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7 of the Most Legendary Gay Bars in the Country

It’s not always easy to meet girls who are into girls, and sometimes a collegiette has to get creative! Going to bars is a fun and inexpensive way to meet new people. Here’s a list of amazing gay bars every collegiette should know about!

1. Gossip Grill

Address: 1220 University Ave., San Diego, CA
Nearest school: The University of California, San Diego
Best for: Casual hangouts, special events

Gossip Grill is a tasteful bar located in San Diego, California, filled with fun art and a great menu. Since it opened in 2009, it’s been notorious as a great hangout for girls. What makes Gossip Grill so cool? The place plays nice with the boys, too, so you can drag your guy friends along. Each week they host a boy’s night featuring a hot body contest and cheap drinks.


Address: 281 W. 12th St (West Village) in NYC
Nearest schools: New York University
Best for: Casual hangouts, special events

There are many colleges in New York City, and fortunately, there are also many LGBT bars! That said, CUBBYHOLE is still a favorite among NYC's lesbian bars! Maybe it's because of the $2 margaritas on Tuesdays (and half-price happy hour until 7 p.m. every other day), or maybe it's because of all of the bright, fun piñatas decorating this aptly named cozy (and often packed) space. Either way, if you're in NYC and looking for a place to meet girls, CUBBYHOLE is definitely somewhere that you can consider! 

3. Scarlet

Address: 3320 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL
Nearest schools: Loyola University Chicago, DePaul University, The University of Chicago, Northwestern University
Best for: Inexpensive drinks, fancy environment

Located in Chicago, Scarlet has an old-school style. It was named after the old tradition of members of the LGBTQ+ community wearing scarlet clothing items to show their affiliation with others. Though filled with fancy-looking décor, Scarlet is by no means an expensive place to get a drink, with each night having a special on different drinks ranging from $3-6. You’ll love the relaxed and ambient feel!

4. Phase 1

Address: 525 Eighth St. SE, Washington, D.C.
Nearest schools: Howard University, The George Washington University
Best for: Live shows, variety of events

Lesbian bar Phase 1 has been open since 1970, making it the oldest operating lesbian bar in the country—and not one to miss out on. You don’t have to be afraid about not meeting a girl here. Whether you want to come and dance the night away to hip-hop, see a drag king show, listen to queer bands, see some Jell-O wrestling (or participate yourself!) or just play pool, The Phase has it! This bar is always teeming with lots of energy, so if you’re in the mood to hang out and party, this is the perfect bar for you!

5. Wildrose

Address: 1021 E. Pike St., Seattle, WA
Nearest school: Seattle University
Best for: Pride events, parties

Women-owned and operated since 1984, Wildrose loves to promote partying and having fun, particularly during Pride events. In 2013, they had a wild beach club called “Bush Gardens,” which hosted events the weekend of Seattle Pride. These events included a wet T-shirt contest, many DJs and dance parties and raffles and contests!

6. Sue Ellens

Address: 3014 Throckmorton St., Dallas, TX
Nearest schools: The University of Texas at Dallas
Best for: Special events, dancing

Everything is bigger in Texas! Sue Ellens holds two floors of fun and several different rooms. Not really feeling loud music or moving? Hang out on the patio! With its huge space, this bar is able to host many different events each night, including classics like karaoke and comedy nights. No matter how you’re feeling or what you want to get up to tonight, this is a bar that’ll have it!

7. Blush and Blu

Address: 1526 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO
Nearest school: The University of Denver, The University of Colorado Denver
Best for: Quiet, low-key events

The only bar of its kind in Denver, Blush and Blu is lesbian-owned and run. Though male clientele are welcome, the bar is largely dominated by women. Blush and Blu host many fun events such as karaoke nights, queer poetry readings, poker nights and comedy nights!

Though they may seem difficult to find, there are lesbian and gay bars in virtually any big (and even small!) city, and you should definitely check them out. Who knows whom you’ll meet and what sort of fun you’ll have!

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Sarah Szymanski

Wilfrid Laurier

Sarah Szymanski is a first year global studies student at Wilfrid Laurier University. Sarah is also the contributing writer for the LGBTQ+ section at HerCampus. Sarah hopes to bring more awareness to LGBTQ+ issues with this new section. She enjoys reading, writing, spending time on the computer, and wildly researching things that they finds interesting.
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