Sure, it's as divey as they come, but The Door (as regulars fondly refer to it) has been an Oak Lawn staple for over three decades, and it's easy to see why. It's one of the most welcoming gay bars you'll find, not to mention this place is especially popular with the bear community. While you won't find any craft cocktails being shaken here, they do make some killer bloody Mary's and offer $1 Jell-O shots in every color under the rainbow. There are also daily beer fests ($.75 drafts), nightly drink specials and all-day happy hours plus the bar keeps customers entertained with ongoing events like monthly cookouts, pool tournaments, stand-up comedy and drag shows. Just make sure to bring cash, they don't take plastic here.
Recommended for Gay Clubs because: The Hidden Door is the gayborhood's version of Cheers where everyone knows your name.
Ilene's expert tip: Check the Facebook calendar for more information on events.
A Dallas institution since 1978, this bi-level haunt (formerly known as the Throckmorton Mining Company) is a popular spot to start or end a night on Cedar Springs. Open Tuesdays through Sundays, TMC features nightly DJs, a dance floor, pool tables, and most importantly–smoking hot go-go boys galore. And the action isn't limited to inside the club, the party continues out on the front patio, which offers prime people watching opportunities along the strip. Couple that with sexy bartenders, reasonably priced drinks and no cover charge. No wonder this place stays packed throughout the week.
Recommended for Gay Clubs because: The Mining Company attracts a diverse LGBTQ crowd and is the only club on Cedar Springs with go-go boys.
Ilene's expert tip: Be sure to hit this place for Trashy Tuesday when DJ Mateo puts on an explosive hip-hop party out on the patio.
A favorite among locals, Woody's is the best spot on Cedar Springs for kicked-back vibes, fabulous people watching and some of the best drink specials in the neighborhood. Spanning two levels, the bar hosts an assortment of events, from sports watch parties to friendly mixers, drag shows and comedy video nights. Regular entertainment includes showtune sing-a-longs on Tuesdays; Wednesday and Sunday karaoke, and a hilarious variety show hosted by drag queen Jada Pinkett Fox on Thursdays. When it comes to broadcast sports, you can catch up to 15 different sporting events at one time via 25 HD displays scattered throughout the bar and patios. The bar also does its bit for the community, supporting local LGBTQ amateur athletes and various service organizations. The best feature? A wrap-around balcony terrace with commanding views of the strip.
Recommended for Gay Clubs because: Woody's is the best place for guys who prefer a more laid-back atmosphere.
Ilene's expert tip: Happy Hour is offered every day until 8 p.m. Woody's also offers private parking.
Catering to gay, straight and everything in-between is Don't Tell Supper Club, a hip restaurant and nightclub venue featuring sharable gourmet eats, whimsical cocktails and over-the-top entertainment. The massive, moodily lit, two-story space hosts regular burlesque acts, aerialists, contortionists, illusionists and even fire breathers. Each evening is different, and the entertainment continues throughout the night with DJs and dancing. As for the food, expect to find everything from smoked hamachi sashimi and BBQ pork sliders to grilled fish and steak. Oh, and they do Sunday drag brunches here too. Even better? Unless it's a special event, there's not a cover charge to get in. Dinner and shows are on offer Thursday through Saturday evenings.
Recommended for Gay Clubs because: For a change from the usual bar scene, Don't Tell Supper Club offers an over-the-top sensory experience.
Ilene's expert tip: Open Th-Sat until 2 a.m. Reservations are encouraged. Try to score a seat downstairs or upstairs along the rail for the best view of the stage.
This sprawling multi-level oasis resting at the gay crossroads of the city-- is a terrific place to drink and an even better place to party. Going strong for over three decades, JR's draws in an eclectic crew of gay, lesbian, straight folk and the like for its friendly atmosphere and packed party calendar of events, covering everything from DJ nights and drag shows to costume contests, pool tournaments and album release parties. All this fun is lubricated by a slew of drink specials ($2 schnapps tooters, jello shots & cherry bombs to name a few) on offer every night of the week. And the upstairs terrace provides some of the best people watching entertainment on the street. No wonder this place always packs a crowd.
Recommended for Gay Clubs because: Jr's is Dallas' most iconic gay bar that attracts both gay and straight alike.
Ilene's expert tip: Check the website's calendar to keep abreast on all its ongoing events.
