Releases: Expanded View
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.
2017 LGBT Events In Philadelphia
Since holding the nation’s first major LGBT rights protest some 50 years ago, Philadelphia has continued to prove that it’s still one of the best destinations for LGBT travelers to get their history straight and their nightlife gay.
The city offers a full calendar of events in 2017, including a handful of visiting national expos, like the Out & Equal Workplace Summit in October. These are the icing atop the city and region’s annual pride celebrations, weekly bashes in bars across the Gayborhood and cutting-edge performing arts with LGBT twists. Here’s a look at the best events of 2017, including...
What's in the Washington Square West Neighborhood?
Washington Square West is a historic Center City neighborhood comprising a 17th-century park, the vibrant enclaves of Midtown Village, the Gayborhood and lots more.
Named “Southeast Square” in 1682, Washington Square once served as a grazing pasture and potter’s field on the edge of the original city of Philadelphia. Today, modern residences surround the park, home to the Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier, a sycamore moon tree and a steady stream of visitors. To Washington Square’s north are the nearly 300 jewelry merchants of Jewelers’ Row. And to its south is Antique Row, tree-lined blocks of...
Philadelphia's LGBT Nightlife Scene Buzzes Evening Through Late-Night At Center City Bars, Restaurants & Nightclubs
LGBT revelers of every stripe meet their nightlife matches among the buzz-worthy bars, restaurants and nightclubs in and beyond Philadelphia’s Gayborhood. After dark, partying patrons enjoy laid-back vibes and stiff cocktails at watering holes Knock and U Bar, at the well-rounded club scenes of Woody’s and Voyeur and at bar-nightclub hybrids—venues with bars on the first floors and dancing on the second—Franky Bradley’s and Tavern on Camac. Then, there’s the late-night food scene, featuring stylish go-tos like Bud & Marilyn’s and Zavino along the restaurant row that is 13th Street, plus quick noshes in the wee hours.
15 Things To Know: LGBT Philadelphia
Marks Of Pride:
- On July 4, 1965, Independence Hall was the site of the United States’ first major LGBT rights demonstration. A state historical marker at 6th and Chestnut Streets commemorates this peaceful protest and the four that followed each July 4 through 1969, known collectively as the Annual Reminders. nps.gov/inde, phmc.state.pa.us
- Nearly 70 rainbow street signs proudly adorn the Gayborhood, a Center City neighborhood of LGBT restaurants, bars, businesses and homes spanning 11th to Broad Streets and Pine to Chestnut Streets. Another neighborhood notable: rainbow crosswalks, at 13th and Locust Streets.
- Giovanni’s Room is
Southern, Soul & Caribbean Food Satisfy Philly Diners
Nothing’s more satisfying than a plate of down-home eats, and thankfully, Philly’s dining scene is rich in all categories of authentic soul food. Whether it’s a gourmet spin on turkey wings, a zesty bowl of jambalaya or a slice of sweet-potato pie, hearty goodness abounds at the region’s soul, southern, Cajun, Cuban and Caribbean eateries. Caribbean Cuisine Week (April 25-28, 2017) celebrates island flavors while raising funds for more than 700 high school athletes from Jamaica, Grenada, St. Vincent, the Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago participating in the Penn Relays.
Here’s a look of some of the mouthwatering delights sure to...
In Philly, Spring Kicks Off With Pride
In Philadelphia, warmer temperatures bring more than outdoor life: They also bring new life to the LGBT scene. The year’s LGBT festival season kicks off with Philadelphia Black Pride in April and continues with New Hope Celebrates Pride in one of Bucks County’s gay-friendliest boroughs. Much-anticipated LGBT-centric theater performances include Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Forrest Theatre, and the poignant The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey at Philadelphia Theatre Company. Lovers of visual art and travel can whet both appetites at The Journeys of John Laub: Fire Island and Beyond, an exhibition of works by the late, out...
Experience A Taste Of That Famous Philly Flavor
Philadelphia’s signature flavor is a dynamic mix of traditional recipes, new culinary inventions, well-known treats and obscure dishes, and these specialties can be found everywhere—from corner stores to the fanciest haute restaurants. Among the region’s best-known foods are national favorites like Italian water ice, Pennsylvania Dutch pretzels and the ever-popular cheesesteak. More localized favorites include pork roll and scrapple, which are available here in the region and through services such as Taste of Philadelphia, one of many companies that ship Philly goodies across the United States.
Here are some of the sandwiches, snacks, meats and more that have left a...
Arcades, Museum Parties, Drag Shows & More Alternatives To Nighttime Fun In Philadelphia
Philadelphia’s famously hip bars, jazz lounges, indie rock haunts and electric dance clubs are worth exploring, but visitors whose after-dark tastes trend toward the less usual can also enjoy bowling, dance lessons, drag shows, museum parties and game nights. To make the nighttime fun continue into the next day, visitors can sleep over and take advantage of the popular Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package—packed with perks, including free hotel parking.
Games For Grown-Ups:
- Barcade – Childhood dreams come true when grown-up gamers can defeat Donkey Kong and master Marble Madness—all while choosing from a list of a couple
Philadelphia's Top Restaurants And Bars For NFL Draft Media
When it comes to dining and drinking, Philly has almost too many choices, especially when it comes to NFL Draft time. Here are a few restaurants and bars recommended for members of the press who don’t have time to read reviews—or have dinner out, for that matter. The list below is organized by neighborhood, and many of the spots are good for groups.
FAIRMOUNT (Center City, Art Museum Area)
- Mugshots Coffeehouse – The area’s original coffeehouse, serving up locally farmed foods, fairly traded organic coffee and tea, and vegan and gluten-free grub. Wi-Fi. 1925 Fairmount Avenue, (267) 514-7145,