Drag exhibits are an everyday prevalence at Montrose leather-based bar RIPCORD. Picture: Victor Contreras
Houston is residence to a dynamic and storied queer historical past, which is sensible when you think about that the town is residence to the most important 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. At the 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 searching for an excellent spot by which to have a good time the forty fourth annual Houston LGBTQ+ Satisfaction Celebration this yr, otherwise you’re within the temper for an excellent blissful hour for some afternoon drinks, this information to Houston’s premier LGBTQ+ bars may help lead you to precisely what you’re searching for.
Pearl Bar Houston
At Pearl Bar, the dance ground is your oyster. As the one devoted lesbian bar in Houston (and one in every of solely two in your complete state of Texas), Pearl Bar takes catering to Houston’s feminine queer group significantly. Situated alongside Washington Avenue, the bar contains a pleasant crowd, full of life music, a sprawling again patio, and heaps of booze-fueled enjoyable. In terms of occasions, the bar options common bingo nights, drag exhibits, steak nights, taco nights, and crawfish boils. Pearl Bar will likely be internet hosting two Satisfaction events this yr, one on Friday, June 24, and one on Saturday, June 25. The events, which each begin at 6 p.m., will characteristic a top-shelf number of feminine DJs.
JR’s Bar & Grill
Everybody remembers their first gay-bar expertise, and in case you reside in Houston, it was seemingly at JR’s. The Montrose-located bar, which lately 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 deliver 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 suggests by default that the bar is open and welcoming to all — particularly in case you come decked out in leather-based, sports activities gear, or one thing made 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 (carried out with permission, after all), or just cross your time in deep dialog on the spacious again deck. RIPCORD goes all in for Satisfaction weekend: from Friday, June 24, by way of Sunday, June 26, the bar will likely be taking part in host to a sequence of drag exhibits, reside kink demonstrations, music performances, and full of life DJ units.
In some ways, Eagle Houston serves as a dwelling museum for the town’s queer historical past. Greater than only a bar, the Eagle sports activities a re-creation of the enduring 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 a few of the friendliest workers in Houston and is residence to a various crowd and is welcoming of all. The Eagle hosts one of many largest Satisfaction festivals in Houston, and from Friday, June 24, by way of Sunday, June 26, the bar will likely be taking part in host to DJ units by of us like DJ Jimmy Skinner and a stacked sequence 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, recognized for its generously poured drinks and a rowdy crowd, is residence to nice drag performances and an everyday schedule of newbie strip competitions. When 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.
If you happen to’re searching for 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 excellent spot for these searching for a breezy blissful 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 the town’s gayborhood additionally gives patrons with quick access to a number of of the realm’s different nice LGBTQ+ bars. Come for the full of life ambiance, and keep for the aptly named photographs, 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 full of life sufficient to provide Babylon — for individuals who are followers of Queer as Folks — a run for its cash. The bar nonetheless sports activities the enduring 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 ambiance. In terms of drag exhibits, it’s arduous to compete with ReBar’s programming. The bar often hosts high drag performers from the world over, together with from exhibits like RuPaul’s Drag Race. ReBar additionally has a full of life drag brunch each Sunday that you simply completely have to expertise.
If you happen to’re searching for an LBGTQ+ bar expertise that is a bit more low-key, look no additional than Michael’s Outpost, a captivating piano bar that’s brimming with attraction — and present tunes! The unassuming bar, open since 1998, is understood for its intimate nature, its reside piano performances, and its sturdy cabaret vibes. Michael’s Outpost is residence to common drag exhibits in addition to a few of the finest firm yow will discover in Houston.
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 aspect. It’s an excellent spot by which to look at a sport, down Jell-O photographs, play some darts, shoot some pool, or throw some tunes on the jukebox. George’s rainbow flag-adorned lined patio can also be probably the greatest locations within the neighborhood to people-watch because it borders Fairview, which serves as the primary 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 blissful 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 residence 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 nicely, and the identical may be mentioned (maybe surprisingly) for the pizza.