193A Commercial Street

193A Commercial Street, Ace of Spades Club, Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum.

193A Commercial Street, Ace of Spades Club, Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum.

Ace of Spades matchbook, Salvador R. Vasques III Collection.

Ace of Spades matchbook, Salvador R. Vasques III Collection.

A social center of lesbian life since the early 1950s, when it was the Ace of Spades Club (pictured), run by John and Frances Atkins. The beachcomber décor was in part the work of Jeanne “Frenchie” Chanel. As a club, it was legally bound to limit admission. Anti-gay selectmen would target it for not enforcing membership rules. Perhaps that was why in 1961 the proprietors refused to admit the first lady, Jacqueline Kennedy, who was with Gore Vidal when she couldn’t produce ID. Pamela Genevrino and Linda Gerard reopened the place as the Pied Piper in 1971. Susan Webster took over in 1986; added the “After Tea T-Dance,” attracting men; and changed the name in 2000 to PiedBar, which she said draws “a very mixed clientele.”


More than 2,000 buildings and vessels are searchable on buildingprovincetown.com. The Building Provincetown book is available for purchase ($20) at Town Hall, Office of the Town Clerk, 260 Commercial Street, Provincetown 02657.

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