BEHIND THE BAR
WHO: John “Cookie” Touchette
WHERE: Robert’s Lafitte 2501 Avenue Q • 409.765.9092
This Island institution makes its claim as Texas’ Oldest Gay Bar. Staff members say Robert’s Lafitte will serve as a Mardi Gras headquarters with two parades passing by during the Island’s Mardi Gras celebration in February. With the best drink prices in town and some of the friendliest bar staffs around—some fondly known as “Pickles” and “Cookie”—it’s easy to understand why the locals belly up to the bar as soon as the doors open. Smoking is still allowed inside.
Formerly In-N-Out, this comfortable club located in the northern Heights is a convenient alternate to inner-Montrose haunts. Patrons journey past the comfy seating and romantic lighting to find a spacious patio where they sometimes fire up the barbecue grill. 1537 N. Shepherd Dr. 713.426.1313.
BAYOU CITY BAR & GRILL
Right in the heart Montrose, this cozy bar is the new home for the famous Breakfast Club (which dates back to 1986), opens at 7am, and continues throughout the day with a full kitchen and menu along with late-night dancing! Known for Drag Bingo on Tuesday, Steak Night on Wednesday, and Wing Night Thursday. DJs nightly. 7 days a week (Mon.–Sat., 7a–2a; Sunday, noon–2a). 2409 Grant St. • bayoucitybar.com.
This multi-level dance club features an expansive patio upstairs lounge, and balconies that overlook the busy Pacific St. traffic. The ladies enjoy Wet and Wild Wednesdays, 18-year-olds are welcome on Thurs., resident DJ Lorenzo spins Wed.–Sat. nights, DJ Pollo spins Karumba Latin night on Sun. Happy hour, 8–10 p.m.; free cover before 11 p.m. 710 Pacific St. • blurbar.com.
Located downtown near the Toyota Center, this urban club features Clubbers Friday with male and female dancers. Its 6,400 square feet also offers theater-sized viewing screens and VIP rooms. 2020 Leeland • club2020houston.com • 713.227.9667.
If you miss the now-closed Inergy, you’ll find many of its former staff, management, and décor at this two-room Latin/hip-hop club. Sunday evening drag shows rule the roost. 6680 Southwest Frwy, next to Colorado Club • crystaltheclub.com • 713.528.9192.
Resident DJ Johnny spins on Friday and Saturday nights at this comfortably remodeled Montrose nightspot that also offers karaoke on Tuesdays and Thursdays and extended happy-hour prices throughout the week. 2312 Crocker St. • 713.529.3355.
The Eagle has landed at its new location in the heart of Montrose, and it looks great. Sexy bartenders, lots of outdoor deck space, and even a gift shop to check out. Mon.–Sat., 4pm–2am; Sun, noon–2am. 611 Hyde Park • eaglehouston.com.
Award-winning DJs spin nightly at this “boutique nightclub” that offers elegance without arrogance and features a stage, dance floor, VIP area, glass-encased quiet bar, and attractive patio. Tuesday and Sunday drag shows feature frequent special guests. 202 Tuam St. • fbarhouston.com • 713.522.3227.
Regulars rule at this comfortable neighborhood sports bar, just like most other neighborhood sports bars in town. But George’s occasional benefit drag show makes it a wonderful, campy alternative. Sports Saturdays begin at 3 p.m. with dart and pool tournaments; Steak Night is Sunday, 3–7 p.m. 617 Fairview Ave. • 713.528.8102.
This trendy and friendly video and cruise bar gets busy during happy hour and stays busy ‘til closing. Karaoke on Wednesday and Sunday, sometimes offering prizes, always packs the place. 570 Waugh Dr. • guavalamphouston.com • 713.524.3359.
JR’S BAR & GRILL
With house emcee Kofi, OutSmart’s Gayest and Greatest reigning drag champion, this Montrose standard offers drag and strip shows throughout the week, Karaoke Thursdays and Sundays, plus pool tables, male dancers, and award-winning cocktails. 808 Pacific St. • jrsbarandgrill.com • 713.521.2519.
The men of Manwatch and Muscles in Action rinse down in the “Meteor Shower” stall in this posh but comfy lounge on the downtown edge of Montrose, accompanied by DJ Tad on Fridays and Saturday DJ Jimmy Skinner on Saturdays. Open Thursday through Saturdays. 2306 Genesee St.• .meteorhouston.com • 713.521.0123.
Jerry Atwood, Clay Howell, Neil Massey, Steve Wheaton, and Roger Woest take turns at the keys at this comfortable neighborhood piano bar. 1419 Richmond Ave. • 713.520.8446.
MONTROSE MINING COMPANY
Studly male dancers bump and grind every night at this leather/denim spot, offering Montrose’s lowest vodka drinks with Trash Disco Sundays. The two-tier back patio bar provides a perch for viewing the Pacific Street scenery. 805 Pacific St. • theminehouston.com • 713.529.7488.
NEON BOOTS DANCEHALL & SALOON
Country and western returns LGBT-style after a short absence with a brand-new club just outside the loop. Opening in mid-to-late August in the historic Esquire Ballroom, this huge dance floor should be two-stepping from Thursday through Sunday. Free parking. 11410 Hempstead Hwy • neonbootsclub.com • 713.677.0828.
