The best LGBTQ bars and dance clubs in Long Beach
If you need a break from WeHo and Palm Springs is too far, don’t worry because just 25 miles south of LA is the port city of Long Beach, a longtime bastion of LGBTQ culture. Since the 1950s, gay bars like The Patch and Oceania (which reopened in 1972 as the now-defunct Club Ripples) provided security and community, while police crackdowns on LGBTQ people were still common. There is also a longtime and former lesbian bar Que Sera, where Melissa Etheridge took the stage in the 1980s. Today, the city has blossomed into a destination that celebrates all members of the community. The current mayor, Robert Garcia, is an outspoken and proud gay man and also the first Latino to hold office in Long Beach.
The heart of Long Beach’s gay town is on Broadway, which stretches from Cherry Avenue to Alamitos Avenue, but we recommend spreading your wings and venturing into the city’s other neighborhoods such as Downtown, Belmont Shore, and Retro Row. where Long Beach’s is located LGBTQ Community Center. The city’s commitment to diversity can be seen at Harvey Milk Promenade Park and Equality Plaza, the country’s first park to be named after the gay civil rights leader. And of course, don’t miss the rainbow crosswalks that run along Broadway in Alamitos Beach.
The first Long Beach Pride was held in 1984 and is now the third largest Pride festival and the third largest Pride parade in California. After a two-year hiatus, the city 2022 pride The celebration is scheduled for July 8-10 along downtown’s Shoreline Drive. Whether you’re looking for a place to hang out during Pride weekend or just a new place to drop by any other time of the year, we’ve got a list of 10 of the best LGBTQ bars and Dance Clubs curated to help you party in style.
Although this place welcomes everyone, Sweetwater has the most lesbian clientele of any Broadway bar. That could be partly due to Long Beach’s favorite bartender, Melissa Almeraz, who is also a co-owner Let’s fester about it, a popular spot for brunch in Belmont Shore. Step through the saloon doors and sneak to the wraparound bar, play a game of pool or choose a song from the jukebox. Enjoy daily happy hour specials until 8pm, but be sure to bring a wad of bills as Sweetwater is cash only.
The Falcon, a friendly neighborhood bar in the heart of Alamitos Beach, recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. It may be tiny inside, but there’s plenty of room to curl up with new friends. While the charming bartenders serve up a heavy hit every day of the week, the Sunday beer busts are legendary, with specialty beers and a happy hour that lasts until 7pm. On the weekends, regular guests of all ages and genders fill the makeshift dance floor. So if you’re in a softer mood, plan early and sit at the bar where you can sing along to classic videos.
With multiple locations across the country, Hamburg’s Mary’s has become known for its drag shows that ooze with sarcasm and sass. Performances are offered almost every day of the week, ranging from karaoke to weekly audience parties RuPaul’s Drag Race. At the weekend, hit the dance floor and admire go-go dancers in all their glory. If you’re in the front seat during a drag show, prepare for heckling. It’s all part of the fun!
The newest kid on the block, the Beach Garden Social House is the only neighborhood bar and restaurant owned and operated by a member of the LGBTQ community. Owner Ben Gutierrez has teamed up with Executive Chef Andy Figueroa to create a concept that combines new Latin American cuisine and a social calendar packed with events like a Trivia Night on Wednesdays and Sundays RuPaul’s Drag Race Watch parties on Fridays. Don’t miss the Taco Tuesday Specials featuring $3 tacos and $8 margaritas from 4pm to 10pm. Beach Garden recently started an open mic night on Thursdays at 6pm, so bring your own guitars and gear.
4th street corridor
The Silver Fox has been in business since 1981 and has a reputation for being Southern California’s premier video bar. With an Art Deco facade and a recent interior renovation with upgraded visual projections, this is a lively spot for party-goers who enjoy karaoke and a mix of music. Groove alongside go-go dancers on Friday and Saturday nights. Post on the spacious outdoor terrace or linger indoors, but be sure to enjoy one of their potent cocktails. Just like its namesake, this place only gets better with age.
The Broadway Bar, the first stop on the biannual Pride Bar Crawl, is another staple along Long Beach’s odd corridor that’s often filled with locals. Visit on the weekends between 3pm and 7pm and you can order drinks for $2.50. Karaoke is also a big hit here, as the bar was voted the #1 Best Karaoke Bar in Long Beach. The drinks are also cheap and well-made, and the bartenders are laid-back – the perfect combination. This place is cash only so make sure you hit an ATM beforehand.
Family-owned and operated since 1974, Mineshaft is a neighborhood bar that aims to “provide a space where everyone can be seen, be themselves, and move to the groove of the beat.” This is evident the moment you walk in the door, with the bar’s welcoming vibe and lack of pretentiousness. Of course, the cheap cocktails and friendly bartenders also contribute to this. Mineshaft is active with many local organizations and supports several causes affecting the LGBTQ community.
Located in the old Eagle 562 room, Falcon North is a sister company to The Falcon. With a large indoor space and pool table area, it’s also known for its beer busts on Sunday fundays. The nightclub will also host two DILF parties this summer on June 18th and July 8th, aimed at bringing older and younger men together. Falcon North claims to have Southern California’s largest outdoor patio and dance floor, and it’s frequented by all-star DJs and entertainers.
The Executive Suite is Long Beach’s largest LGBTQ nightclub and is spread over three levels. Every Wednesday is Transtastic, the place for transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming people to feel safe and be seen. Drag shows and dancing dominate other nights of the week, with Lipstick Diva drag shows hosted by Morgan McMichaels on Thursday nights. Saturdays are designated Ladies Night, with a Sugar Saturday dance party on the upper level.
North Long Beach
The Crest is a north Long Beach dive bar that prides itself on being all-inclusive. Sunday beer busts begin at 12pm and last all day until 2am, where you can take advantage of domestic kegs for $8 and imported kegs for $15. Come for the beer and stay for the libations from the well-stocked bartenders. And be sure to make friends with the regulars, who have a lot to tell about Long Beach and its proud history.