GAY BARS AND CLUBS
Whether you want a dive bar or a dance club, we’ve you covered
By Lianna Matt
Under the streetlights and neon signs of the Minneapolis and St. Paul nightlife, gay clubs and bars help maintain the pulse with DJs on dance floors, killer drag shows and good bar eats to fuel the merriment ‘til the dawn. We have loud bass and flashy lights, or we have comfort food and billiards—take your pick.
The 19 Bar: This dive bar has been open since 1925, making it one of the oldest in the United States, and its solid history has made it a comfortable place for patrons to come as they are, pull up a stool and get their regular from a bartender who knows them.
The Brass Rail Lounge: Male dancers and live piano are just two guarantees of a good time at Minneapolis’ Brass Rail. While the food from Sneaky Pete’s and the lounge’s drink selection are swell, the $5 cover on Mondays for free food and adult movies is also a crowd-pleaser.
Camp Bar: Two bars and two performance spaces make Camp Bar a busy St. Paul location, and “The Awesome ’80s Prom” and live music are just a few of the events on the summer calendar. Enjoy sipping on some of the biggest drinks in town, whether you hang out on the sidewalk patio or in the VIP Sexy Lounge.
eagleBOLTbar: This venue hits the sweet spot of gay night club and your friendly, neighborhood bar and grill (with a patio!). A pool table, juke box, pull tabs and bingo make this place a little old school, but in the best way—you know you’re going to find a welcoming crowd watching football, belting out songs at Show Tune Sundays and moving on the dance floor.
Gay 90’s: “Gay. Straight friendly. Beautiful people.” The tagline pretty much says it all. But I suppose we would be remiss to neglect mentioning the six bars and three dance floors with different music. Or the drag shows, karaoke and bingo that go on weekly plus the full menu during the back half of the week.
Jetset Bar: Jetset brags about its cocktails, and the minimalist décor makes a strong first impression. Themed music nights have included Prince and Janet Jackson, and its mix of new and older dance music keeps its wide-ranging crowd moving.
Lush: City Pages’ Best Gay Bar of 2016 has themed drag brunches with bottomless mimosas, Wednesday game nights with an all day happy hour, and an active atmosphere. Burlesque shows, DJs, trans-masculine cabarets, comedy hours and more fill up the event calendar.
Saloon: Weekly drink deals, drag shows and DJs are a given for a venue like the Saloon, but the weekly shower contest—well, that’s a novelty you have to see. While more than 35 years of being in business has made it the place to visit any time of the week, make sure to hit them up in June for their annual Saloon Pride Block Party headlined by famous divas.
Town House: Heggie’s Pizza, mild or spicy chicken drummies, onion petals, tater tots and daily drink deals are the recipe for unwinding, and Town House knows it. Drag queens, DJs and live entertainers roam the event calendar, and in between the shows you can always play pool, beanbag toss or darts.