PEARL LOUNGE This LGBT-friendly lounge is open under “familiar” management in the Washington corridor. Daily highlights range from open mic night to steak night to appearances by DJ Kittie and DJ Ben Phoenix from KRBE. Drink specials and more. 4216 Washington.
This well-kept, multi-roomed, leather bar for men and their friends boasts a busy patio, especially on the weekends. The Black Hawk Leather shop is located inside the club, providing BDSM essentials. 715 Fairview Ave. • theripcord.com • 713.521.2792.
The eclectic British pub is known for its craft beers as well as for the burgers. Most weekends you’ll find up-and-coming local bands rocking the house. 2010 Waugh Dr. • rudyardspub.com • 713.521.0521.
This neighborhood club is a popular spot with pool sharks. On Fri. and Sat., the 611 dishes up buffet dinners. Features include a garden-style patio. 611 Hyde Park Blvd. • 713.526.7070.
This mega-dance club is a frequent winner of OutSmart‘s Gayest and Greatest awards, with Billboard contributor DJ Jimmy Skinner spinning on Fridays, and DJ Joe Ross playing pop and dance music videos on Saturdays. No cover before 11pm. 810 Pacific St. • sobehouston.com • 713.529.SOBE.
New owners Tim and Corey have revamped the deep-Montrose neighborhood bar, erasing any hint of its former occupant, Cousin’s. Numerous flat-screen televisions and day-long drink specials highlight the updated décor. 817 Fairview Ave. • tcshowbar.com • 713.526.2625.
TONY’S CORNER POCKET
This comfortable club located close to downtown has one of the friendliest bar staffs in town, both inside & outside at its patio bar. The raised stage where local charities perform also features an amateur dance contest each Thurs., Fri., & Sat. at 11pm. Opens daily at noon. 817 W. Dallas • tonyscornerpocketbar.com • 713.571.7870.
Houston’s newest, hottest lesbian nightclub in midtown. This 21+ venue offers beautiful bartenders, incredible drink specials, & sexy shot girls while keeping it classy. Everyone is welcome. The event calendar is full of themed nights, DJ Athens & DJ Zane headline, and a killer Sunday Funday. Thurs.–Sat., 9pm–2am, for nights of pure equality. 2901 Fannin • venushouston.com • 713.751.3185.
This club, in a new location, appeals to fans of Latino music and drag, alike. 4624 Dacoma St. • 713.681.4104.
HALO VIDEO BAR
The only GLBT dance club in Bryan/College station, this sleek spot is open Thursday through Saturday. Smack in the middle of Aggieland, “our venue is always packed with the hotties,” the owners promise. 121 North Main St. • halobcs.com • 979.823.6174
An acronym for “People Representing Individuality, Diversity, and Equality,” Club Pride offers a near-Gulf Coast alternative with Karaoke Wednesdays, Flashback Thursdays, Forbidden Fridays with DJ Que, and Taste the Rainbow Saturdays. 229 E. NASA Prkwy. • clubpridehouston.com • 281.557.4800.
Just because its owners moved the club from its longtime Seawall location, it doesn’t mean it’s not still one of the most popular spots for Galveston’s LGBTs. Its new “urban chic” look maintains its tropical flair. 2416 Postoffice St. • 409.765.6911.
A familiar name returns to Galveston’s roster of gay bars, with new owner Tom Long. The friendly, neighborhood BYOB spot offers affordable setups and an off-the-Seawall, downtown-based island escape. 1706 Tremont St. • 409.621.1808.
A neighborhood bar, the Island institution attracts a colorful crowd of regulars and travelers. The private patio includes a swimming pool. On Sat. and Sun. nights, the Ladies of Lafitte show
takes the stage. 2501 Avenue Q (at 25th) • 409.765.9092.
SPLASH BAR GALVESTON
Galveston’s newly opened and only gay bar on the beach is making a huge splash on the island. Now under new ownership, the new club’s Happy Hour and entertainment line-up sizzles with Hot Fridays and Saturdays featuring its “Splash Divas” drag shows, amateur strip contests, and the areas hottest DJs spinning your favorite tunes. Sunday’s Tea Dance features Happy Hour from noon ‘til 8pm, and you can count on lively entertainment every weekday. 3102 Seawall Blvd. • 409.974.4176 • splashbargalveston.com.
RANCH HILL SALOON
With its two pool tables, 52-inch plasma televisions, and large dance floor, this popular northside spot also offers Humpty Hump Wednesdays with DJ Brian Moya and more. 247041 I-45N, Suite 103 • ranchhill.com • 281.298.9035.
Northside LGBTs relax on couches and enjoy multiple television screens, pool tables, & an ample dance floor. Live DJs on Wednesday through Fridays, Thursday Drag Bingo, Sunday Karaoke, Drag show every second Saturday. Open daily. 4915 FM 2920 #148 • theroombar.net.
Know of a bar or club we’re missing, or that needs updating? [email protected].