Everyone will have their opinion on what is the best gay bar or club in the United States or in the world. We have seen gay establishments come and go and it’s rare you see them stick around for as long as The Monster in NYC or Parliament House in Orlando. People get tired of going to the same places if they don’t change things up or have theme parties and there are clubs that have shut down recently because of this.
You also have gentrification of gayborhoods, Grindr, and other factors such as terror or right-wing threats that make it a challenge to stay open with increasing rent. Let’s focus on the gay nightlife that keep it busy at least one or two big nights a week. We posted a long debate about how to keep the gay clubs alive and beating strong.
Newnownext recently compiled a list of the most popular gay bars from data collected by Gravy Analytics but didn’t exactly show anything from that data. It listed mostly bars and everyone is wondering why so many of the more popular gay hotspots in nightlife are not on the list. Let’s see how we do with the hottest we’ve seen that are still open:
They listed X Bar but Tracks is legendary to the gay scene in Denver. While X Bar is a fun place to go out it just doesn’t compare to a Thursday night at Tracks, drag, or a Circuit Saturdays event.
Charlie’s Las Vegas
Piranha Nightclub (But Flair… wait… no Charlies?)
We’d hand them this one but it’s missing out on an extremely more popular place known as Charlies Las Vegas. Piranha Nightclub can be fun when all of the rooms are open but when it’s a small bar with a fireplace it’s not all that. Flair Nightclub is a newer up-and-coming place that recently hosted DJ Chi Chi LaRue and the GAYVN boys and has nights such as Industry Thursdays. Sadly, Krave Nightclub shut down and Las Vegas has lost the mega-club on the strip.
It’s rare you walk by Micky’s in West Hollywood and it be dead. You will normally even find a line outside at 2am since it’s the only afterhours on Fridays and Saturdays. Although, Reflex afterhours is held on some Saturdays for the circuit crowd. Can’t tell you about a place called the Gold coast never heard of it.
The Ritz Bar NYC
This bar needs no introduction with two levels of dance music and a Tuesday college night with DJ Steve Sidewalk. The Ritz is located in the perfect location in the middle of the action right by Times Square so if you’re visiting NYC you’re likely staying by it. While the club is not comparable to Splash or XL Nightclub it’s one of the largest gay bars in NYC. The original list included Atlas Social Club although it failed to also mention Industry, Barracuda, and Hardware. What? Have they been to NY?
The Manor Ft. Lauderdale [FLL Pick]
They mentioned the Ramrod Fort Lauderdale in the original list. Sorry folks, you need to check out the Manor in Ft. Lauderdale which continues the fierceness of Coliseum a legendary club of South Florida that closed down.
Tigerheat – Hollywood, CA
A top 50 bar list listed Rage in Weho and we agree it’s a great dance club and not as pretentious as some. Although if you want to party at the 18 and up crowd then the best bet is Tigerheat Thursdays at Avalon in Hollywood. Rage has kind of lost it’s RAGE.
“Located at the Gifford House Inn, Club Purgatory offers weekly themed nights like Thursday’s “Underwear Party” and Friday’s “Retro Dance.” 11 Carver St., Provincetown, Mass.” This is on our to do list.
HoneyPot [Tampa Pick]
Steam Fridays are the best night for this amazing gay dance club in Tampa, Florida. If we could pick a spot to be on a Friday anywhere in the country it would be on the dancefloor at Honeypot. This club makes the list not only because of the big venue but the dance music is not the crap you hear at clubs that cater to the straight instead of the gay crowd!!
Southern Nights Tampa
If you pay attention to other lame lists you may not see the Southern Nights brand on them. You’ll find it and the shade on ours and if you want more shade then catch a show at Southern Nights and amazing dj’s on Saturday in Tampa, Florida.
Parliament House [Orlando Pick]
Parliament House is a gay resort on the Orange Blossom Trail in Florida, United States that includes several bars and hosts performances such as drag shows and concerts. There are 112 rooms in the complex, which encompasses ten thousand square feet, including an outdoor stage, a swimming pool, a beach lakeside, and a huge dance floor on the inside. The resort was established in 1975, and eventually became the most well-known gay resort in Orlando. Concerts include performers such as LeAnn Rimes, En Vogue, Salt & Pepa, and many others who have had #1 dance hits besides your typical RuPaul Drag Race girls. DJ Brianna Lee does a T-Dance each Sunday that will blow your tits off along with DJ Scott Robert who knows his house and can whip up a variety of beats.
