Located in the heart of Cleveland’s theater district as part of the Hofbrauhaus Cleveland complex, the Hermit Club is the nation’s oldest continuously operating private club devoted to amateur performing arts.


The Hermit Club spotlight plays host to a wide variety of events that take center stage each year, including:

  • Chorus and orchestra concerts
  • Big band jazz band concerts
  • Chamber music concerts
  • Drama productions
  • Social gatherings

Directors and Artistic Chairs

Meet the people behind the creativity.

Board of Directors

Nancy L. Griffith, president

John S. Raleigh, vice president (membership co-chair)

Thomas E. Kocovsky, secretary

Thomas G. Scharf, treasurer

James J. Balaguer

Willard J. Bartel

David L. Lehmer

Dennis J. Roche

James J. Roop (Black Friar)

Carmen Siciliano (house chair)

Thomas M. Stickney

Andrew Tuzzeo

Artistic Chairs

Dollie Finley, activities

Douglas L. Elersich, men’s, women’s and mixed chorus

George W. (Bud) Wattles III, big band jazz

Debby Duffy Young, drama

Stephen Eva, orchestra

Hofbrauhaus Partnership

The Hermit Club is now part of the Hofbrauhaus Cleveland complex and is served by its kitchen. Many parts of the original Hermit Club are for exclusive use of members, while others are exclusive during certain hours.

All Hermit Club members receive a discount on food and beverage purchases at the club or within the Hofbrauhaus Cleveland complex. Hermits also receive preferred access, a significant benefit on Friday or Saturday nights, when long waiting lines are anticipated.


Founding of the Hermit Club

In 1904, at the turn of the century, one of the unique and purposely unheralded Cleveland organizations was The Gatling Gun Company, a military men’s group with decided social characteristics founded by ex-servicemen from the Spanish-American War. Comprised of a number of Cleveland professionals, business leaders and sons of the first families, the members were bounded together by camaraderie and talent. Instead of swapping war stories, the group expressed themselves with the production of musical comedies, music, lyrics and libretti.

Productions were staged under the orchestral supervision of its artists. Among the most active were Frank B. Meade, Albert Rees Davis, Roger Enwright, George B. Pettengill and Mortimer W. Lawrence. Later, they would comprise The Men Who Came to Dinner as Frank Meade’s guests and who would become founding members of The Hermit Club.

Join Us

Whether you prefer performing in the spotlight, taking a supporting role behind the curtain or watching from the audience, there is something for everyone to enjoy at the Hermit Club!