Lesbian bars were once ubiquitous in the United States, with each major city playing host to several. Their numbers have been dwindling, however, partly because the lesbian community has spread out, and partly because it’s hard to target a business at less than 5% of the population. The ones that remain have to be more inviting of straight and male patrons in order to stay afloat, but at their hearts they are still a stronghold for the queer girl community.
Here is a tribute to the top ten lesbian bar holdouts in the US. May they stay open for years to come.
1. Cubbyhole - New York, NY
When you think of the New York lesbian scene, you think of Cubbyhole. This quirky bar in the West Village has been around for over 20 years. You could get lost staring at the hundreds of decorations on the ceiling, but why do that when there are so many cute girls around?
Specials: 1/2 off all well drinks, wine, and all beer until 7pm Monday-Friday
2. Wildrose - Seattle, WA
One of the longest running lesbian bars in the country, Wildrose has been a staple of the Seattle lesbian community for over three decades. The bar has a slightly dive-y feel to it, but they have delicious tacos and karaoke night. Don’t miss their pride events in June.
Specials: $3.50 for microbrews on Monday; $1 tacos on Taco Tuesday; $3 well drinks on Thirsty Thursday
3. Phase 1 - Washington, DC
Established in the days of Stonewall, Phase 1 is the oldest American lesbian bar. they sponsor Capital Pride every year and started a music festival called Phazefest that’s grown so big they had to find other venues to host the events. Countering the trend of the disappearing lesbian bar, Phase 1 has even opened a second location in Dupont.
Upcoming event: There’s going to be a lube wrestling event there on September 9th. Let’s all call in sick to work and head to DC for the weekend.
4. Sue Ellen's - Dallas, TX
In the super-gay Oak Lawn/Cedar Springs neighborhood in Dallas sits this two story club dedicated to women. The drinks are cheap, and the live music is good. Mondays and Thursdays are for karaoke, and Tuesdays feature a drag/burlesque show. If the music gets too loud or if you're not a fan of dancing, you can go hang out on the outdoor patio or at the pool tables.
Specials: $2 jello shots on Tuesdays and Sundays, no cover on Fridays & Saturdays if you get there between 9:30 and 10pm.
5. L4 Lounge - Charlotte, NC
L4 stands for "love for everyone," and they mean it. Everyone is welcome here, although the crowd is still primarily women. They have hookah, dancing, drag shows, and the occasional jello wrestling tournament. It is also worth noting that they serve chicken and waffles.
Specials: Trivia every third Wednesday, and half-off hookah + no cover on Thursdays
6. Lipstick Lounge - Nashville, TN
A lesbian bar that serves brunch. what more could a girl want? They also feature live music, karaoke, and trivia night, but the best weekly event is probably Cards Against Humanity, MC'd by drag queens.
Specials: 2-for-1 Happy Hour Tuesday-Thursday
7. Blush & Blu - Denver, CO
This coffeeshop has a bar inside. Or maybe it's a bar with a coffeeshop. Either way, it is a hub for queer women looking to play pool, read in the book loft, go on a blind date, perform at a Sunday open mic, or even play poker.
Specials: Whiskey Wednesdays ($4 you call its)
8. My Sister's Room - Atlanta, GA
Atlanta is a mecca for gay men in the South, but queer women can get their girl on at My Sister's Room. They recently moved to a lovely new location in Midtown. While their drag shows normally feature queens, they also put on the occasional king performance.
Specials: $3 mimosas and $5 bloody Marys for Sunday brunch; $2 tacos and $3 beers on Wednesdays
9. Ginger's - Brooklyn, NY
This bar in Park Slope is open 365 days a year. They have bingo and karaoke, and they bill Friday night as singles night. There's also a fantastic patio in the back and a pool table. Just keep in mind that it's cash only!
Specials: Half-price domestic beers 5-8pm daily.
10. Gossip Grill - San Diego, CA
This mostly-outdoor venue has good vibes and friendly staff, and they're open for lunch as well as at night! The 80s brunch on Saturday is not to be missed, nor is their summer Sunday music fest, Souliel.
Specials: bottomless mimosas for $9.50 during brunch; 2-for-1 happy hour. There's also $5 all you can eat spaghetti Monday night.