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Party the night away at Tampa's top gay-friendly clubs and bars



Successfully finding a gay club in an unfamiliar city can be difficult. That's why 10 Best has sought out the top candidates in Tampa. Many options are located in Tampa's GaYBOR district, a section of historic Ybor City where many businesses friendly to the LGBTQ community are located. There are also a smattering of bars and lounges in other locations throughout the Tampa Bay area.

One of the area's most popular gay-friendly clubs is the Honey Pot. The spacious dance floor features a premium light show and sound system to strut your stuff. Featuring Steam Fridays with drag shows for the men and Tease Saturdays that cater to women, there is something for everyone. 

If you're for somewhere a little more upscale and laid back, check out the City Side Lounge in South Tampa. Catering to a slightly older, professional crowd, City Side features a main bar, sports bar and outdoor patio area for lounging with modern and contemporary decor. 


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Located in Ybor City, Bradley's on 7th is a popular gay bar that has something going on every day of the week. The decor is uniquely rustic and features realistic-looking trees and a stream running down the length of the bar. Happy hour leads off each day with 2-4-1 drink specials through 7 pm. On Thursdays, Bradley's lets the amateurs show their stuff hosting a strip show for cash and prizes. Friday and Saturdays feature DJs, hot dancers and drag shows at 11:30 pm and 1:15 pm.

Recommended for Gay Clubs because: Bradley's on 7th is a well-established gay bar that offers strong drinks, hot dancers and friendly staff.

Skye's expert tip: Check out the great daily drink specials.

Read more about Bradley's on 7th →




Southern Nights, formerly G-Bar, is a popular gay club in the heart of Tampa's Ybor City neighborhood. Catering to the full LGBT spectrum, each night features a rotating list of events including a lesbian night with a burlesque show on Friday and a night for the men featuring drag performances on Saturdays. In addition, Tuesday's focus on the service industry, Wednesday's feature an amateur drag contest and Thursdays are college night. Each night features a variety of drink specials. The club has a dramatic, slightly posh atmosphere, complete with dazzling laser projections, plasma screens and a thumping top-notch sound system.

Recommended for Gay Clubs because: Southern Nights is Tampa's newest entrant into the gay bar scene offering popular themed events every night of the week.

Skye's expert tip: Arrive early to avoid cover charges and take advantage of drink specials.

Read more about Southern Nights →


8
Outside the city


The Lucky Star Lounge is located in the heart of St. Petersburg's trendy Historic Kenwood neighborhood. With stiff, cheap drinks and friendly bartenders, this is a friendly, divey hole-in-the-wall, and a relaxing spot for the LGBTQ community to hang out and make new friends. For a dive bar, the interior is well lit, clean and comfortable, although a little small. For better or worse, no smoking is allowed inside, but there is an outdoor patio facing out onto Center Street, which is St. Petersburg's main drag and a great spot for people-watching.

Recommended for Gay Clubs because: Lucky Star Lounge is a friendly LGBTQ dive bar with the stiffest drinks in town, and a prime location on St. Petersburg's Central Avenue.

Skye's expert tip: This is a casual neighborhood hangout, you won't find drag shows or karaoke here!

Read more about Lucky Star Lounge →


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7
Outside the city
Quench Lounge
Photo courtesy of Quench Lounge


Quench Lounge is a popular club located across the Howard-Franklin Bridge in Largo that bills itself as an "all-welcoming" LGTBQ bar although it serves a mainly gay clientele. Every night is a party at this friendly spot with a neighborhood vibe featuring karaoke, drag queen shows, game nights and guest DJs just to name a few. If you've ever wanted to be a drag queen, be sure to check out their amateur drag search events on Thursdays where you can win $100! This is a fairly upscale club but the drink prices won't break the bank. Inside is smoke-free, but outdoor smoking is allowed on the patio.

Recommended for Gay Clubs because: Located in nearby Largo, Quench Lounge is a friendly, neighborhood spot with themed parties every night of the week.

Skye's expert tip: Check out Half Price Happy Hour from open to 9 pm.

Read more about Quench Lounge →


6
Outside the city


If you're heading across the bridge from Tampa to St. Petersburg, you might want to check out Enigma while you're there. Located downtown in the Edge District, a vibrant and eclectic historic neighborhood with a variety of dining, shops, and entertainment. The bar itself has an upscale feel while still offering reasonable prices and strong drinks. The staff is friendly and the place has a welcoming vibe. There is always something going whether it's a laid back night of pool and karaoke, or all dialed up with a DJ or drag show.

