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Glam Brunch at Trophy Room
Glam Brunch at Trophy Room
Trophy Room/Facebook

Where to Celebrate Boston Pride Week

You’ll find most of Boston’s gay nightlife scene around the South End, but that’s not all

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Glam Brunch at Trophy Room
| Trophy Room/Facebook

Massachusetts was the first state to legalize same-sex marriage and has long been home to establishments that support and advocate for gay rights and inclusion. Today, the state has the second-largest LGBT population in the nation, according to a recent report.

While some of the oldest staples of Boston’s gay nightclub scene are now defunct — like Manray, Axis, and Buzz — they were trailblazing spaces that propped up “communities who play on the fringes, generators of subversive cultural movements that eventually go mainstream, and bulwarks against the sterilization and homogenization of city life,” as Scott Kearnan wrote in Boston Magazine last year.

But, as he noted, recent decades have seen a decline in Boston’s gay nightlife scene with dating action moving online, married couples moving out of the city, and less of a need for a secretive scene of gay-specific venues in an increasingly accepting state.

Still, several stalwarts remain, and even venues that are not strictly defined as gay bars host regular events that are LGBTQ-friendly. With 2018 Pride Week running from June 1 to June 10, here’s a look at the city’s gay bar scene and regularly occurring events at other venues.

For a full calendar for 2018 Pride Week, visit the official site.

Image: Glam Brunch at Trophy Room/Facebook

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Paradise

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180 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 868-3000
Visit Website

Spanning two levels and open 365 days a year, Paradise in Cambridge — not to be confused with Paradise Rock Club in Allston — features male dancers, DJs playing top-40 hits, porn playing on the televisions, and more. Note that heels and wedges are prohibited, there’s a mandatory coat check, and the club is cash-only.

Paradise Cambridge
Paradise Cambridge
Paradise Cambridge/Facebook

2. The Alley Bar

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14 PI Alley
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 263-1449
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The Alley has been around for 15 years, hosting a variety of recurring events. One of them, Fuzz, takes place on the second Friday of each month, featuring DJ Brent Covington and DJ Taffy playing a mix of pop, rock, and dance music of all eras, plus some British pop and punk. Fuzz has appeared on the Improper Bostonian’s best of Boston list as the best gay scene in 2016, and the bar is known as a flannel-filled “den of Boston bears.” For Pride Week, Fuzz has festive celebration planned for Friday, June 8.

Alley Bar
Alley Bar
Alley Bar/Facebook

3. Cure Lounge

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246 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 695-2250
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This Theater District club hosts weekly Latino Wednesdays, gay and lesbian dance parties featuring Latin music and top-40 hits. On Wednesday, June 6, Cure celebrates Pride with music and dancing, drag queens, and more.

Latino Wednesday at Cure Lounge
Latino Wednesday at Cure Lounge
Latino Wednesday/Facebook

4. Jacques Cabaret

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79 Broadway
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 426-8902
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Open seven nights a week, Jacques' Cabaret is a highlight of Boston’s gay nightlife. A 2016 winner of the Improper Bostonian’s award for best drag show, Jacques’ has recurring themes and events, like karaoke buffet, “miss-leading ladies,” and “WTF Wednesdays.”

Jacques Cabaret
Jacques Cabaret
Jacques Cabaret/Facebook

5. Club Café

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209 Columbus Ave
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 536-0966
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Club Cafe has been around for more than 30 years, with cabaret shows, a piano bar, and a dance club environment seven nights a week. Events range from drag bingo and RuPaul’s Drag Race viewing parties to karaoke and dance parties. There’s a full lineup for Pride Week, including Big Gay Wednesday and Heels for Hope, an event to benefit BAGLY, an organization that advocates for programs for LGBTQ youth.

Club Cafe
Club Cafe
Club Cafe/Facebook

6. Trophy Room

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5221, 26 Chandler St
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 482-4428
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Trophy Room hosts a variety of Sunday brunches, including Glam Brunch, Babes Brunch, and Bear Brunch. There are DJs, drag queens, and games, typically starting at 1 p.m. There’s no cover for the brunches, and both walk-ins and reservations are welcomed. The restaurant also does screenings of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and for Pride Week, it’s involved in the Chandler Street Block Party (taking place Saturday, June 10).

