Philadelphia and the Countryside - Press Room

Releases: Expanded View

Mar 22 2017

Philly's Lesbian Nightlife Heats Up With Hot Clubs, Cool Parties & Special Events

Inside The Happy Hours, DJ Nights, Burlesque Shows & More

Philly may be best known as the City of Brotherly Love, but sisters from Center City to New Hope have plenty of reasons to celebrate the LGBT-friendly nightlife scene, which in 2017 includes Center City Philadelphia’s newly opened lesbian watering hole Toasted Walnut. Women’s parties and exclusive nightclubs have put Philly on the map for lesbian life after dark. Here’s a look at where the girls party and play:


Gay & Lesbian Bars:

  • Toasted Walnut Bar & Kitchen – Philadelphia’s long-awaited—and only—lesbian bar comprises 3,800 square feet of bar space, an entertainment area with three 70-inch TVs and party pong and a mezzanine that hosts events, like DJ dance parties, on weekends. Throughout the week, there are happy hour specials and a menu created by “Chopped”-winning chef Diana Sabater. 1316 Walnut Street, (215) 546-8888, toastedwalnut.com
  • Boxers PHL – This laid-back gay sports bar is most known for its boy bartenders who wear nothing but gym shorts, but that doesn’t keep the ladies away. Saturday nights see women packing in for DJs and lively games of pool in the upper level bar. 1330 Walnut Street,
    (215) 735-2977, boxersphl.com
  • Stir – This Rittenhouse lesbian-owned spot does happy hour, late-night parties and special events featuring DJs and creative drink specials served up by some of the neighborhood’s friendliest bartenders. Here, Thursdays are “Stirdays,” with $1 drinks and DJed music until 2 a.m. 1705 Chancellor Street, (215) 732-2700, stirphilly.com
  • Tabu Lounge and Sports Bar – Big games on big screens are the draw at this gay sports bar. In the evenings, guests enjoy karaoke, drag shows, comedy acts and much more in the upstairs lounge. 200 S. 12th Street, (215) 964-9675, tabuphilly.com
  • Tavern on Camac – Women have been singing the praises of this lively piano bar for decades. One of Philadelphia’s most charming streets is home to an intimate fine-dining restaurant called The Tavern downstairs, an energetic piano bar on the main floor and a top-floor dance club and cocktail lounge featuring DJ nights, karaoke and drag shows. 243 S. Camac Street, (215) 545-0900, tavernoncamac.com
  • The Raven – At this gay and lesbian resort in New Hope, the summer season means cocktails by the pool. Throughout the year, LGBT visitors and locals alike enjoy cabaret, dance parties and special events at this Bucks County hotspot. 385 W. Bridge Street, New Hope, (215) 862-2081, theravenresort.com
  • Voyeur – This 20,000-square-foot after-hours club in the heart of the Gayborhood showcases well-known DJs from around the country during special events for gay guys and gals alike. The main dance floor features a top-notch lighting and sound system, and the upstairs area houses a VIP space. There’s also a basement lounge with special events. 1221 St. James Street, (215) 735-5772, voyeurnightclub.com
  • Woody’s – The guys may crowd Woody’s, a multi-room, multi-level, multi-soundtrack LGBT destination, but women also feel right at home late night and during happy hour. The expansive venue boasts 28 beers on tap at the main floor bar, a swanky new cocktail lounge called GloBar, and an upstairs late-night dance floor with DJs spinning until last call. 202 S. 13th Street, (215) 545-1893, woodysbar.com

Unofficial Gay Spots:

