In 2007, MJ Horn and Robert Young, the guys who owned 321 Slammers in Los Angeles, decided to open a sister business here in Fort Lauderdale. Since the name worked will in Los Angeles, they kept it and opened the 321 Slammers Fort Lauderdale. John Pradon, who was originally hired as a bartender two weeks after the place opened up, was eventually promoted to assistant manager and then General Manager. After five years, MJ wanted out of the business so John bought his shares. Two years ago, Robert also wanted out so John bought him out too and became the sole owner. Late last year, in October, he bought the property that the business sits on, and the rest as they say, is history.
It was a pleasure to sit down with John, and General Manager Jason Beals, just a couple weeks before the 10 year anniversary of 321 Slammers.
You are originally from Mississippi, what made you move to South Florida?
My family was already living in Melbourne Beach and I came down in 2004 to help them rebuild their condo after the hurricane. A year later I moved to Fort Lauderdale.
What did you do before 321?
I had a party business out in California with my ex-partner.
I heard you started as a bartender at 321, what made you decide you wanted to own the place?
I wanted to own 321 because I believed in the facility and what it stood for. There was no other animal like it and I wanted to be a part of something special.
I hear 321 is a Bottle Club, what does that mean?
That means if you want to dink here, you have to BYOB (bring your own alcohol). If you buy a three month membership, the bartender will hold your liquor behind the bar for you for the entire three months. Beer and wine are only good for that evening. The BYOB license is unique to 321 as they don’t offer them anymore. Mixers are poured for free.
I hear you changed the name from 321 Slammers to 321, what was the reason?
We are in the process of doing that now. We are rebranding ourselves and we wanted to divorce ourselves from the Los Angeles club. We are no longer connected to them in any way.
What should the Community expect from your anniversary party?
Our parties are always super successful, and this one is going to be way bigger than before. We are bringing in Storks to do the catering and we are also giving away drinks all night. The drinks are sponsored by our members. We are having many giveaways including t-shirts, towels and much more.
Also, DJ Vlexxx, who spins every Saturday night, will be spinning at the anniversary party.
If someone hasn’t been, can you describe 321?
It’s a 7000 square ft. private club of play space, and the entire location is a little over 9000 sq feet. We have elevated glory hole catwalks. Exhibition rooms, different sex furniture, slings, etc.
This is a private gay men’s club with a bar and its as much or as little as you want it to be. Please keep in mind we do not allow cell phones or cameras in the building.
What does the future hold for 321?
A few weeks after the anniversary party we will become a non-smoking indoor space, but we have created an outdoor patio lounge area and play space that will be smoking. We are also doing some minor renovations inside before the party; adding more play areas and updating existing ones. We are also buying some new furniture.
321 10th Anniversary Party will be held on Wednesday, March 15 from 9PM – Midnight. The party will be open to the general public with regular admission prices. People with invitations will be allowed free entry. One invitation per person. Invitations will be available for a limited time and in limited quantity inside the club.
Further info is available at 321slammer.com.