Trophy Room
Trophy Room Glam Brunch
Trophy Room/Facebook

7. Delux Cafe

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100 Chandler St
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 338-5258

Delux occupies a storied space in the history of the South End. It’s been a bar for more than 50 years, first as Higgins Pub, later as Elbow Room, and finally as Chez Joie before Delux emerged. It’s had multiple owners, but the vibes have largely stayed the same, bringing South End locals together over affordable food and drink. The South End itself is a historically gay-friendly neighborhood, as Kearnan noted in his Boston Magazine piece last year, and though a significant portion of the population has moved on, local establishments like Delux remain gay-friendly spots.

Delux Elvis
Delux Cafe
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

8. Machine Nightclub

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1254 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 266-2986
Visit Website

Machine hosts all manner of gay-friendly nightlife events, from drag shows and karaoke to theme nights and guest DJs. Its regular events include karaoke Thursdays, hip-hop Saturdays, and pajama parties on Sundays. For Pride Week, there’s a special horror glamor drag night and other events.

Machine
Machine
Machine/Facebook

9. Boston Eagle

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520 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 542-4494

Another longtime fixture in the gay bar scene, the Eagle is a no-frills, cash-only spot that regularly hosts the Bay State Marauders, a leather social club for gay men. In 2014, Boston Magazine rated it the best dive bar.

Boston Eagle
Boston Eagle
Google Maps

10. Anchovies

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433 Columbus Ave
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 266-5088
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Anchovies fully embodies the title of neighborhood bar — full of locals, gay-friendly, and open late with food and drinks.

Anchovies
Anchovies
Anchovies/Facebook

11. Cathedral Station

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1222 Washington St
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 338-6060
Visit Website

Although a relatively new addition to Boston’s gay scene, Cathedral Station has legacy; part of the team from the now-defunct Fritz is behind it. Cathedral Station operates until to 2 a.m. seven days a week, regularly hosting sports watch party events, friendly mixers and socials, pool tournaments, and weekend brunch. Saturday nights through July, Cathedral Station hosts Video Night Tracks, with an array of selections from VJ Ryan Grow.

The Cathedral Station patio
The Cathedral Station patio
Cathedral Station/Facebook

12. dbar

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1236 Dorchester Ave
Dorchester, MA 02125
(617) 265-4490
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Dbar, the sibling of Deuxave and Boston Chops, has long been a popular gay haunt, hosting events such as Show Tunes Tuesdays. It also plays a key role in Pride Week festivities, hosting a Stoplight Party on Friday, June 8, to kick off the weekend.

dbar
dbar
dbar/Facebook

13. The Blarney Stone

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1505 Dorchester Ave
Dorchester, MA 02122
(617) 436-8223
Visit Website

This Dorchester pub sponsors the FLAG Flag Football League, a recreational club for the LGBTQ community and its allies, which will be heavily involved in events and activities throughout Pride Week. The Blarney Stone, which has been around for more than 30 years, serves as a meeting place after FLAG events in addition to sponsoring the league.

Blarney Stone
The Blarney Stone sponsors FLAG Flag Football
Blarney Stone/Facebook

1. Paradise

180 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139
Paradise Cambridge
Paradise Cambridge
Paradise Cambridge/Facebook

Spanning two levels and open 365 days a year, Paradise in Cambridge — not to be confused with Paradise Rock Club in Allston — features male dancers, DJs playing top-40 hits, porn playing on the televisions, and more. Note that heels and wedges are prohibited, there’s a mandatory coat check, and the club is cash-only.

180 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139

2. The Alley Bar

14 PI Alley, Boston, MA 02108
Alley Bar
Alley Bar
Alley Bar/Facebook

The Alley has been around for 15 years, hosting a variety of recurring events. One of them, Fuzz, takes place on the second Friday of each month, featuring DJ Brent Covington and DJ Taffy playing a mix of pop, rock, and dance music of all eras, plus some British pop and punk. Fuzz has appeared on the Improper Bostonian’s best of Boston list as the best gay scene in 2016, and the bar is known as a flannel-filled “den of Boston bears.” For Pride Week, Fuzz has festive celebration planned for Friday, June 8.

14 PI Alley
Boston, MA 02108

3. Cure Lounge

246 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116
Latino Wednesday at Cure Lounge
Latino Wednesday at Cure Lounge
Latino Wednesday/Facebook

This Theater District club hosts weekly Latino Wednesdays, gay and lesbian dance parties featuring Latin music and top-40 hits. On Wednesday, June 6, Cure celebrates Pride with music and dancing, drag queens, and more.

246 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02116

4. Jacques Cabaret

79 Broadway, Boston, MA 02116
Jacques Cabaret
Jacques Cabaret
Jacques Cabaret/Facebook

Open seven nights a week, Jacques' Cabaret is a highlight of Boston’s gay nightlife. A 2016 winner of the Improper Bostonian’s award for best drag show, Jacques’ has recurring themes and events, like karaoke buffet, “miss-leading ladies,” and “WTF Wednesdays.”

