The Top LGBTQ Venues of the Summer

These hot spots prove that new fun can be found within the Gayborhood — and outside it.

Almanac Dance Circus Theatre performing. | Courtesy of FringeArts.

As summer begins to heat up, it’s time to hit the streets and venture out. In recent months, our city’s LGBTQ night life has definitely gotten a well-needed revamp with new spots elevating the inclusivity and creativity of the community. Here’s four venues with the most unique LGBTQ events, drinks, and vibes.

4. Writer’s Block Rehab | 1342 Cypress Street

Strong drinks and plenty of sophisticated LGBTQ events have bolstered this growing Gayborhood hot spot. If you have friends who hate dance parties and want something more classy, this is the place. Drop by any week and some LGBTQ group is throwing a happy-hour mixer or special guest-speaking event. The tall bookshelves and alphabet-decked walls provide a backdrop unlike any other bar around — you’ll immediately understand why it’s one of the best-kept secrets in town.

3. Cibo | 1227 Walnut Street

Looking for new diverse performers and an affordable time? This new favorite LGBTQ spot may be an Italian restaurant by day, but it’s becoming a robust stage for queer performers by night. Known for its popular talent showcases such as Queer Performances of Color and popular drag show brunches, Cibo is proving that you can give the people what they want without giving them the same thing each time. The food is good and the venue is sturdy enough to carry the powerhouse acts other nearby spots have yet to book.

2. L’Etage | 624 South 6th Street

If you want to dance your life away, come here. If you want a great cabaret where you can sing your voice away, also come here. Just come here for one of the best queer parties that’s not in the Gayborhood. For quite some time, L’Etage hasn’t gotten its proper respects as one of the top-billed spots for drag performers (Martha Graham Cracker has sold this place out numerous times). But when there aren’t showstoppers, the nightlife here is filled with some of the best DJs around and themed parties — just get ready for a wild night out.

1. FringeArts | 140 North Christopher Columbus Boulevard

FringeArts tops the list because it has mastered the queer nightlife experience all around — great performances, parties, drinks, and that extra-special something. Whether it’s the avant garde drag/burlesque shows, queer spoken-word speakeasies, or LGBTQ DJ showcases, FringeArts has embraced the eclectic awesomeness of the community with high-quality performance spaces and inclusionary outreach that integrates these concepts seamlessly within its brand. When you have La Peg as your complementary kitchen, there’s almost no competition for a versatile outdoor space that’s just as enticing as the indoor. Whether you want an upscale cabaret show or a throwback queer dance party, there’s really something for everyone in this very dope modern paradise.