Southern Nights Orlando
Another Southern Nights venue worthy of a mention that has a highly popular college night on Thursdays. Southern Nights Orlando was called Revolution for a few years but then returned to its Southern twink roots. The club offers some of the best drag and has some of the bartenders known from Pulse in Orlando.
Station 4 & The Rose Room
Station 4 a mega-club located in Dallas across from the World Famous Roundup Saloon. It doesn’t get packed as much because of the cover and lack of booking DJ talent. Although they do host quarterly Purple Party dance events that fill up the house. Amateur drag shows on Thursdays then the Rose Room cast on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. 3911 Cedar Springs Rd., Dallas. The Rose Room is a hot spot in Dallas although be prepared for the bachelorette parties going on and dildo themed hats and wedding dresses. If you wanna party with the gays you might be better off at TMC with no cover next door or Round Up Saloon across the street.
This is absolutely a must if you come to visit Dallas, Texas. Seeing two guys couple dance together or dancing beyond freestyle is something you have to try. This is not only a huge country dancefloor but they also play top 40 after midnight. If your thing is gay diva house music that should be played in gay establishments after midnight you may be disappointed in the hip hop. We recommend It’ll Do nightclub in Dallas for house music on Saturday nights and Marty’s Live with DJ Joe Ross or special DJ events or the Eagle if you like music without so much hip hop. The club is free and they offer karaoke each night in the front room, nights where they teach dance lessons, and a big room to play pool.
Dallas Eagle [Dallas Pick]
The Dallas Eagle has proven to be one of the very best Eagle bars in the nation. The space is good, the dance floor is large enough and the men, well, you’re in Texas! This is a club built from the ground up with an outdoor patio bar. drinks, disco dancing, to line dancing, fund raisers and drag shows. Underwear night on Wednesdays is always fun. Also, a leather shop with various items of dress for purchase
Rich’s Houston [Houston Pick]
They mentioned the Blur Bar on Pacific street but Rich’s is far superior as a nightclub. They host the fiercest drag Houston has to offer and amazing dance parties with the top house music Dj’s on Fridays and circuit gay dance music on Saturdays such as DJ Tony Moran and Joe Ross. Rich’s has hit Houston so hard that South Beach which was the #1 dance club before had to shut down this week to “remodel”. Yes, they won our best gay club award years ago…
One of the oldest and most popular gay bars in Chicago. Roscoe’s offers a front bar, side bar, outside patio, and crowded dance floor in the back. You can catch some of the best Dj’s there such as Riley York who does a monthly Britney party. 3356 N. Halsted St., Chicago. Other amazing spots in Chicago are Berlin which has some of the best music, Charlie’s Chicago, and Hydrate which brings in circuit dj’s.
Heretic [ATL Pick]
With the closing of Jungle Atlanta which was one of the best clubs in the United States hands down the city is left with few choices when it comes to dance. The remaining venue is now Heretic located at 2069 Cheshire Bridge Rd NE in Atlanta, Georgia. Their website claims they have been “Atlanta’s Hottest Gay Owned and Operated Nightclub Since 1991.”
R Place offers three levels with a view of Pine street below and a dance area on the third floor. 619 E. Pine St., Seattle.
One of the bigger nightclubs in the entire Austin area and it also happens to be a gay club. You’ll find it down the street from Rain on 4th (below) and another great bar OCH (Oil Can Harry’s). The cool place to be at Highland is in the basement on Saturdays when you’re guaranteed to hear dirty house music. This is our Saturday night pick in Austin and they have dancing until 3am for this night. They have a fierce drag show on Friday night you will not want to miss. Also, check out Barbarella’s for great dance music on TuesGays and Saturdays.
Rain on 4th
An upscale gay nightclub with a hip decor, trendy clientele, reasonably priced drinks, and hopping dance floor. 217 W. 4th St., Austin. This is our Austin pick for Friday night if you’re 18+. They also have after-hour until 3am on Saturdays.
