Lesbian Bars I Definitely Made Up But Probably Exist

Illustrations by Rory Midhani


Autostraddle_Lesbian Bars 1_Slice_edit 1

Slice is the number one search result on Google when you move to a new city and look up “lesbian bars (your city).” Slice’s aesthetic is a little bit like stepping into a lava lamp. Lots of pink and purple hues, and furniture is maybe floating? The music is so loud that the bartenders are already furious at you for even trying to order a drink. You won’t be getting the additional water you ordered, and shame on you for coming here tonight.

Liquor Boxx

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Here’s a moment in my life that continues to break me spiritually: I’m driving with my mom — a virtuous woman — and we’re stopped behind a truck at a light with a sticker that reads “Liquor Box.” This light? This light is so long. So long that both of us take the time to let our eyes wonder, train them on the sticker, ponder it silently, and unsatisfied with how our internal monologues are interpreting its meaning, begin to repeat it to each other, out loud. “Liquor box,” my mom says with the cadence of pouring a cup of tea. “Liquor box,” I say, unsure both of the word “liquor” and “box.” “Liquor box.” “Liquor box.” “Liquor boxxxx,” my mom hums. My sister-in-law is in the back seat, internally screaming. My mom and I both, “liquor box” one more time, and this one hits for me — and while I will never know, based on the landing I assume for my mom as well — right around the “box” part. The only sound in the car that remains is the clicking of the blinker. This bar is a little like that!

Bar Batch

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Hey, is the the plural of a butch a batch? It seems like a fun word for a fun group. Bar Batch is where you go when you want to watch 13 different TV screens at the same time, drink appropriately priced drinks, and attempt an almost impossible night of trivia. Bartenders and servers call you “baby” and it feels right.

The Lounge Lounge

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I don’t know what it is about lounges that validate the gay experience, but we do love a lounge. There’s one here in Nashville called — of course — The Lipstick Lounge, and there’s a permit there that makes it illegal to dance if both feet aren’t on the ground. Good thing I already dance with the Lord in my heart! The Lounge Lounge allows dancing of all kinds and it even has a room upstairs that’ll turn a blind eye to whatever you might do upstairs at a bar!


Autostraddle_Lesbian Bars 5 _Yearn_edit 1

Yearn is honestly a little too much. Yearn is the bar equivalent of Marina’s voice on Jenny’s voicemail that one time when she’s like, “Jenny. I was just… thinking about you.” Marina! Just trying to get a couple drinks here. Yearn has a bunch of sex music on, the same music you might hear in a Hilton after hours lobby, and yet no one is dancing or talking. Even friends that came together are just silently sitting around a table.


Autostraddle_Lesbian Bars 6_Moist_edit 1

Moist has become the most popular queer night even though literally every single person besides me hates their name. These tongue in cheek go-getters leave no triangle design unturned. Triangles are everywhere. Do other shapes exist? Interesting thought, but no. The location changes each month and progressively building codes become less and less an issue. Eventually there’s one Moist event where you look around and you realize you’ve all broken into a vacant home.

Now you too can make your lesbian bar dreams come true with this paper play set! Print it out and create your own.

Autostraddle_Lesbian Bars_Full Spread

Click image to enlarge

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Los Angeles based writer. Let's keep it clean out there!

Erin has written 208 articles for us.


  1. Brilliant! I’ve been to “Slice” and a lot of “Moist” nights. I survived. Would love me some “Liquor Box” though. Intriguing.

  2. This is hilarious and cute but makes me kinda sad that there aren’t lesbian spaces, at least that I’ve seen. Anyway, everyone loves a lounge.

  3. Everything about this is amazing.

    I’m old so I want a 24 hour gay bookstore with good coffee and quiet music and soft places to sit. Name it The Boy in the Boat or something.

  4. I will admit it took me a long time to get Liquor Box. Longer than you and your mom, probably, and definitely longer than your sister-in-law. Is it a play off Litter Box, I wondered, cuz queer ladies all love cats? When I finally said it out loud, though, time stopped. It was brilliant.

  5. I just moved from Nashville. The Lipstick Lounge is both notorious and beloved. I definitely picked up my first girl in a bar there. I definitely had sex and vomited in that bathroom. I sang so much karaoke. Oh, the memories.

    • I host trivia at the Lipstick Lounge in Nashville, and about died when I saw the bars name. Actually laughed out loud about the upstairs – oooog LL. Love it and wouldn’t change it for the world. :)

      • Haha whoops, posted that in the wrong spot – damn phone! Ad I didn’t know you moved from Nashville!!

  6. This just makes me sad that a) there are no lesbian bars and b) I can’t drink because of my anti-depressants and c) hate bars anyway because they are loud and crowded. WOE IS ME! At least Sacramento has the Lavender Library!

    • I’ve been really into the idea of, I dunno, reimagining/revisiting childhood through a queer lens lately (Lumberjanes, Wambach Barbie, etc.), so basically, I want some queer paper dolls and I want them to go to these bars.

  7. God this is the greatest. I feel like in Seattle all the nights are some version of moist.

    What happens when a foot comes off the ground at the lounge lounge? I can only imagine putting a foot on a chair to more thoroughly hump somebody, which sounds sort of hilarious and horrifying.

  8. Now I don’t have to go out and meet real friends, I can just print this out and stick them in my apartment. Look at all the friends I just made!

  9. The lesbian bar in SLC closed two Decembers ago, I wasn’t even there to see its demise. When I lived in Utah, I went there for karaoke nights and always felt like a traitor for being partially responsible for bringing the dude count up bringing my dude friends.

  10. I host trivia at the Lipstick Lounge in Nashville, and about died when I saw the bars name. Actually laughed out loud about the upstairs – oooog LL. Love it and wouldn’t change it for the world. :)

  11. I need to find bar batch. Loving batch as a collective noun. I shared a house with two other lesbians and a straight gal, if one of our girlfriends was round she referred to us as a dungaree of lesbians. Apparently 4 was the minimum for a dungaree.

  12. These illustrations are so fantastic. 10/10 would visit any of these bars, even yearn, probably especially yearn….


    Erin I love you too and the writing is so fantastic that I actually, literally, did laugh out loud several times.


  14. officially glad I live in Denver now, where we have more than one bar to correspond to this spot-on list.

  15. The Klondyke Bar. Sketchy dive in Beaver, AL. One table with three chairs, five barstools. Has never been filled to capacity. The owner/bartender is a crusty, old butch with a voice like Tom Waits. Her name is Clare. They only have Mickey’s Fine Malt Liquor, gin and pickled pig’s feet.

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