Manray was the epicenter of all things alternative in the Greater Boston area. Originally Simeone's Restaurant, in 1983 the location was turned into a gay club called Campus. In 1985, a second part of the location was opened as Manray. Eventually the two clubs merged into the modern day Manray space. The club billed itself as an "art bar" and often featured gallery shows by local artists in its lounge area. It initially gained national attention when featured in Life Magazine and a televised segment by Geraldo Rivera.
The club catered to a variety of alternative lifestyles. Its longest-running night was Campus, a night "for gay men and their friends". Also popular was New Wave Night every Saturday, which featured DJs Chris Ewen and Gary Conzo playing New Wave and Disco anthems, respectively. Manray also hosted live music acts such as Alien Sex Fiend, Peter Murphy and Nirvana.
Manray gained a reputation as a hotbed of strangeness in the early 1990s when it became home to the Goth and Fetish/BDSM scenes in the Boston area. Alternating Friday night events would be geared to one, the other, or both subcultures, resulting in a local scene that was unique in its cross-pollination. Events with names such as Hell, Fantasy Factory and Ooze earned Manray a place in local lore as a destination not for the timid or squeamish. Strict dress codes and a tight-knit community that looked out for its own helped bolster its image as an otherworldly locale full of dark secrets.
On July 30th, 2005, after more than 20 years, Manray was forced to close its doors. The owner of the building (not the same as that of the club) decided to take advantage of the high property values and demolish the building in order to construct condominiums. The final week at the club was an intense series of farewell events, one each night for the different subcultures to which it catered.
The owners of Manray are seeking a new location near Central Square, and hope to re-open in the near future.