The sister club to neighboring JR's (as in the TV show Dallas), Sue Ellen's is arguably one of the country's premier lesbian haunts, although it prides itself on being accessible to folks of all persuasions. Spread across two floors, the bar offers multiple flat screen TV's, pool tables, private lounge areas, a spacious dance floor and a gated patio out front. As for entertainment, you'll find live bands throughout the week as well as a host of events, ranging from comedy nights and open jams to a Tuesday Tease "queer variety show" featuring drag kings and queens, circus acts, and burlesque. Keep an eye out for the pass-code (posted on Facebook) to score free entry on Fridays.
Recommended for Gay Clubs because: Sue Ellen's is the best place for ladies who like ladies.
Ilene's expert tip: Happy Hour is offered every day (Monday-Thursday 4 p.m.-2 a.m.; Sunday 2 p.m.-2a.m.; Friday and Saturday 2 p.m.-8 p.m.).
One of Dallas' secret gems, this ultra-laid back neighborhood haunt attracts a following as diverse as its hodgepodge of mismatched furnishings. Voted best straight bar by Dallas' leading gay publication and best gay bar by one of Dallas' straight magazines, The Grapevine Bar is everything you'd want a cozy watering hole/dive to be and more: The booze is ridiculously cheap (the specialty is frozen beverages made with Everclear); the crowd is refreshingly friendly, and the bar throws some of the best happy hours in town. There's also a spiffy rooftop deck where you can sip and scope out the skyline. And any place that boasts ping pong, billiards and a basketball court definitely rates an A+ in our books.
Recommended for Gay Clubs because: The Grapevine Bar is the ultimate place to kick back with a diverse collection of friendly folks.
Ilene's expert tip: Can't beat The Grapevine Bar's all-day happy hours, from open to close Sundays through Tuesdays. There are also cheap drink specials offered from 3-7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.
This legendary Cedar Springs hotspot has been hailed as the nation's best gay country western dance hall-- and with good reason. The saloon boasts multiple themed bars, a rooftop patio and a spacious hardwood dance floor with plenty of room to boot-scoot, as well as disco dance, the night away. It also cranks out a roster of weekly events, from RuPaul's Drag Race watch-parties to chili cook-offs, poker tournaments, pageants and even bachelor auctions. Not to mention, the place hosts some of the best karaoke nights in town. As if that weren't enough, there's drink specials every day, plus all day happy hours and even late night howdy hours. Not only is this place a favorite pit-stop for locals, it also draws in celebrities like Lady Gaga. The crowd is primarily cruising cowboys, but fun-loving cowgirls and just about anyone who wants to do-si-do across the threshold is made to feel just as welcome. And if you need to tone-up your two-step, be sure to check out the free dance lessons. Held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights--they're supposed to be the best in town.
Recommended for Gay Clubs because: The Round-Up Saloon is the best straight-friendly cowboy-themed gay bar in Dallas.
Ilene's expert tip: To get in on all the action, follow the Round-Up on Facebook and Twitter.
Easily one of the city's best and biggest gay dance clubs, Station 4 (or S4 as locals call it) boasts late-night house and hip hop madness Thursday through Sunday, plus awesome drag shows and pageants in the Rose Room upstairs. Spread across 24,000 square feet, this cavernous, multilevel nightspot offers numerous bars, a state-of-the-art sound system and lighting powered by dancers on a motion-sensing, stainless steel dance floor. When you're ready for a breather, you can chill out in a VIP Lounge to watch the party action from above or take in some fresh air from a lofty two-story balcony. Cutting-edge DJs and a host of regular events, from gay bingo to costume contests--make this a hot spot for a mostly gay (and young) crowd, but it's just as welcoming to anyone who's looking for a good time.
Recommended for Gay Clubs because: Station 4 is one of Dallas' hottest and grandest dance clubs, welcoming gay, straight and everything in between.
Ilene's expert tip: Check the website for daily drink specials and Twitter for upcoming events, plus there's no cover on Thursdays before 10 p.m.
Station 4 may be Dallas' preeminent dance club, but its crowning jewel is located upstairs at the Rose Room, the Southwest's premiere show venue for gender illusion. Held Thursday through Sunday nights, the over-the-top performances feature the crème de la crème of local and national crossdressers, including legendary performers like Layla LaRue, Cassie Nova, and Asia O'Hara. Want to unleash your own inner diva? Every Thursday night the Rose Room hosts the "Rising Star" competition –where drag queens from across D-FW can compete for a cash prize. And it's not only celebrity impersonators that frequent this place, real celebrities do too. Pop star Katy Perry recently popped in for a visit while she was on her Witness Tour stop in Dallas.
Recommended for Gay Clubs because: The Rose Room is the place to see some of the best drag performances in the country.
Ilene's expert tip: Come early to score the best seats. Be sure to bring some dollar bills for tipping. Shows run Thursdays at 11 p.m. and 11 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.