Top 5 gay bars in the Twin Cities

Categories: Top 5

At the Gay 90's, the party rages on
​The Twin Cities gay scene is alive and kicking, with a taste for every want, whether it's classic, new and hot, something with a bit of kink, or a straight-up (ahem) neighborhood watering hole. 

Here is our list of the five best gay bars in the metro area.  




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Two for the price of one
​5. Eagle/ Bolt
In the online era, there's no substitute for visceral, in-person chemistry. This is a place to help you break down those cold, crazy walls. A drink might help loosen your social strings, but a relaxed environment is the kicker. The Eagle and Bolt (two sides of the same coin) have a meetability quotient that tops the local competition. Every gay bar touts itself as the place to be yourself. The difference here is that you'll never feel alone.(515 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.4214)


saloonroom.jpg
Hey there, Cowboy
4. The Saloon
The Saloon is a kick-ass bar that never shies away from being, first and foremost, a kick-ass gay bar. The dance floor is fairly large, the music is good, and it has a good-looking back porch (pun intended). The three separate bars in the Saloon all serve reasonably (but not irresponsibly) strong drinks. Visually clean but psychically dirty (what is up with the go-go dancer in the water-splashed booth with the glory hole?), the Saloon also happens to host more tight-panted, armless-shirted, muscle-ripped party boys than any other spot in town--which is not a bad thing for a gay bar. Not bad at all. (830 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis; 612. 332.0835)


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​3. 19 Bar
This dark, unassuming Loring Park watering hole has been around since 1953, purportedly making it the oldest gay bar in the Twin Cities. The 19, however, defies all gay stereotypes. The bleary environs boast excellent pool tables, dartboards, pull tabs, and a jukebox with a diva quotient only slightly higher than most around town. It also has prices that wouldn't get you a glass of water at most downtown clubs. In other words, it's just a damn fine neighborhood bar whose clientele happens to be men who prefer other men. In recent times it's emerged as the hipster dive bar for gay boys. The 19 Bar also has one of the finest smoking patios in the Twin Cities. (19 West 15th Street, Minneapolis; 612.871.5553)


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Hard to find but worth the effort
2. Jet Set
The coolest bars are often the hardest to find. That rule definitely applies to Jetset. From the street there's not much to see: a small white light, signage that can only be spotted up close. Just watch for the beautiful, lithe hipster boys smoking on the sidewalk outside. Inside you'll find a chill hot spot with a bit of grungy New York glamour. The decor is sleek, white, and minimal, with most of the seating consisting of a long cement slab along the right-hand wall. The cocktails are incredibly tasty; many of the ingredients are fresh and/or house made. The space is long, which allows patrons to have intimate conversations in the back or to head up front for dancing as the DJ spins hits old, new, and obscure. Though the bar generally opens each day around 5 p.m., the action doesn't start too early. (115 N. First Ave., Minneapolis; 612.339.3933)


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Something for everyone
1. Gay 90's
The crown jewel in our feathery headpiece. With multiple bars to fit any mood, you can dance, sing, watch, drink, and swoon in any room. The Le Femme ladies showcase the beautiful talent on the drag queen circuit, from top national names like Lady Bunny to our own Bebe Zahara Benet. Like your men a little more manly? Check out the chiseled go-go dancers downstairs. Looking for your own chance at love? Take it to the dance floor, honey. (408 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis; 612.333.7755)


Previous coverage:

Top 10 dive bars in the Twin Cities

Top 10 late-night restaurants in the Twin Cities

Top 10 romantic restaurants in the Twin Cities

Top 10 bloody Marys in the Twin Cities

Top 10 margaritas in the Twin Cities

Top 10 macaroni & cheese dishes in the Twin Cities

Top 10 burgers in the Twin Cities

Top 10 sushi restaurants in the Twin Cities

Top 10 ice cream shops in the Twin Cities

Top 10 coffeehouses in the Twin Cities

Top 10 martinis in the Twin Cities

Top 10 hot dogs in the Twin Cities

Top 10 pizzerias in the Twin Cities

Top 5 brewpubs in the Twin Cities


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Click here to see it in action.


Don't forget to vote in the 2012 Best of the Twin Cities Readers Poll!
Click here to tell us your favorite restaurants, bars, bands, shopping, and more.




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6 comments
truckload_bear
truckload_bear

The 90's?  Complete dump. The only people I've seen there are the "SQUEEEE! We're in a gay bar!" suburban types who think they'll have a great story to tell the other parents at their little snowflakes gymboree sessions. Then there's the gawd awful bachelorette parties....A word about the bachelorette  parties....Gay bars are not zoos. They do not exist as a way for you to get your thrills by asking the patrons what they do with whom. The dick shaped lollipops you are waving about are not edgy or funny. When trying to slur out your drink order, telling the bartender to "make me something good" then acting surprised because you were charged actual money is obnoxious. Most importantly, the patrons DO NOT GIVE A SHIT that you are getting married. Especially since most the patrons CAN"T and you suburban types will most likely make sure, in November, that they never will. 

Iain St James
Iain St James

this review border on homophobic and is very insulting to the LGBT community ...Just because the owners of The 90's (notice when straight people who own Sneaky Pete's/Deja Vu straight strip bars bought it, they legal changed the name to the 90's) purchase a lot of advertising in City pages, it is piss poor to review and insult our community. I saw not one word about Trans or Lesbians ...as if gay men only go out and are perverts and every bar has to be about sex...this whole thing is disgusting and I want to sue you for defamming MY community.  

a local GAY man
a local GAY man

POOR JOURNALISM! Clearly written by a straight person and without any input from the gay community, for the vast majority of the gay community would not even consider stepping foot into the trashy 90' s that doesn't take care of it's gay clientele nor gives back to the gay community. Where is Lush & Camp on this list? Also, with a simple walk around at the Saloon, one could clearly see 5 separate bars not 3. This author clearly doesn't know what a "glory hole" is, for I don't know of anyone that could put their penis through the "money" slot of the "shower"!

Alni0401
Alni0401

Jet Set is great if you want over priced drinks, pretentious boys and enjoy feeling like a sardine.  It once took me 20 minutes to cram through the mass of manflesh to get from the bar to the bathroom. 

The 90's is a great place to go unless for almost everyone, except gay men.  The patrons typically are made up of bachelorette parties or straight suburbinites looking to experience "gay culture."  - I do enjoy the drag shows though. 

Jackbnimble
Jackbnimble

HA!  Wrong!!  I do not know one gay person that actually goes to the Gay 90's!  Where is Lush Bar?  Why is a woman writing about gay bars frequented mostly by men?  Camp Bar in St. Paul?  Jet Set is pretentious and boring.

Dave
Dave

Do they advertise, or advertise enough, in the CityPages?

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