  • The Barbary – Crowds line up for live music and dance parties at this off-the-beaten-path club that attracts the city’s queer hipster set to Fishtown. Popular DJs spin sets during special retro events and old-school Goth and New Wave parties. 951 Frankford Avenue, (215) 634-7400, facebook.com/thebarbary
  • Bob and Barbara’s – Queer revelers looking for a change of scene from the Gayborhood head to this legendary dive bar on South Street. It’s known for inventing Philly’s famed Citywide Special (a shot of Jim Beam with a Pabst Blue Ribbon chaser) and hosting the city’s longest-running drag show, starring Miss Lisa. 1509 South Street, (215) 545-4511, bobandbarbaras.com
  • Franky Bradley’s – The venue that once housed Philly’s only lesbian bar stays true to its roots with a regular lineup of gay-friendly events—especially drag and burlesque—in its upper level lounge. Kitschy artwork decorates the downstairs dining room, where patrons can mingle at the bar at happy hour or grab a table for dinner. 1320 Chancellor Street, (215) 735-0735, frankybradleys.com
  • L’Etage – Upstairs from French creperie Beau Monde is a gay-owned, Parisian-inspired nightclub featuring underground drag, burlesque and LGBT performance acts from Philly and New York. Every month, the Martha Graham Cracker graces the stage here for a spectacular cabaret performance. 624 S. 6th Street, (215) 592-0656, creperie-beaumonde.com
  • Valanni – This popular restaurant and Sunday brunch spot sits just around the corner from the Gayborhood. During happy hour, young LGBT professionals congregate around the dimly lit bar for cocktails and a menu of Mediterranean-inspired small plates. 1229 Spruce Street, (215) 790-9494, valanni.com
  • The Dolphin Tavern – This former South Philly go-go bar attracts a queer crowd for nightly dance parties on its neon dance floor and excellent mingling time at the massive front bar. Drink options here are plenty, including a rotating selection of draft brews, a host of canned beers and any kind of cocktail under the sun. 1539 S. Broad Street, (215) 278-7950, dolphinphilly.com

Burlesque & Cabaret:

  • Peek-a-Boo Revue – This neo-burlesque troupe of tattooed and pierced vixens blends comic farce and sex appeal at clubs all over town for the 21-and-older set. peekaboorevue.com
  • Liberty City Kings – Philly’s only queer burlesque and drag troupe performs its “Vixens & Vagabonds Queer & Kinky Cabaret” each month at Tabu. 200 S. 12th Street, (215) 964-9675, libertycitykings.com
  • Sing Your Life Karaoke – Sara Sherr hosts what Philadelphia magazine once called “Best Karaoke” in the city every Sunday at Bob & Barbara’s. 1509 South Street, (215) 545-4511, facebook.com/singyourlifekaraoke

Parties & Gatherings:

  • Stimulus Philly – Women of all persuasions frequent these fashionable parties created by two lesbians who wanted an alternative to the usual nightlife scene. The most regular event, Back 2 Basics, happens every month at Tabu, where female DJs spin old and new favorites to a packed house. facebook.com/thestimulus
  • The Strong Catalyst – Wives Amanda and Jordan Swiger started this photography collective to spotlight the lesbians of Philadelphia—and expanded it to include an event series. The types of gatherings include everything from happy-hour mixers to late-night soirees to discussion forums on issues facing Philly’s lesbian community. facebook.com/thestrongcatalyst
  • HER Philly – This mobile dating and social networking app for queer women hosts quarterly parties throughout the year, inviting ladies to put down their phones and actually meet one another face-to-face. The bashes feature dancing, getting-to-know-you activities and live performances. The group’s Facebook page actively posts on local events that usually take place around Philadelphia. facebook.com/hersocialapp
  • Lesbians Who Tech – This occasional networking mixer seeks to connect local lesbians in the tech industry. Meet ups take place around happy hour at bars and restaurants around the city. lesbianswhotech.org/events/city/philadelphia
  • HoneyTree Evil Eye Burlesque – A devoted lesbian crowd follows this out burlesque dancer whenever she hosts events around town. Her provocative monthly show at Franky Bradley’s, Honeygasm Sundays, regularly features a cast of queer performers. facebook.com/honeytree.evileye.9
     

VISIT PHILADELPHIA® is our name and our mission. As the region’s official tourism marketing agency, we build Greater Philadelphia’s image, drive visitation and boost the economy.

On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.
 

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