The Top 12 Gay Clubs in Portland
Thursday, October 02, 2014
Well, pretty much anywhere nowadays. Yes, baby, we've come a long way.
But there was a time when gays felt most at home in bars, specifically gay bars.
For decades gay bars were fun—and necessary—for men who wanted to hang out with other men, but with the mainstreaming of queer culture many believe they have outlived their usefulness.
Grindr, Scruff and other hook-up-friendly social apps just might make them obsolete. Now, most gay hook-ups happen online. And then there is the hard-earned truth that same-sex marriage is sanctioned by the state. The mainstreaming of queer culture could mean that gay bars might go the way of lava lamps, pet rocks and VCRs.
Still others will argue that men will always need a place where they can still dance their asses off whether they are wearing gold lamé short shorts and a rainbow-hued headband or Levi's and a tight wife-beater.
And drink. Yes, gay bars are still a great place to get a cocktail. Maybe two.
Perhaps that’s why we still have our share of cool men-centric watering holes that service our gay brethren. We've ranked these Portland bars in order of outrageousness. They are here. They are queer.
And they would love you to come in and get your gay on.
Related Slideshow: The Top 12 Gay Clubs in Portland
Here is a list of the Top Ten…er…make that Top 12 Gay Bars in Portland. We ranked them in order of outrageousness.
Starky’s is for those who remember that brunch is best served on Sunday with a Bloody Mary. This true original is more restaurant than bar but that doesn’t stop people from coming here for some of the stiffest drinks in town. (2913 SE Stark St., www.starkys.com)
photo credits: facebook
11. The Fox & Hound
This little charmer is a good pre- or post-function gathering spot where people come to sit down and carry on actual conversation. It’s not much, but it has an incredibly loyal group of regulars. Think of it as a queer Cheers. (217 NW 2nd Ave., https://www.foxandhound.com/)
This recently relocated men’s bar used to have everyone scratching their heads over how the stayed open in Old Town. Now that it’s more centrally located in the meat of the city, there’s a good chance this will be the one bar that actually might stay open in this seemingly cursed space. (412 SW 4th Ave., http://caseyspdx.net/)
8. Embers Avenue
This old-school nightclub is where many of the cities top drag queens first got their footing in six-inch heels. Embers attracts a lot more straight than it did in the 80’s and 90’s but it still has one of the biggest dance floors in town. It recently went up for sale, so it’s hard to say how long this place will be around before we have to say goodbye. (110 NW Broadway, www.theembersavenue.com)
6. Local Lounge
Although it says it’s not just for the gay community (and what really isn’t anymore?) the Local makes sure to attract a diverse crowd who mix it up on both the smallish dance floor and at the bar. (3536 NE MLK Blvd., http://local-lounge.com/)
photo credits: Local's facebook
Woody and his gang pour stiff drinks and throw outrageous dance parties for the boys, the girls, the bis - the just about anybodies - at this Southeast queer-centric space that hosts just as many political fundraisers as it does disco-tied dance nights. Think of it as the Studio 54 that you actually can get into on a Saturday night. (1400 SE Morrison St., crushbar.weebly.com/)
1. Eagle Portland
The one. The only. The Eagle Portland. Where every night seems to be “naked pool night” even the clothing-optional billiards night is scheduled for Thursdays. You are just as like to see grannies hitting the slots in here as you are a trucker in leather chaps and not much else. Bear-friendly porn is on nearly every screen so watching the big game here might not be a good option. Big game hunting? Well, that can be arranged. (
835 N Lombard St., http://www.eagleportland.com/)