Everyone, whether gay or straight, loves to have a good time. Ybor City has long been so famous for its gay-oriented establishments that it’s known to some as “Gaybor City.” We’ve put together a list of some of Tampa Bay’s most notable gay-friendly places in Ybor and other locations. Whether your idea of a good time is a crowded dance floor or a quiet drink, read on!
The Body Shop
14905 N. Nebraska Ave.
Tampa, FL 33613
For many years, this establishment just south of Lutz was known as Keith’s Garage. Rather than a “gay bar,” it was a neighborhood bar that catered to gay people. Under its current ownership, the fun includes karaoke, pool tables and special theme nights. Located just north of Bearss Avenue on Nebraska, you can’t miss it on the east side of the road with the front half of a 70s Cadillac sticking out of the front of the building. It’s still a neighborhood bar and while everyone may not know your name, everyone should feel welcome.
3703 Henderson Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33609
Located in the heart of Tampa’s Palma Ceia district, City Side shows everyone a good time. It seems like every night has some sort of theme. Tuesday is labeled as “Retro Night” featuring videos from the 80s and 90s. Monday is “V.I.P. Night” with all “VIPs” getting drinks at half-price. Sundays are especially fun with “Happy Hour” running all day and all night, free BBQ starting at 5 p.m. and the bold claim that City Side has Tampa’s best Bloody Mary bar starting at 11 a.m. Is it really outrageous or a simple fact? There’s only one way to find out.
1600 E. 7th Ave.
Tampa, FL 33605
If you were trying to be concise, you might describe Hamburger Mary’s as a “burger joint with a difference.” Actually, there are many differences between Hamburger Mary’s and other restaurants. You might start with the drag queen shows, the outrageously “Dirty Bingo” or “Tini Night” where martinis take the spotlight. Located in the heart of Ybor City’s party district, Hamburger Mary’s is a great place for bachelorette parties and there are plenty of nights where the bingo is dedicated to raising money for charity. If you’re looking for an over-the-top taste of “Gaybor,” Hamburger Mary’s is a great place to start.
1401 E. 7th Ave.
Tampa, FL 33605
Another Ybor City hot spot, G Bar bills itself as the ultimate gay bar. Boasting 8,000 square feet of wall-to-wall party action behind its plain vanilla doors, this a night club designed from the ground up for gay and lesbian customers. Entertainment can feature male dancers in teeny, tiny speedo briefs, top-notch drag queens and a scorching hot dance mix for a big night out. As a bonus, drinks are moderately priced so you don’t have to feel like you’ve spent your next month’s rent at the bar. On Tuesday night, G Bar even gives you a chance to come out ahead with its progressive jackpot bar tab giveaway. G Bar just celebrated its 7th anniversary of being out, loud and proud!
3100 3rd Ave. N.
St. Petersburg, FL 33713
Located in downtown St. Petersburg, Georgie’s Alibi is proof that there’s plenty of gay action to be had in St. Petersburg. Named one of Out magazine’s top 200 gay bars in the world, Georgie’s feature’s world class live acts, a sports bar with all of the big events, plus a smoking dance floor and, of course, karaoke on Tuesdays. One reviewer notes that straight co-workers (and their wives) had a great time at the Friday “Happy Hour.” Oh and don’t forget about the pool table!
Mike Hennessy is a veteran news man who has won Florida AP awards for feature reporting and covered almost every kind of story imaginable from on-the-scene coverage of Hurricane Andrew, to some of the highest profile murder and corruption trials in Florida history. Mike is versatile and has the curiosity it takes to get to the bottom line of any story. His work can be found at Examiner.com.