Drag exhibits are an everyday incidence at Montrose leather-based bar RIPCORD. Picture: Victor Contreras
Houston is house to a dynamic and storied queer historical past, which is sensible when you think about that town is house to the biggest LGBTQ+ inhabitants in Texas. Montrose is the unofficial “gayborhood” of Houston, and it has been on the nexus of queer tradition in Houston, in addition to the state at giant, for the reason that ’60s. As we speak, the neighborhood nonetheless retains its hallowed standing as Houston’s premier LGBTQ+ stomping floor, and that’s largely due to the assortment of each historic and new LGBTQ+ bars within the neighborhood and its surrounding areas.
Whether or not you’re in search of an incredible spot during which to have a good time the forty fourth annual Houston LGBTQ+ Delight Celebration this 12 months, otherwise you’re within the temper for an incredible joyful hour for some afternoon drinks, this information to Houston’s premier LGBTQ+ bars can assist lead you to precisely what you’re in search of.
Pearl Bar Houston
At Pearl Bar, the dance flooring is your oyster. As the one devoted lesbian bar in Houston (and considered one of solely two in the whole state of Texas), Pearl Bar takes catering to Houston’s feminine queer neighborhood severely. Positioned alongside Washington Avenue, the bar incorporates a pleasant crowd, vigorous music, a sprawling again patio, and heaps of booze-fueled enjoyable. In relation to occasions, the bar options common bingo nights, drag exhibits, steak nights, taco nights, and crawfish boils. Pearl Bar shall be internet hosting two Delight events this 12 months, one on Friday, June 24, and one on Saturday, June 25. The events, which each begin at 6 p.m., will function a top-shelf choice of feminine DJs.
JR’s Bar & Grill
Everybody remembers their first gay-bar expertise, and for those who stay in Houston, it was doubtless at JR’s. The Montrose-located bar, which not too long ago celebrated its fortieth anniversary, has been a staple in Houston’s queer neighborhood for many years. The expansive area sports activities a number of dance flooring, an space to play pool, loads of area for karaoke and go-go dancers, and an enormous courtyard that comes full with a fountain and loads of seating. Because it has a stacked schedule of drag exhibits, it’s additionally a good suggestion to convey a invoice or two with you in your go to.
If Tom of Finland is your required gay-bar aesthetic, then look no additional than RIPCORD. The Montrose-located leather-based bar, one of many oldest in Texas, has been open since 1982, and it has seen extra bears enter its doorways than you’ll see in any of the nation’s nationwide parks. RIPCORD is the reigning bar for kinksters in Houston’s LGBTQ+ neighborhood, which suggests by default that the bar is open and welcoming to all — particularly for those who come decked out in leather-based, sports activities gear, or one thing fabricated from rubber. Whereas there, contemplate enjoying some pool, getting your boots shined, watching a drag present, being a spectator on the occasional flogging (completed with permission, in fact), or just move your time in deep dialog on the spacious again deck. RIPCORD goes all in for Delight weekend: from Friday, June 24, via Sunday, June 26, the bar shall be enjoying host to a collection of drag exhibits, stay kink demonstrations, music performances, and vigorous DJ units.
In some ways, Eagle Houston serves as a dwelling museum for town’s queer historical past. Greater than only a bar, the Eagle sports activities a re-creation of the long-lasting mural that was as soon as affixed to an exterior wall of the now-defunct Mary’s Naturally, in addition to a salvaged door from that historic bar. Recognized for attracting a leather-loving crowd, the Eagle comes full with a retailer during which to purchase merchandise and intimate put on. It additionally has a number of the friendliest workers in Houston and is house to a various crowd and is welcoming of all. The Eagle hosts one of many largest Delight festivals in Houston, and from Friday, June 24, via Sunday, June 26, the bar shall be enjoying host to DJ units by of us like DJ Jimmy Skinner and a stacked collection of drag exhibits hosted by Alexyus Paris.
Tony’s Nook Pocket
Tony’s Nook Pocket is the Houston gay-bar equal of Lola’s Depot, an analogy that ought to make good sense to anybody who likes their bars on the dive-y facet. The Fourth Ward scorching spot, recognized for its generously poured drinks and a rowdy crowd, is house to nice drag performances and an everyday schedule of newbie strip competitions. When you have some unfastened payments burning a gap in your pockets, Tony’s Nook Pocket is a superb place to place them to good use.
In case you’re in search of the stiffest drink on the town, Crocker Bar is the spot for you. The Montrose staple is understood for its chill ambiance, its wraparound patio, its darkish and moodily lit inside, and its killer DJ music. It’s an incredible spot for these in search of a breezy joyful hour expertise or an area during which to let unfastened via some late-night dancing. Crocker Bar’s handy location within the coronary heart of town’s gayborhood additionally gives patrons with quick access to a number of of the realm’s different nice LGBTQ+ bars. Come for the vigorous ambiance, and keep for the aptly named pictures, which include handles just like the Blue Ball and the Mexican Sweet.
What was as soon as Wealthy’s is now ReBar, and the brand new iteration of the queer nightlife staple is vigorous sufficient to present Babylon — for individuals who are followers of Queer as People — a run for its cash. The bar nonetheless sports activities the long-lasting spiked disco ball from its previous life, in addition to a high-tech dance flooring and bustling patio space. ReBar is the one full-service LGBTQ+ bar in Houston, and the venue serves up deliciously fried and gravy-bedecked Southern-inspired fare befitting its decadent ambiance. In relation to drag exhibits, it’s arduous to compete with ReBar’s programming. The bar often hosts high drag performers from internationally, together with from exhibits like RuPaul’s Drag Race. ReBar additionally has a vigorous drag brunch each Sunday that you simply completely must expertise.
In case you’re in search of an LBGTQ+ bar expertise that is a bit more low-key, look no additional than Michael’s Outpost, an enthralling piano bar that’s brimming with allure — and present tunes! The unassuming bar, open since 1998, is understood for its intimate nature, its stay piano performances, and its robust cabaret vibes. Michael’s Outpost is house to common drag exhibits in addition to a number of the greatest firm yow will discover in Houston.
George Nation Sports activities Bar
Each metropolis wants a homosexual cowboy bar, and Houston is lucky sufficient to have George Nation Sports activities Bar. George’s, positioned within the coronary heart of Montrose, sports activities main City Cowboy vibes in addition to a crowd that skews on the older facet. It’s an incredible spot during which to observe a sport, down Jell-O pictures, play some darts, shoot some pool, or throw some tunes on the jukebox. George’s rainbow flag-adorned lined patio can be among the best locations within the neighborhood to people-watch because it borders Fairview, which serves as the principle pedestrian thoroughfare for the gayborhood.
BUDDY’s could also be one of many latest LGBTQ+ bars in Houston, nevertheless it’s making fairly a reputation for itself via its beneficiant joyful hour, drag exhibits, theme nights, trivia nights, and steak nights. However BUDDY’s will not be merely a bar; it is usually a hub for LGBTQ+ activism in the neighborhood. The bar is the primary LGBTQ+ bar within the nation to be house to a presidential polling location. It has additionally hosted vaccination drives prior to now, in addition to fundraisers for Houston charitable teams. The karaoke is fairly nice right here as properly, and the identical could be mentioned (maybe surprisingly) for the pizza.