Recommended for Gay Clubs because: Enigma is an LGBT friendly bar and lounge in downtown St. Petersburg with upscale ambiance and friendly service.

Skye's expert tip: This is one of few spots in downtown St. Petersburg where parking is not a problem.

Read more about Enigma Bar & Lounge →




Tampa's Reservoir Bar located in historic Ybor City bills itself as the finest hole in the wall in town. Open to all, this fine dive bar serves both gay and straight clientele who are looking to do some serious drinking. The bar features a wide variety of specialty beer and some sinister concoctions brewed up by the friendly bartenders. Sit at the bar or strut your stuff playing bar games including darts, pool, and a few other drinking games. It's happy hour till 7 pm every day and Saturday and Sunday drink specials feature fresh-squeezed margaritas and homemade Bloody Marys for $4.00.

Recommended for Gay Clubs because: Tampa's Reservoir Bar is a popular gay friendly dive bar in Ybor City.

Skye's expert tip: Visitors will enjoy free pool during weekday happy hours.

Read more about Reservoir Bar →




Hamburger Mary's is a bar and grille location in Clearwater, just a half-hour from downtown Tampa. This casual eatery features fun and fabulous shows almost every day of the week. On Monday, Wednesday and Sunday evenings, guests are treated to the raucous and risque "Drag Queen Bingo" hosted by some of the area's most popular drag queens. As a bonus, proceeds are donated to local charities. Friday and Saturday nights feature drag shows each evening. As its name suggests, the menu features a good selection of specialty burgers as well as a variety of sandwiches, salads and appetizers.

Recommended for Gay Clubs because: Hamburger Mary's is a popular gay-themed and LGBTQ friendly bar and grille in Clearwater, famous for its drag queen bingo nights.

Skye's expert tip: Reservations are strongly recommended to attend any of the shows.

Read more about Hamburger Mary's Bar & Grille →




Among the most entertaining gay bars in Tampa, Florida, this high-energy club is a sweet spot to shimmy like you mean it on an expansive dance floor bathed in flashing lights. After busting every move you've got, retreat to the balcony where danced-out clubbers sip cheap, tasty drinks and chat with the sociable staff. The Honey Pot also features Steam Fridays with phenomenal drag shows for men and Tease Saturdays with sensational specials for women including $1 drinks from 10 pm - 11 pm. There are also plenty of special events and guest DJs.

Recommended for Gay Clubs because: The Honey Pot is a well established and very popular gay dance club in Ybor City.

Skye's expert tip: This club is only open on weekends.

Read more about The Honey Pot →


The Castle
Photo courtesy of The Castle (Facebook)


This massive club has a different theme for nearly every night of the week, ranging from pop video night to goth or trance. There are 3 different areas for music, and 5 areas altogether to hang out, each offering something a little different and it's a good bet you'll leave having seen something completely new. Despite the alternative clientele, everyone in The Castle is friendly and welcoming. Because The Castle is so wide-ranging, it's a good idea to check their website before you go to see what you might be getting yourself into.

Recommended for Gay Clubs because: The Castle is a popular alternative and gay-friendly nightclub located in Ybor City.

Skye's expert tip: Due to the variety of clientele, check the website to see nightly events before you go.

Read more about The Castle →


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South Tampa


One of the most welcoming, laid-back gay clubs Tampa has to offer, City Side is located in trendy South Tampa. The lounge boasts friendly bartenders, fantastic (and long-lived) happy hours and a well-stocked game area. The venue holds 3 different bars; the main bar, a sports bar featuring lots of flat-screen TVs, and a patio bar that is only open weekends. As talented DJs spin Top 40 hits, patrons shake it on the dance floor or sip drinks under the stars on the outdoor patio. Visitors are also delighted by daily events like Fetish Friday, Throwback Thursday, Sunday Funday featuring drag queen bingo, Saturday and Wednesday feature karaoke, and Tuesday nights are game nights with free pool.

Recommended for Gay Clubs because: City Side Lounge is an upscale gay cocktail lounge and sports bar located in South Tampa.

Skye's expert tip: Some visitors may find the inside bar area too smokey for their taste. Luckily there is an expansive outdoor patio area.

Read more about City Side Lounge →


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Meet Skye Rodgers

Skye is a freelance writer that adopted Tampa as her hometown over a decade ago and never looked back. As a native of Canada, Skye has happily embraced the no snow climate, and in her spare time...  More About Skye

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