79 Broadway
Boston, MA 02116

5. Club Café

209 Columbus Ave, Boston, MA 02116
Club Cafe
Club Cafe
Club Cafe/Facebook

Club Cafe has been around for more than 30 years, with cabaret shows, a piano bar, and a dance club environment seven nights a week. Events range from drag bingo and RuPaul’s Drag Race viewing parties to karaoke and dance parties. There’s a full lineup for Pride Week, including Big Gay Wednesday and Heels for Hope, an event to benefit BAGLY, an organization that advocates for programs for LGBTQ youth.

209 Columbus Ave
Boston, MA 02116

6. Trophy Room

5221, 26 Chandler St, Boston, MA 02116
Trophy Room
Trophy Room Glam Brunch
Trophy Room/Facebook

Trophy Room hosts a variety of Sunday brunches, including Glam Brunch, Babes Brunch, and Bear Brunch. There are DJs, drag queens, and games, typically starting at 1 p.m. There’s no cover for the brunches, and both walk-ins and reservations are welcomed. The restaurant also does screenings of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and for Pride Week, it’s involved in the Chandler Street Block Party (taking place Saturday, June 10).

5221, 26 Chandler St
Boston, MA 02116

7. Delux Cafe

100 Chandler St, Boston, MA 02116
Delux Elvis
Delux Cafe
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

Delux occupies a storied space in the history of the South End. It’s been a bar for more than 50 years, first as Higgins Pub, later as Elbow Room, and finally as Chez Joie before Delux emerged. It’s had multiple owners, but the vibes have largely stayed the same, bringing South End locals together over affordable food and drink. The South End itself is a historically gay-friendly neighborhood, as Kearnan noted in his Boston Magazine piece last year, and though a significant portion of the population has moved on, local establishments like Delux remain gay-friendly spots.

100 Chandler St
Boston, MA 02116

8. Machine Nightclub

1254 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215
Machine
Machine
Machine/Facebook

Machine hosts all manner of gay-friendly nightlife events, from drag shows and karaoke to theme nights and guest DJs. Its regular events include karaoke Thursdays, hip-hop Saturdays, and pajama parties on Sundays. For Pride Week, there’s a special horror glamor drag night and other events.

1254 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02215

9. Boston Eagle

520 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116
Boston Eagle
Boston Eagle
Google Maps

Another longtime fixture in the gay bar scene, the Eagle is a no-frills, cash-only spot that regularly hosts the Bay State Marauders, a leather social club for gay men. In 2014, Boston Magazine rated it the best dive bar.

520 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02116

10. Anchovies

433 Columbus Ave, Boston, MA 02116
Anchovies
Anchovies
Anchovies/Facebook

Anchovies fully embodies the title of neighborhood bar — full of locals, gay-friendly, and open late with food and drinks.

433 Columbus Ave
Boston, MA 02116

11. Cathedral Station

1222 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118
The Cathedral Station patio
The Cathedral Station patio
Cathedral Station/Facebook

Although a relatively new addition to Boston’s gay scene, Cathedral Station has legacy; part of the team from the now-defunct Fritz is behind it. Cathedral Station operates until to 2 a.m. seven days a week, regularly hosting sports watch party events, friendly mixers and socials, pool tournaments, and weekend brunch. Saturday nights through July, Cathedral Station hosts Video Night Tracks, with an array of selections from VJ Ryan Grow.

1222 Washington St
Boston, MA 02118

12. dbar

1236 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester, MA 02125
dbar
dbar
dbar/Facebook

Dbar, the sibling of Deuxave and Boston Chops, has long been a popular gay haunt, hosting events such as Show Tunes Tuesdays. It also plays a key role in Pride Week festivities, hosting a Stoplight Party on Friday, June 8, to kick off the weekend.

1236 Dorchester Ave
Dorchester, MA 02125

13. The Blarney Stone

1505 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester, MA 02122
Blarney Stone
The Blarney Stone sponsors FLAG Flag Football
Blarney Stone/Facebook

This Dorchester pub sponsors the FLAG Flag Football League, a recreational club for the LGBTQ community and its allies, which will be heavily involved in events and activities throughout Pride Week. The Blarney Stone, which has been around for more than 30 years, serves as a meeting place after FLAG events in addition to sponsoring the league.

1505 Dorchester Ave
Dorchester, MA 02122

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