With St. Pete’s pride parade around the corner, use this guide to some of the more renowned gay-owned and gay-friendly dining and drinking locales.
BEAK’S OLD FLORIDA 2451 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-321-9100, beaksflorida.com. Old Florida kitsch meets downtown St. Petersburg at this restaurant and bar in Grand Central. Dine in the outdoor garden patio. Only grownups allowed at this 21-and-up spot.
BLUR NIGHTCLUB 325 Main St., Dunedin, 727-736-0206, kellyschicaboom.com. This nightclub and bar is aptly named. The drinks are so good, chances are your Dunedin night will end in a, um, blur.
BRADLEY'S ON 7TH 1510 E Seventh Ave, Ybor City, 813-241-2723. Rustic, fabulous and friendly all at once, with decor centered on a gigantic tree trunk and entertainment centered on gigantically talented drag divas.
THE CASTLE 2004 N 16th St, Tampa, 813-247-7547, castleybor.com. A venerable Ybor City temple to polymorphous perversity, especially on weekends.
CHELSEA BAR & NIGHTCLUB 1502 N. Florida Ave., Tampa, 813-228-0139, chelseanightclub.com. Classic, unpretentious local gay bar and nightclub. Killer drink specials, never a cover, and no smoking. Go-go dancers and divas on Thursdays and Saturdays.
CITYSIDE 3703 Henderson Blvd., Tampa, 813-350-0600, clubcityside.com. A video/ dance/ karaoke/ sports bar/ all-around South Tampa neighborhood hangout. Don't miss the outdoor patio tucked away in back.
CZAR VODKA BAR & ZOYA SHISHA LOUNGE 1420 E. Seventh Ave., Tampa, 813-247-2664, czarnation.com. From their website: "The staff of Czar are freaks, geeks, queers and kids that confidently and expressively reject mainstream society." And that's why we love Czar.
DETOUR BAR 2612 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-327-8204, detourfl.com. At the Detour Bar, every day is happy hour from 4-9 p.m. Drag shows, pool tables, darts, karaoke and more.
EMERALD BAR 550 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-898-6054. Owned by a beloved rainbow duo, this is a top ten local bar destination. Dark, dank, and cash only. The small stage in the back of the bar has played host to many legendary after-parties. No joke, this Creative Loafer took shots of whiskey with TV on the Radio at the Emerald last year.
G. BAR 1401 E. Seventh Ave., Tampa, 813-247-1016, yborclubs.com. See and taste the rainbow at this GaYBOR mainstay. Cages, male dancers, female dancers and debauchery. Need we say more?
FLAMINGO RESORT 4601 34th St. S,, St. Petersburg, 727-321-5000, flamingofla.com. Fab drag shows, good food, 120 rooms, six bars and a surprisingly resort-like feeling, given the place is on 34th St. South next to a McDonald's.
GEORGIE’S ALIBI 3100 Third Ave. N, St. Petersburg, 727-321-2112, georgiesalibi.com. Be sure to try the Thursday night $5 Long Island Iced tea, served in a giant Mason jar. The food is fantastically deep-fried and cheap. We recommend the fried green beans and Buffalo wings.
HAMBURGER MARY’S 1600 E. Seventh Ave., Tampa, 813-241-6279, hamburgermarys.com/tampa. Hail Holy Hamburger Mary’s. Nothing pairs with a burger quite like a drag show. Try the Sunday brunch buffet for $12.95 and bottomless mimosas.
HONEY POT 1507 E Seventh Ave., Tampa, 813-247-4663, yborclubs.com. Boys, girls, girl-boys, and boy-girls, this is a smoldering party spot for the LGBTQ community. Great dance music and strong drinks.
L-TRAIN 900 Central Ave. Suite 25B, St. Petersburg, 813-995-5063, theltrain.com. An adorable girl bar located close to downtown St. Petersburg. It’s cozy, with just a couple tables and couches. Beer only in this lesbian alcove, but who said girls don’t like beer?
LIQUID TAMPA 1502 E. Seventh Ave., Tampa, facebook.com/liquidtampa. Opened this spring on a hot corner of Ybor City, it's got Latin nights, laser shows, drag contests and a multi-tiered room that's great for cruising the dance floor.
PRO SHOP PUB 840 Cleveland St., Clearwater, 727-447-4259, proshoppub.us. For over 30 years, the Pro Shop has given a drink and home to the gay community. The straight couple that started it all made a sanctuary for locals to gather and celebrate.
THE QUEENS HEAD RESTAURANT AND EUROBAR 2501 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-498-8584, thequeensheadbar.com. A Best of the Bay-winning spot owned by the dynamic Brits Darren and Paul. Go on Wednesdays for Tranny Trivia with Trixie, and do not miss the fried chick peas in paprika.
STELLA’S 3119 Beach Blvd. S, Gulfport, 727-498-8950, stellasingulfport.com. Delicious breakfasts are served at this Gulfport restaurant owned by two lovely ladies (see their photos in our Pride Package).
THE OAR HOUSE 4807 22nd Ave. S, St. Petersburg, 727-327-1691. The half liquor store and half bar has a pool table and one heck of a jukebox. The adjacent barbecue place packs a crowd into the bar on the weekends.
THREE BIRDS TAVERN 1492 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg, 727-895-2049, threebirdstavern.com. Domenica Macchia's food very rarely disappoints. The sirloin burger is a must, served with bacon onion jam. And oh, those homemade potato chips.