“This modern LGBT nightclub (and Tennessee’s sole entry on the list) throws themed evenings and special events like “Red Cup” weekends and the “Lumberjack and Long Johns Party.” 1517 Church St., Nashville.”
Machine Presents theme parties such as Pajama parties and EXTRA! Boston’s 18+ gay dance club with hostess Cynthia Lee Fontaine. The club features an upstairs with a latin night on Fridays and All Gender Bathrooms. 1254 Boylston St., Boston, Massachusetts 02215.
Oz New Orleans [NOLA Pick]
Oz Nightclub is a staple in the French Quarter and open 24 hours a day. While you can also party at the Bourbon Pub across the street the same hours you will find this dancefloor open longer. 800 Bourbon St., New Orleans.
Expect lots of leather, bears, and a dark room at this Crescent City establishment that also hosts a “Black Out Party” the second Thursday every month and “Bring Your Own Meat” night every Wednesday. 740 Burgundy St., New Orleans
Silver Lake leather bar in LA. 4219 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles..
Tramp’s [OKC Pick]
“(Tramps) OKC’s oldest gay bar packs the boys, girls, senior citizens, someone’s Mom, occasionally a service dog in every weekend thanks to heavy pours, an attitude-free atmosphere, and friendly bar staff. 2201 NW 39th, Oklahoma City” told by Floyd Martin a regular at the bar and the gay mayor of OKC. We should also mention the Copa and Boom in Oklahoma City. If you wish to see amateur drag then check out the Wreck Room.
Palace Miami Beach
Follow the Palace Miami Beach Facebook and you will discover what you are missing out on daily. If you like a fierce drag show while you eat then this is the place. They also have one of the best sound systems possible for dancing on industry night. They have recently relocated from a smaller building.
Twist is featured in the American Crime Story: Versace – but a much exaggerated version of the dancefloor. “There’s never a cover at this beloved South Beach venue that features seven bars, three dance floors and tons of eye candy. 1057 Washington Ave. Miami Beach.”
Gay dance club located in Omaha, Nebraska. When the Nebraska boys need to let out their gayness on a big dancefloor.
Houston’s most popular leather bar and the place to be for Sunday Funday. They have a room upstairs celebrating LGBT history and a shop that has lube to grease things up later. 611 Hyde Park, Houston.
Town Danceboutique is the largest gay dance club in D.C., “offers a two floors of cabaret performance space, a plush lounge, and a hopping dance club. 8th St. NW, Washington, D.C.” This club will be closing down in July so you better enjoy it while it lasts!
Bourbon Pub and Parade
Operating since 1974, this French Quarter LGBT mainstay (above) is ground zero for some of the city’s convivial events: Mardi Gras, the Red Dress Run (above), and Southern Decadence. 801 Bourbon St., New Orleans.
The Abbey which is now joined up with what is left of Here club are the place to be Sunday nights in Weho to dance. You’ll also find career Go Go Dancers and lots of straight girls admiring them and the bartenders have just about every fruit you can imagine at the bar to serve in your drink. 692 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood.
Rich’s San Diego
One of our favorite nightclubs for the gays to party and they bring in some of the best Dj’s from around the world. They feature 2 dance rooms and a VIP room upstairs. During Pride they have a dance stage setup that goes on until 2 or 3am.
Who would’ve known one of the largest gay clubs would be in Columbus, Ohio? A fantastic two-level dance hall to experience yourself when in Columbus for Pride or anytime of the year.
When you think of an amazing dance club you should think where would you like to go celebrate New Year’s Eve or where would you want to go get away from it all. A place that has an ambience, sound, and makes you forget about your office cubicle, ex boyfriend, or exams the day before. A good club takes you into another dimension and doesn’t just have Dj’s that play the #1 songs that repeat on the radio. A good club shows you drag that is not just made for bachelorette party crowds but for the club clientele.
We will try and update this list as often as we can the more we check out gay nightlife across the nation. It may say the Top 30 but it’s not in any order and that is for a headline because we know it’s more than 30 and don’t give a f*ck. Want to read more from folks that actually go clubbing? Check out our international destinations such as Heaven nightclub in London.