Drag exhibits are a daily prevalence at Montrose leather-based bar RIPCORD. Picture: Victor Contreras
Houston is dwelling to a dynamic and storied queer historical past, which is sensible when you think about that town is dwelling 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, because the ’60s. Right this moment, 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 important spot by which to have fun the forty fourth annual Houston LGBTQ+ Delight Celebration this 12 months, otherwise you’re within the temper for an important completely satisfied hour for some afternoon drinks, this information to Houston’s premier LGBTQ+ bars will help lead you to precisely what you’re in search of.
Pearl Bar Houston
At Pearl Bar, the dance ground is your oyster. As the one devoted lesbian bar in Houston (and one among solely two in your complete state of Texas), Pearl Bar takes catering to Houston’s feminine queer group severely. Situated alongside Washington Avenue, the bar contains a pleasant crowd, energetic music, a sprawling again patio, and heaps of booze-fueled enjoyable. In the case of occasions, the bar options common bingo nights, drag exhibits, steak nights, taco nights, and crawfish boils. Pearl Bar will probably 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 if you happen to reside in Houston, it was seemingly at JR’s. The Montrose-located bar, which not too long ago celebrated its fortieth anniversary, has been a staple in Houston’s queer group for many years. The expansive house sports activities a number of dance flooring, an space to play pool, loads of house 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+ group, which implies by default that the bar is open and welcoming to all — particularly if you happen to come decked out in leather-based, sports activities gear, or one thing manufactured from rubber. Whereas there, take into account taking part in some pool, getting your boots shined, watching a drag present, being a spectator on the occasional flogging (accomplished with permission, after all), or just move your time in deep dialog on the spacious again deck. RIPCORD goes all in for Delight weekend: from Friday, June 24, by way of Sunday, June 26, the bar will probably be taking part in host to a collection of drag exhibits, reside kink demonstrations, music performances, and energetic 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 by which to purchase merchandise and intimate put on. It additionally has among the friendliest workers in Houston and is dwelling 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, by way of Sunday, June 26, the bar will probably be taking part in host to DJ units by people 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 excellent sense to anybody who likes their bars on the dive-y aspect. The Fourth Ward sizzling spot, identified for its generously poured drinks and a rowdy crowd, is dwelling to nice drag performances and a daily schedule of newbie strip competitions. In case you have some free payments burning a gap in your pockets, Tony’s Nook Pocket is a good place to place them to good use.
In the event you’re in search of the stiffest drink on the town, Crocker Bar is the spot for you. The Montrose staple is thought for its chill environment, its wraparound patio, its darkish and moodily lit inside, and its killer DJ music. It’s an important spot for these in search of a breezy completely satisfied hour expertise or an area by which to let free by way of some late-night dancing. Crocker Bar’s handy location within the coronary heart of town’s gayborhood additionally gives patrons with easy accessibility to a number of of the world’s different nice LGBTQ+ bars. Come for the energetic environment, 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 energetic sufficient to offer Babylon — for many who are followers of Queer as Folks — 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 ground 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 environment. In the case of drag exhibits, it’s exhausting to compete with ReBar’s programming. The bar frequently hosts high drag performers from the world over, together with from exhibits like RuPaul’s Drag Race. ReBar additionally has a energetic drag brunch each Sunday that you simply completely have to expertise.
In the event 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 attraction — and present tunes! The unassuming bar, open since 1998, is thought for its intimate nature, its reside piano performances, and its sturdy cabaret vibes. Michael’s Outpost is dwelling to common drag exhibits in addition to among the greatest firm you’ll find in Houston.
Each metropolis wants a homosexual cowboy bar, and Houston is lucky sufficient to have George Nation Sports activities Bar. George’s, situated within the coronary heart of Montrose, sports activities main City Cowboy vibes in addition to a crowd that skews on the older aspect. It’s an important spot by 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 coated patio can also 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, but it surely’s making fairly a reputation for itself by way of its beneficiant completely satisfied hour, drag exhibits, theme nights, trivia nights, and steak nights. However BUDDY’s just isn’t merely a bar; additionally it is a hub for LGBTQ+ activism locally. The bar is the primary LGBTQ+ bar within the nation to be dwelling to a presidential polling location. It has additionally hosted vaccination drives previously, in addition to fundraisers for Houston charitable teams. The karaoke is fairly nice right here as properly, and the identical will be stated (maybe surprisingly) for the pizza.