events, Pornfest Parties, the Dominican Invasions with New York City dancers, national DJs and celebrity guests, such as the recent visits by cast members from the TV show Empire.

Circuit Nightclub, at 3641 N. Halsted St., closed yet again in early-2016 and this time it appears permanent, thus ending the nighttime fun inside the 12,000 square-foot venue.

Enter, Manhole, four blocks south at 3208 N. Halsted Street. Clubhouse Productions announced in early-March that Manhole will now host its SX Chicago, a new monthly "Last Saturday" party – and the grand opening is March 26.

"The name of the party reflects its theme and vibe," Bekoe said. "SX Chicago is building on the Hip Hop Blatino format and taking the sensuality of the night to another level. The dark, foggy, sexy look of the Manhole space is very different from our prior events. I always say, 'It is like walking down a dark, foggy alley at night and encountering a hot man leaning against the wall. It is a little intimidating at first, (but) then turns into your wildest fantasy.'"

SX Chicago will feature XXX dancers from Atlanta, Washington D.C., and elsewhere, "and sexy programming on the (TV) monitors," he said. The night will be hosted by legendary adult XXX star Rock (Rockafellaz/Flavaworks). 

"SX Chicago is geared for a diverse mix, including people of color, Latinos, and anyone who loves a mixed urban crowd and Hip Hop & Hits," Bekoe said. "We celebrate diversity and encourage all to experience something truly unique on the Halsted strip. We celebrate interracial and other couples who may not feel welcome in other spaces. While much of the programming is geared toward men, transgender and women customers are encouraged to attend."

Bekoe said SX Chicago will feature top DJs, including DJ Angel X (New York, Atlanta, DC), DJ Unknown (NYC) and DJ BRNDNW (Chicago). "They program the music very differently than the other DJs at clubs on the strip that have recently added Hip Hop/Urban music to their formats, but primarily cater to a Boystown clientele," Bekoe said.

The Grand Opening of SX Chicago will be a Pornfest party, which Bekoe admits, "we have had great success with this promotion at Circuit in the past," he said. "Flavaworks has always been our partner in these events and supplies not only the XXX dancers, but also free XXX DVDs for the crowd. The dancers hand them out and really turn up the party."

Rockafellaz, owned by Rock, also will be providing DVDs. 

In the future there will be Flavaworks underwear and calendar giveaways, Bekoe said.

SX Chicago also will feature bowls filled with free chips, snacks, candy and chocolate. "We just think it is another way of showing that we care about our clientele and want them to feel that they are getting their monies' worth," Bekoe said.

SX Chicago is initially being developed as a "Last Saturdays" monthly party, though the goal is to add more monthly Saturdays following a successful launch and the first few parties, Bekoe said. "We are also hoping to tie-in an additional space with a House Music format for our older 'grown & sexy' clientele."

Bekoe said the events will again partner with local HIV/AIDS service organizations to provide HIV testing, as there often is a testing van parked outside the venue. Plus, there will be free condom distribution, HIV prevention/outreach inside, and more. "Our goal is to continue working with the Center on Halsted to provide these services at SX Chicago," Bekoe said. "Having lost loved ones to AIDS in the past, this is a passion for us."

The cover to SX Chicago will be about $10, or $5 from 10 to 11 p.m., with a text blast, pass, flyer or email printout.

"There is nothing in Chicago with this diverse LGBT/ SGL (same gender loving) crowd, vibe and music format," Bekoe said. "People who have attended our parties in the past have commented that it is like being in New York City, where Blatino events have been common for years. The Puerto Rican and Dominican crowds in New York identify with Urban Black culture, and therefore they are used to partying together. This is truly something unique for the Chicago market."

For more information, go to: or the SX-Chicago Facebook page.