shout out Lost Womyn’s Space
For years, the lesbian bar as we know it has been going quietly and gently into that good night. She’s watched from the sidelines with an unfortunate font choice and if nothing else thought-provoking color scheme as trends have gone the way of shared spaces, monthly girl parties and queer nights. Left in her wake is a rich, century-long history of queer women carving out spaces for themselves, as well as a language of sorts. Perhaps you’ve heard of Lesbian Bar Name.
Its makeup is simple yet distinctive. Usually, there’s a confectionary/mystical/utopian/othering component, words reminiscent of a Microsoft Office Powerpoint transitional title, references to cats/girls/plumage/fire, mentions of the mouth area, reinterpretations of the way some words incorporate “x”s and “z”s, homages to act of lounging, or is straight up just an older woman’s name.
Let’s honor the lesbian bar and Lesbian Bar Name here today with lesbian bar names of the past ranked by Lesbian Bar Name.
55. Crescent Tavern (Seattle, Washington)
54. Third Dimension (Manila, Philippines)
53. The Flame (San Diego, California)
52. Charlene’s (New Orleans, Louisiana)
51. Tiger Lounge (New Orleans, Louisiana)
50. Fairy Tale (Athens, Greece)
49. Kicked Back (Amarillo, Texas)
48. Outskirts (Toledo, Ohio)
47. Ruby Red’s (Sydney, Australia)
46. Chances Bar (Houston, Texas)
45. Cloud Nine Lounge (Davie, Florida)
44. Connections (Omaha, Nebraska)
43. Gateways Club (London, England)
42. Escape (Madrid, Spain)
41. Chrome Cat (Lansing, Michigan)
40. Gaby & Mo’s (Austin, Texas)
39. Attitude’s (St. Louis, Missouri)
38. Cat’s (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
37. Never Never Land (Shreveport, Louisiana)
36. Lava Bar (Boston, Massachusetts)
35. Sugar Shack (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
34. Colette’s (Tucson, Arizona)
33. Chez Moune (Collette’s cat btw) (Paris, France)
32. Candy Bar (London, England)
31. Pandora’s Box (New York City, New York)
30. Prism (Alberta, Canada)
29. Peg’s Place (San Francisco, California)
28. Lace on the Avenue (Washington, D.C.)
27. Billie Jean’s (Kansas City, Missouri)
26. Sports Page (Atlanta, GA)
25. Visions (Durham, North Carolina)
24. The Hideaway (St. Petersburg, Florida)
23. Our Hideaway (Chicopee, Massachusetts)
22. Cherry Pie Nightclub (Miami, Florida)
21. Fannies (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
20. Exhale (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
19. The Fish Bowl (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
18. Club Pink (Detroit, Michigan)
17. Cowgirl’s Oasis (Fort Worth, Texas)
16. Zgirl Club (formerly Misty’s) (Phoenix, Arizona)
15. Eden (Denver, Colorado)
14. Eden Lounge (Dallas, Texas)
13. Pi Bar (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
12. Paradise Club (Los Angeles, California)
11. Sisters Nightclub (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
10. Sisters Bar (Portland, Maine)
9. Herizon (Binghamton, New York)
8. ChiQ Bar (Petersburg, Florida)
7. Chixx (Omaha, Nebraska)
6. Girlsroom (New York City)
5. Girlbar (Chicago, Illonois)
4. Lipstick24 (Austin, Texas)
3. Meow Mix (New York City, New York)
2. Kitty Kat Klub (St. Louis, Missouri)
1. Lick Club (Vancouver, British Columbia)
“words reminiscent of a Microsoft Office Powerpoint transitional title” made me GUFFAW
Golf clap for “Fannies”
Especially if you apply the Australian (and possibly British and other places?) definition of ‘fanny’ as opposed to the US definition
Yep British works. I always feel bad for French women names Fanny who go to the UK / Australia.
A longtime ago I nursed a lovely American woman who had fallen down the airport steps and really badly stuffed up her ankle on her first trip to Sydney. She ended up being in hospital for a few days post surgery.
My fondest recollection was of her frequently asking me to rub her fanny, cause it was going numb. (Not if I’m looking after it, it won’t be. I can remember thinking).
Happy to see my teenage fave coming in at #10, but v disappointed that The Egyptian Club aka “the E Room” (of Portland, Oregon) didn’t make the list.
while i have been to e-room it didn’t seem to fit!!
fair. but what a name!
RIP Lipstick24, the dyke bar that didn’t ID.
