The Queer Issue
The Stranger loves Seattle's gay bars. We love the booze, the juice, the lick-her. We love the homos, the lesbos, the bi-os, and trannyhose. We love you all.
And we revere the singular role the gay bar plays in expressing our dirty gay buttlove, and we respect the gay bar's traditional place in history as our sole gay haven in a rude and retarded yesterday. Gay bars were our first community centers, our Manhunt.coms and/or lesbianlover.coms, before the internet was even a gleam in Al Gore's warming eye.
Even in our todayish world of internet tubes, the gay bar cries out to the gay soul. The gays need bars. Like a diamond needs a ring. Like a cock needs a ring. Like a labia needs a ring. Inside gay bars there is music and laughter and refuge and people that weren't pumped in on a DSL line. And, of course, booze. And sex. And boozy, boozy sex, sex! What's not to love? Especially now that there's no smoking?
Some of Seattle's most beloved gay bars are in a dither about Sunday's Pride Parade marching downtown instead of on Capitol Hill. They fear a loss of business, a break with tradition, and a diminishment of traditional business.
To calm the waters and encourage gay bar patronage, The Stranger is proud to present the Get-Your-Gay-Fanny-Back-to-Capitol-Hill Drink-and-Get-Laid Post-Pride-Parade Pub Crawl! We've dropped a big gay box of very gay Pride Day beads at just about every gay bar in town! Each bar got its own color, so visit all bars on the list after Sunday's Pride Parade to complete a set and, yes, make a fucking rainbow! Offer valid for the first 500-ish homosexual drunkards at each location. What joy!
So come on, gay pub crawlers! Get beaded!
This is where the dancing happens. Neighbours is a stalwart testament to enduring gayness. (Pushing 20, Neighbours is almost old enough to get into itself.) Neighbours expanded to include an under-21 section not too long ago, and new management is breathing fresh life into the old girl, and it's worth a peek, even if you haven't visited in years. Like many of the best gay things, enter in the rear.
619 E Pine St
Caution! For centuries, R Place was where fratty A&F-ers went to pose with beer and dartboards. Now it's a tri-story dance emporium ruled by bonsai eyebrows and thrusting retail hips. The first floor remains pretty much the same (a bar, boys), but the second floor is now the loungey "living room" decorated in mod furniture. And the third floor? Dance, dance, dance!
1518 11th Ave
I once wrote that the cocktails here were "icy and exquisite." I stand by my word. Purr is one of the newest bars on our list, but the address is old—at least three other gay bars have occupied the space. But Barbie, Purr's mistress, seems to have finally gotten the mix just right....
1533 13th Ave
The Cuff is the gay bar you could bring your mother to, if she had no religion and you were born under a table at Hooters. This is a good thing! The Cuff is known for leather, but the dance floor attracts a less leathery crowd. The Cuff is ginormous: a twilight world with four bars, a few secret nooks and crannies, and a huge deck outside from which ancient Duwamish smoke signals are said to take flight!
314 E Pike St
The Eagle is our national bird, a symbol of grace, strength, and nobility. The Eagle is a terrific place to get pissed on. This is a good thing! The Eagle is traditionally the home of the leather-and-Levi's crowd, but hot skater boys have also adopted it as their own. Inside, you will find pinball and pool and shadowy corners and a lovely outside deck. There is no dancing (so please don't try!). But for good rough rock, the Eagle distinguishes itself.
1021 E Pike St
People who aren't lesbians really shouldn't go to the Wildrose during Pride because, frankly, this is the only place that the LLWLTLLLL—Lovely Ladies Who Like To Lick Lovely Lady Labia—have to romp in all of Seattle. It's their only bar! So just stay the fuck out if you aren't a lesbian of some sort this Sunday, okay?
Martin's Off Madison
1413 14th Ave
Martin's is another gay address that has gone through a startling transformation: Once it was the salty old Sea Wolf, but now she's a warm gay piano bar in the classic tradition. "THINGS look swell! THINGS look great...."
1315 E Madison St
Madison Pub is a remarkably popular little watering hole and its patrons are quite loyal. It is rumored to be the most friendliest and least stressfulest gay bar on all of Capitol Hill. Beer and baseball caps—both worn backward.
300 Broadway E
Julia's is more restaurant than bar, hosts gay cabaret, and boasts sidewalk seating, perfect for people watching and bead displaying. But caution! Show tunes erupt without warning!
1413 E Olive Way
A glorious dive (the diviest!) and the best place for beer-soaked karaoke! And don't say anything rude about the Crescent. "Star," the Crescent's mascot, has been there forever. She's everywhere. She sees everything. Like the freaky Jesus man in the Bible. And she'll getcha!
514 E Pine St
Manray is a bright and energetic video bar, home to pretty boys and vicious martinis. Tragically, Manray is suffering from a terminal case of new condos. Hurry! I can hear bulldozers a-rumblin'!