60 greatest gay bars announced

Ramsey DeHani August 5, 2009
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Gay website Out.com has published a list of the 60 greatest gay bars in the world, which includes three British venues.

The list found America to have the best gay watering-holes, with 31 of the 60 bars being in the United States. New York and Chicago took four spots each.

These ranged from famous club spots such as New York’s Splash and Miami’s Twist, to Bs West in Scottsdale, Arizona, described as a “flip-flop and shorts dive bar”.

London’s Royal Vauxhall Tavern was also included. The famed pub, which stands on the grounds of the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, the notorious Victorian cruising site, is famous for its cabaret and drag acts, which have included such legends as the late Danny LaRue.

Heaven was the other London club to make it onto the shortlist, described as “a pioneer in the formerly underground gay nightlife of London” and noted for its live acts which have included Cher and Grace Jones.

Scotland was also included, with Glasgow’s Polo Lounge making it into the list over the Edinburgh scene.

The major US cities were well represented, with bars in Seattle, Portland, Philadelphia and Austin all being chosen, including two in Los Angeles and even bars from smaller gay communities such as those in Ohio or Kentucky.

The European continent played host to nine of the shortlist, with Paris’s Le Queen being arguably the largest. Paris has the best gay bars in Europe according to the list, taking three spots, with Berlin, Barcelona and Prague among the other places to be.

There were also some interesting inclusions. The Fusion Bar in Kathmandu, Nepal, is described as”the best spot for evening cocktails and live music”. Although the crowd is apparently “mostly straight” it is “almost exclusively ex-pat” and the place to be in the small Asian country.

Another interesting inclusion was Vietnam, which had two additions to the list (as many as San Francisco) including Hanoi’s GC (Golden Cock) bar, said to be full of “ex-pats, transvestites, and hairless Hanoi hipsters”. Caution is given, however, to those attending the bar, which is “often raided by local police”.

To see the entire list, click here

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