Yab Yum Inc., owned by William Waldren and Bairrie Freeman, catered to Orlando’s bohemian crowd.
I’ll be honest. When I first read poetry here back in 1992, I hated the place. I was not a fan of people talking as I read poetry.
Two years later, a woman I was dating talked me into meeting her here. She knew I hated the place. Still, I showed up and began reading poetry again.
One night in 1995, the open-mic readings had no host.
Jen asked me did I want to host.
After three weeks of sub-hosting, I asked to become the permanent host. I was granted that wish.
Gregory Patrick: A performance artist who used to go by the name Steele.
Eugene Snowden: He used to read other people’s poetry as he played the African drum. Currently, Eugene is now lead singer for the Legendary JCs.
Jefferson: I don’t know what the hell ever became of this guy.
Yab Yum owned a billiards joint named Kit Kat Club, located right next to it.
Mark Chastain and Clay Cooperider usually worked the door.
In 1996, Yab Yum closed and reopened as Harold and Maude’s in 1997.
The open-mics and other entertainment moved next door to Go Lounge, another spot Yab Yum owned.
Years later, Go Lounge turned into The Globe, a restaurant that stayed open late into the night.
Yab Yum Inc. closed around 2001 or 2002. I forgot.the exact year.
Nowadays, some folks tell me they remember me.
“I used to go that place when I was fifteen years old. I remember you.”
“When you were host, I used to sell acid in front of that place.”
Some even quote poetry I read back then.
Even though Yab Yum Inc. is gone, many locals never forgot it.
A recent photo of Baerrie Freeman and me.