One of my favorite things about New Orleans is that it’s full of hidden treasures. (Treasures, not treasure. Don’t rent a backhoe or anything.) If you’re open to friends’ suggestions or willing to wander around, you can find heaps of “off-the-beaten-path” restaurants, cultural experiences, bars, and miscellaneous fun in the most unlikely places. Gay bars are no exception. While everyone knows about the cluster of New Orleans gay bars surrounding the intersection of Bourbon and St. Ann, anchored by Oz and the Bourbon Pub, there are plenty of watering holes scattered around ready to cater to thirsty family, friends of Dorothy, and homosexuals and heterosexuals alike. Here are five of the best gay bars in New Orleans.
1. Grrlspot – Many gay bars cater primarily or exclusively to gay men, and Grrlspot is working to change that. Billed as a “pop-up” bar for lesbians, the queer community, and people who enjoy socializing with the lesbian and queer community, Grrlspot is a traveling event taking place every month in a different venue around New Orleans with regular draws of over two hundred women. Watch their website for the next event!
2. Good Friends – Their tagline is “Always Snappy Casual,” and they live up to it. Cozy but never dull, Good Friends is aptly named – if you don’t see one of your good friends there, you’ll be able to make several new ones by the end of the evening. Saints games are shown on the six enormous flat-screen TVs, making this one of the best places to spend Sunday afternoons during football season, especially if, like so many of us, you’re unable to see Lance Moore catch a pass without mentioning how dreamy he is.
3. 700 Club – Get it? It’s a club at 700 Burgundy, but it shares its name with a popular Christian talk show. Puns aside, the 700 Club features a jam-packed calendar of events and drink specials, plus a mouthwatering and refreshingly unsentimental menu – ten ounces of pulled pork on a plate is frankly called a “piglet.” Need more persuasion? CRAB STUFFED JALAPENOS.
4. Phoenix Eagle Leather Bar – How could you not love a bar that advertises “reasonable drink prices,” “plenty of free parking,” “never a cover,” and an “anything goes atmosphere?” The Phoenix Eagle’s priorities are men, leather, and drinks, and it’s hard to argue with any of that.
5. Michael’s on the Park – It’s the only gay bar in New Orleans besides the Phoenix with a patio, but it has much more to recommend it. With pool tables, slot machines, a jukebox accessible by phone (the better to “dial up” some tunes) and regular drag shows, this Rampart Street bar even serves Frito pie during football games.
As you can see, New Orleans is an equal-opportunity entertainer. Come on down, pull up a chair, and have yourself a gay old time. Yeah, I went there.