Guide to Legendary West Hollywood Gay Bars
Where better to eat, drink and dance than West Hollywood? Since Prohibition times, this progressive city has earned a reputation for letting the good times roll. And, let’s face it, gay bars do it best. So, get ready to kick up your heels and party with the locals.
Food and Fanfare
Calling all Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas fans! Beaches is the place to celebrate 1980s Miami pop culture or just celebrate the fact that you’re done with work for the day. The motto here: “Be wild and free and look good doing it.”
Beaches has two levels of seating and two full bars so there’s plenty of room for viewing parties (Ru Paul and Victoria’s Secret, for example) and a variety of theme nights.
The cocktail and food menu offer Cuban flair – refresh with a Havana Night and fill up on a mouthwatering roasted pork sandwich.
Flaming Saddles is a country western bar with a Tex-Mex barbecue menu, pop music, and some serious dancing – several of the pole dancers (men and women) have competed for international titles. On Tuesday nights, Flaming Saddles runs pole dance classes.
You can belt out songs on karaoke Mondays, catch drag shows on Thursday nights and at Sunday brunch, and binge-watch Ru Paul episodes on Friday nights. As for food, the burgers are phenomenal and where else can you try deep-fried pickles or Frito pie?
The people at Tom Tom (Lisa Vanderpump, Ken Todd, Tom Sandoval and Tom Schwartz) have done a remarkable job creating a distinctively sophisticated vibe, especially with décor that plays with concepts of time and technology, thanks to Nick Alain, a Miami-based industrial designer.
Unwind with a Kentucky bourbon cocktail and choose from delectable menu items, such as bacon Gruyère mac and cheese, grilled hanger steak and brioche Kobe sliders, plus a good selection of garden options.
The Abbey and The Chapel
Beloved by Angelenos gay and straight and, arguably, known around the world, The Abbey started out as a coffee house in 1991. Gothic-themed, with stained-glass windows, the venue is huge – more than 14,000 square feet.
The menu provides lots of classic comfort-food choices, such as burgers, sandwiches, salads, pasta, chicken pot pie and fried chicken. Portions are generous, so consider getting shared plates.
Come for the drag entertainment on Monday night (around 10:30 p.m.) and Saturday afternoons. Sunday Fundays are hard to beat. Mayhem Miller hosts All That 90s on Tuesdays and Rhea Litré hosts Wednesday nights.
The Chapel bar hosts Born Again Fridays, Salvation Saturdays, Altar Girl Wednesdays and more.
Burgers, booze and drag-queen bingo, what’s not to love? Hamburger Mary’s Saturday and Sunday Drag Brunch is a lively way to lounge the day away (reservations are recommended).
Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday night bingo games raise money for charity. You can also see the Dreamgirls Revue Drag Show on Tuesday nights, brandish a mic at Thursday night Maryoke or see Pumped! on Friday nights. Saturday nights typically feature performers, such as Wendy Ho & Friends, followed by Dance Club.
More bookworm than bingo queen? Stop in on a Monday for Geeks Who Drink Trivia Night (held most Tuesdays as well).
Don’t stop dancing (or drinking) now!
Who doesn’t love a gold digger martini? Get your fix at Micky’s Clique Thursdays. Other specials include Sunday afternoon brunch, Showgirls Mondays, Hotrod Wednesdays and Launch Fridays.
There’s a whole lotta dancing going on at Rage. Check out Musical Mondays (think “Hairspray,” “Grease” and “Chicago”), Latin Thursdays and Latin Saturdays (think go go dancers), GameBoi Fridays and Sunday Fundays.
Revolver is a video bar with a clubby vibe, flat-screen TVs and a great sound system. It also boasts DJs, go-go dancers and laser light shows.
Show up on Flashback Saturdays for ’80s and ’90s dance music. Or try Pajama Party Mondays, Karaoke Tuesdays, Dragged Out Wednesdays, Peach Thursdays, Tequila Happy Hour on Saturdays and Butch Queen Sundays.
A little on the rowdy side, Fubar is known for good music and good prospects for hooking up. You’ll see hotties galore at the Adonis Lounge show on Wednesdays and Sundays. Other nights feature comedy, karaoke and DJs.