Also RIP to Austin’s Sister’s Edge 2, which didn’t make this list, and left us all wondering when the hell we had a Sister’s Edge 1?
Ah, Lick. It used to be called Milk Bar or something (Honey was next door) and there was a concrete wall with milk bottles jutting out of it and they were painted as though they were full of milk. Like because milk comes from boobs it’s meant to be sapphic…? Whenever I got drunk at Lick I would glare angrily at the wall of milk bottles, thinking GROSS YOU GUYS.
this only solidifies its ranking
I miss Cattyshack in Brooklyn (which I think was opened by the Meow Mix people) because it had a rooftop patio and two different dance floors, so if you didn’t like one dj you could try the other. I don’t miss the super drunk gay guy who kept hitting on me there one night because he thought I was a dude :/
Yes, Cattyshack was opened by the Meow Mix people. I remember both of them fondly. Also, they were both trans-friendly.
i’d like to acknowledge the lesbian club that was my dorm room in a very conservative college in a very conservative state and all the good work we got done there ok thanks.
what was it called
The Dorm Room? Sorry! ?
The Clit Club in NYC in the shitty Meat Packing District down in the Village was one of the best. Good times! LOL..but now the area is chock full of Stella McCarthy and John Varvatos stores. No more fun..
I am so jealous i didnt get to go to a place called the clit club
but at least the Clit Club was immortalized in that timeless classic of musical theater, RENT
my old boss owned meow mix rip
For a short time there was a lesbian bar in Montreal called Lips, which, again, GROSS YOU GUYS. I preferred rival pub Le Drugstore for their hilariously lazy adherence to French language rules.
lips goes there
Montreal also has “Les Foufounes Electriques” (Electric Fannies/Beavers). Too bad it’s not a lesbian bar, it really ought to be :o
what a missed opportunity!
Wow I’m so excited that I’ve actually been to the “number one” bar on this list. I have fond memories of dancing there one Pride weekend as a baby dyke and a bunch of ppl had their shirts off and it was very overwhelming.
when i went there for the first time as a baby gay, so many people had their shirts off and the bartender did a line of coke off a naked girl who was lying down on the bar. traumatising, but i still went back like 300 times…
Can I just say that Chixx sounds like a sleazy gentlemen’s club off an interstate highway?
Maybe if it had one more “x” in its name?
Honorable mention to the old Grandma’s Bar in Kansas City’s West Bottoms neighborhood. RIP old midwestern dyke spaces.
well, this made me think of Les Bos, the lesbian bar from South Park
I just still just don’t understand how enormous cities like NYC or SF can’t sustain a single modest lesbian bar? It’s a little shocking to me tbh. Such a bummer :/.
I know Ginger’s is still kickin in Brooklyn, and last I checked, Henrietta Hudson’s was still going in Manhattan. But what about L.A.?
LA for some reason is either relegated to an event that is once a month, or as of last week two weekly on Thursday(one hosted by a woman who hasn’t been the best ally to trans women, a lesbian posted her frustration about it on tumblr) and one on Sunday for brunch. There is also one in the Valley marketed as trans women and lesbians every Saturday, but when I went it was mostly cis men(I think chasers) and a handful of trans women.
Oddly enough San Diego has a thriving dedicated club. I guess maybe lesbians there have less choices so they go to that? I dunno.
Still have a soft spot in my heart for “The tenth muse”. First read about it in some hot Sam/Brooke-fanfiction (of course) only to discover it was really real (!!!) years later when I visited Skala Eressos (on Lesbos) for the first time. This place, those nights …
I feel obliged (sorry) to point out that Escape in Madrid is not closed….it is very much open and is the place you are post likely to find me on a Friday or Saturday night :)
In terms of weird names, our other lesbian club/bar is called “Fulanita de Tal” which more or less translates to “Miss So-and-So”
Oh and you have to pronounce Escape in Spanish, regardless of what language your conversation is in otherwise nobody knows where you’re talking about….
Another for the list: Slacks in Toronto, Canada.
As an aside, my partner is moving in with me to a new apartment that we’ve decided to call the Clam Shack.
When I was younger I used to want to open a lesbian bar/club called “Pussy Liquors” lol
Billie Jean’s! :( I would love to go to a lesbian bar with that name
I don’t know how I found this article so late. But there was a place in Cincinnati called Bullfish’s which I think should win #1 best name. Dark and dingy and super gritty old Midwest vibe. Loved it.