If you're looking for a relatively affordable vacation spot with a sophisticated and independent-spirited food scene and lots to offer in the way of arts and River has a handful of popular gay bars as well, nightclubbing, and shopping, Columbus fits the bill. This spacious club, which also has a very popular "boys night out" on Wednesdays, has great DJs, live comedy shows, and different music programming depending on the night country followed by hip-hop on Thursdays, house and dance classics on Fridays and Saturdays, and female and male drag cabaret on Sundays.
Tom W. The Rock is one of the best gay venues in the area for catching live entertainment of all kinds, from drag cabarets to concerts to comedy shows. Given all this, it seems like queerness is very much alive and well in the LGBTQ community — and so one might expect the bar and nightlife scene to reflect that.
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The food here is classic American with some nouvelle touches, such as a bacon-meatloaf sandwich with housemade ketchup on toasted pretzel bread, and pan-seared shrimp and cheesy grits with a beurre blanc sauce.
The "farm egg" sandwiches are a great way to start the day off, and the high-quality coffee is strong and available in the usual formats, from espressos to cold-filtered iced coffee. River has a handful of popular gay bars as well also, obviously, is an enormous factor in this.
Open every night The Bulge meets JJ's Diner. The drinks are potent and affordable, the staff fun-loving and friendly. Here's an alphabetical list of the most inviting gay-oriented after-dark venues in the region, including a handful of mixed bars, restaurants, and LGBT-popular coffeehouses of note.
It's always a pleasant surprise to discover that a destination you had modest hopes for fosters a vibrant gay social scene. Continue to 9 of 11 below. California's state capital is as desirable for what it's near as for what it is - within a two-hour drive are San Francisco, Tahoe, Napa and Sonoma, and Yosemite National Park.
Poor Stefan? Going to a 4am bar usually means cheap beer and simple mixed drinks, but Barrelhouse Flat puts a slightly classier spin on the experience of staying out late to drink. With more and more bars cropping up in Logan Square, the drunk masses need somewhere to continue the night, after all.