The past year has seen the demise of LGBTQ staples like The Hideaway, established in 1969, and The Haymarket Pub, which opened next to The Hideaway in 1991. They’ll be missed (sort of), but there are still plenty of places to flock before, during and after Pride. Whether you’re seeking low-key, loud or fabulous, this list is stacked with both swanky and laid-back hangouts where eats, libations and good times flow, and everyone’s welcome, regardless of acronym.
Nestled in a nondescript South Tampa strip, this bar has been serving the Bay area for around 32 years. Baxter’s is offering two-for-one wells Friday, Saturday and Sunday for Pride. Hunky dancers, karaoke and more will be featured throughout the weekend. 1519 S. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, 813-258-8830, baxterslounge.com.
Drag Queen Bingo, drink specials, DJs and dancing. For those who don’t want to groove inside, there’s a patio out back with pool tables and an additional bar. 325 Main St., Dunedin, 727-736-5284, kellyschicaboom.com.
The Body Shop
A relaxed LGBTQ bar with a daily happy hour and outdoor patio. The spot also has TVs, dart boards and pool tables, offering an alternative to Ybor’s bustling nightlife scene. 14905 N. Nebraska Ave., Tampa, 813-971-3156.
Bradley’s on 7th
Tree trunks and exposed brick decorate the rustic-chic interior. With its small Diva Stage, Bradley’s hosts everything from fab drag shows to strip contests. 1510 E. Seventh Ave., Ybor City, 813-241-2723, bradleyson7th.com.
Butler's Old Key West Bar & Grill
A newer restaurant in the former Beak’s space from the folks who brought the area Butler’s Barbecue. Butler’s kept its predecessor’s wall-to-wall kitsch, as well as the live music and many of the menu items. We recommend the fried artichokes and a cold one. 2451 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-623-0969.
This anything-goes ambisexual gothic fortress is dark, glam and multileveled. Established in 1992, The Castle has five areas for imbibing and getting down. 2004 N. 16th St., Ybor City, 813-247-7547, castleybor.com.
A friendly neighborhood haunt for South Tampanians. Ladies’ nights, Fetish Fridays, karaoke and way more. Enjoy the night air by escaping to the pocket patio. 3703 Henderson Blvd., Tampa, 813-350-0600, citysideloungetampa.com.
The newest addition to the St. Pete bar scene, this upscale bar and dance club just had its grand opening on June 12th. But it had already built up local buzz before that, its staff (many of them formerly of Georgie’s Alibi) and its highly visible location on Central attracting attention and clientele from the start. Look for a pre-Pride dance party on Friday night and a performance by American Idol
finalist Melissa McGhee after Saturday’s parade. 1110 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 954-599-4085, enigmastpete.com.
Six bars, 120 rooms, a nightclub and tasty eats make this LGBTQ hangout feel like an actual resort. Take a dip in the heated 80,000-gallon pool, or attend one of the themed parties thrown each week. 4601 34th St. S., St. Petersburg, 727-321-5000, flamingofla.com.