Queens Head duo Darren Conner and Paul Smith serve up Euro/Brit cuisine (fish and chips, steak and ale pie, chicken curry) in a hip atmosphere.
The past year has seen the demise of LGBTQ staples like The Hideaway, established in 1969, and The Haymarket Pub, which opened next to The Hideaway in 1991. They’ll be missed (sort of), but there are still plenty of places to flock before, during and after Pride. Whether you’re seeking low-key, loud or fabulous, this list is stacked with both swanky and laid-back hangouts where eats, libations and good times flow, and everyone’s welcome, regardless of acronym.
Nestled in a nondescript South Tampa strip, this bar has been serving the Bay area for around 32 years. Baxter’s is offering two-for-one wells Friday, Saturday and Sunday for Pride. Hunky dancers, karaoke and more will be featured throughout the weekend. 1519 S. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, 813-258-8830, baxterslounge.com.
Drag Queen Bingo, drink specials, DJs and dancing. For those who don’t want to groove inside, there’s a patio out back with pool tables and an additional bar. 325 Main St., Dunedin, 727-736-5284, kellyschicaboom.com.
The Body Shop
A relaxed LGBTQ bar with a daily happy hour and outdoor patio. The spot also has TVs, dart boards and pool tables, offering an alternative to Ybor’s bustling nightlife scene. 14905 N. Nebraska Ave., Tampa, 813-971-3156.
Bradley’s on 7th
Tree trunks and exposed brick decorate the rustic-chic interior. With its small Diva Stage, Bradley’s hosts everything from fab drag shows to strip contests. 1510 E. Seventh Ave., Ybor City, 813-241-2723, bradleyson7th.com.
Butler's Old Key West Bar & Grill
A newer restaurant in the former Beak’s space from the folks who brought the area Butler’s Barbecue. Butler’s kept its predecessor’s wall-to-wall kitsch, as well as the live music and many of the menu items. We recommend the fried artichokes and a cold one. 2451 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-623-0969.
This anything-goes ambisexual gothic fortress is dark, glam and multileveled. Established in 1992, The Castle has five areas for imbibing and getting down. 2004 N. 16th St., Ybor City, 813-247-7547, castleybor.com.
A friendly neighborhood haunt for South Tampanians. Ladies’ nights, Fetish Fridays, karaoke and way more. Enjoy the night air by escaping to the pocket patio. 3703 Henderson Blvd., Tampa, 813-350-0600, citysideloungetampa.com.
The newest addition to the St. Pete bar scene, this upscale bar and dance club just had its grand opening on June 12th. But it had already built up local buzz before that, its staff (many of them formerly of Georgie’s Alibi) and its highly visible location on Central attracting attention and clientele from the start. Look for a pre-Pride dance party on Friday night and a performance by American Idol
finalist Melissa McGhee after Saturday’s parade. 1110 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 954-599-4085, enigmastpete.com.
Six bars, 120 rooms, a nightclub and tasty eats make this LGBTQ hangout feel like an actual resort. Take a dip in the heated 80,000-gallon pool, or attend one of the themed parties thrown each week. 4601 34th St. S., St. Petersburg, 727-321-5000, flamingofla.com.
A party spot for those meandering through the GaYbor District, this bar and club showcases DJs, live music performances and female and male dancers. Stop in for G. Bar’s Pride after-party on Saturday. 1401 E. Seventh Ave., Ybor City, 813-247-1019.
Sports bar, dance club, drag-show venue, restaurant, hangout — Georgie’s remains a one-stop shop for anything LGBTQ you might be interested in. Its sprawling redesign has opened up the space, but we do miss the video wall. Located at the start of the parade, it’s a prime spot for pre- and after-partying, including a performance by American Idol
’s Amber Holcomb and Lazaro Arbos at 10 on Saturday. 3100 Third Ave. N., St. Petersburg, 727-321-2112, georgiesalibi.com.
Make way for the sizzlin’ fare at this heavenly burger joint. Saturdays bring two cabarets at 8 and 10:30 p.m., while Sundays offer brunch, bottomless mimosas and a drag show starting at 11 a.m. Something’s happenin’ every night. 1600 E. Seventh Ave., Ybor City, 813-241-6279, hamburgermarys.com/tampa.
Another welcoming must-stop in GaYbor for LGBTQ folks. The DJs spin dance-worthy tunes, and the bartenders mix funky drinks. Don’t miss Friday’s Pride pre-party. 1507 E. Seventh Ave., Ybor City, 813-247-4663.
Kick off the fun or round out an evening at Kelly’s, which has everything from omelets to sammies to duck breast. A four-course prix fixe vegetarian dinner is available Fridays and Saturdays for $20. If you go, grab a table outside. 319 Main St., Dunedin, 727-736-5284, kellyschicaboom.com.
This club sits across the street from the Ritz and features Latin nights, drag performances, male dancers (and porn stars), drink specials and more. 1502 E. Seventh Ave., Ybor City, liquidtampa.com.
Lucky Star Lounge
Behind Mr. Sun Liquors is where you’ll find this little dive in the Grand Central District. Go for the strong, fairly priced drinks and casual conversation. Enter through the back of the building. 2760 Central Ave., St. Petersburg.
Part bar, part liquor shop, Oar House has a neighborly vibe with a patio and drinks to match. 4807 22nd Ave. S., St. Petersburg, 727-327-1691.
Pro Shop Pub
A blink-and-you-miss-it Clearwater mainstay that opens its doors to all, but has acted as a celebration space and watering hole for the gay community since 1976. 840 Cleveland St., Clearwater, 727-447-4259, proshoppub.us.
The Queens Head Restaurant and Eurobar
Owners Darren Conner and Paul Smith serve up Euro/Brit cuisine (fish and chips, steak and ale pie, chicken curry) in a hip atmosphere. And don’t miss the chance to be stumped by Trixie the Trivial Tranny on Wednesdays. 2501 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-498-8584, thequeensheadbar.com.
Recurring potlucks, drink deals and hilarious drag shows with rotating divas have allowed this Best of the Bay-winning bar, which opened in January last year, to build a following. 13284 66th St. N., Largo, 727-754-5900, quenchlounge.com.
This club appeals to those within and outside the LGBTQ community. The upstairs portion of the venue mirrors what partygoers are used to — DJs, dancing and music videos airing in the background. But Social’s basement, with its low ceilings and more intimate feel, is a pleasant surprise. 1909 N. 15th St., Ybor City.
Run by Barbara Banno, this quaint American diner serves breakfast dishes that win raves from locals and visitors alike. You can’t go wrong by ordering the Cuban Reuben or grilled cheese with pesto mayo for lunch, either. 3119 Beach Blvd. S., Gulfport, 727-498-8950, stellasingulfport.com.