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Best gay bar experience?


Guest verymarried
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Guest verymarried

That thread on the Fantastiks got me pretty nostalgic. Gay bars seem to be on the downswing, replaced by A4A, Grindr and other electronic cruising devices. I got in under the wire and flashes of previous gay bar experiences come to my mind often. I was wondering if there has been a thread on favorite gay bars from the past, or greatest experiences in a gay bar?

 

The gay bar which stands out in my mind was a place in Memphis in a long ago Jewish neighborhood near the Mississippi River called "The Pinch." The bar was in a former Orthodox Synagogue. It was as if the congregation had just moved out. The new owner spent little on remodeling. The dance floor was on the bema, and the ten commandments tablet was still in place above the dancing. The everlasting light was rewired for a disco ball twirling to Donna Summer. The former ladies' balcony was a hot cruising spot. Guys from Mississippi over from the weekend were always the cutest.

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Not a gay bar, but a place called "The Monastery" in Phoenix. Surrounded by a high fence in a pretty urban and industrial area, if I remember, it was mostly outside, and looked like a park. Picnic tables, other outdoor furniture, lots of trees, a volleyball court, outdoor barbecues - they would sell you a chicken breast or a hamburger patty and you grilled it yourself. One friend I was with said "This is where beers go to die".

 

Sadly, according to the friend in Phoenix I was visiting when we went, it closed years ago.

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When I was first "coming out" as a student in the Boston metro area in the mid-1970s there was a bar in the Back Bay area that had a classical music/opera night each week. I think it may have been Tuesday nights, which otherwise would have been a slow bar night. That was great. It drew out a culturally aware crowd of "upscale" folk and had a wonderful vibe. And the classical music playing through those big speakers was awe-inspiring.

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Well my recollections are more of the seedy type... FFM (Frankfurt Germany), late 90's, cold snowy evening went to a working man's bar known also for a place very friendly to East European, Baltic and Balkan hustlers. Place was pretty full but I managed a bar stool off to the side, ordered a beer and began cruising the place. Most of the guys for hire were in clumps or groups around the bar - some at the dart board, some at two pin-ball machines, the rest in groups of 5 or more around small standing tables, smoking but noticeably without drinks (which they could barely afford).

 

One young handsome guy in dirty workman's jeans and flannel shirt unbuttoned showing a very nicely muscled torso covered with a tight t-shirt caught my eye - a dead ringer for a Bel Ami model of the times. I sent a round of beers to his "group", and gave HIM a big stare which he picked up on. The bar owner whispered that they had "rooms upstairs" in case I wanted to meet the guy ($15 for the room, $30 for the encounter which was pretty cheap) so off I went for 45 minutes of very hot sex with this guy.

 

Returning downstairs for a post-sex beer and cigarette the place was now very crowded and there was a strikingly rugged handsome guy with cropped blond hair playing darts. He was loud, funny, and kept shaking his amazing ass at his friends (he was in a group of 7 or 8 Hungarians). While the first guy I had met was a Czech, this one really rang some more bells so, I stuck around. After an hour or so, needed to empty my bladder and passed his group on the way to the WC in the back. As I was relieving myself, door opened and he was sidling up next to me at the next urinal. He lightly brushed my side as he wiggled to open his tight pants and what were thermal underwear underneath, and WOW. Well we did not do much there, but outside, he knew I was more than interested. I bought him a beer, then a round for his friends, and he came up and squeezed in next to me at the bar and I could feel his enormous dick pressed against my thigh. He asked if I had a place to stay (Yes... a nearby hotel), then he asked if I would be interested in having him and his younger brother together! I was gone at this point. Off we went, though, not to my room but next door to a "pay-by-the-hour place where we all quickly showered in a communal shower, then got under the heavy blankets in a spare and somewhat messy room. His brother was barely (if??) 18 and shaking like a leaf from the cold. He and I placed his brother between us to "warm him up" and had 90 minutes of hot sweaty action. I paid them both the equivalent of $35 and thought we would be going our ways, but outside on the street, he whispered something to his brother who waved goodbye and took off for home. This guy (Attila), said, "If you want, let's spend the night together for another $50" -- and off we went to my hotel for one of the most memorable nights of my life.

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My favorite sleazy gay bar off all times was "Cats" on 48th St. in Midtown. I used to come to New York and head there first thing. It was even better than Stella's! You could find anything in that bar. Dark cubbyholes, semi-nude dancers, etc. It was awesome. It went the way of most bars in NYC when Guiliani became mayor.

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Many years ago, I was in Berlin, just after the fall, and went to several bars. I don't remember the name, but if it is still there, I could probably find it. Reminded me of the red light district in Amsterdam. Small place but frequented by guys at both ends of the social spectrum. A lot of working guys coming straight from work in their jeans, flannel shirts, etc. along with a lot of other young guys in suits. The two groups usually stayed by themselves, with out much mingling. However, as the night wore on, there was a lot more cruising and interaction between the two groups. At one point I was talking to a guy with pretty limited social skills, but his body was to die for. He suggested we go to my hotel for a more intimate conversation, and I agreed. Whereupon one of the younger guys in a suit came up to the two of us and started talking. His English was impecable, and he started hinting around about his experience with three somes. Well, before long he agreed to join us. It was probably the most exciting time I had ever had up to that point in time. I ended up going back to that bar for several nights in a row, and never left alone.

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Gay bars seem to be on the downswing, replaced by A4A, Grindr and other electronic cruising devices.

 

As someone still active (better yet, hanging on) to the bar scene, I'll say sorta but not really. A4a and Grindr have not replaced gay bars, it's simply changed the purpose of gay bars. These days, people tend to superficially go to look important, drown the sorrows of the work week/life in getting belligerently drunk, and to people watch...without any purpose of watching people. I'd even say phone apps have improved gay bars, by accelerating the rate in which guys meet face to face. You can walk up and say, "hey, we were talking the other day on...."

 

Most of my best experiences were places like Twist Miami. Omaha-Nebraska has a place called The Max which rivalled some of the larger circuit clubs in Dallas like S4. Minneapolis has the Gay 90s which I went to just this past Halloween for the 2nd time. I've also had countless nights of fun at the Valentines in Tampa, the defunct Chrome in Tampa, and Parliament House Orlando.

 

Twist was a good place to bring/meet clients or bring/meet your new boyfriend.

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Not the first, and maybe not the best, but the 1969-70 nights at the Sanctuary in New York were a whole new experience for a kid from the sticks.

 

I just found an article that describes it pretty well. It had pounding music in a church interior with boys dispensing the right moves in the sanctuary as the stained glass windows flicked on and off to the music. Well, — at least this boy had never seen its like before.

 

http://www.villagevoice.com/1998-06-30/news/the-last-days-of-gay-disco/

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Guest Starbuck

I haven't been in a gay bar in decades, but the OP was motivated by nostalgia in starting this thread, and that takes me back to the one I went to first and most often, The Brook. More formally, it was the Cedar Brook Cafe (but I never heard anyone call it that); it was located on the Post Road in Westport, Connecticut. I didn't know until I Googled it just now that when it closed in 2010 it was hailed as the oldest gay bar in the U.S. (http://www.westport-news.com/news/article/After-71-years-oldest-U-S-gay-bar-to-close-528313.php). For me, it remains a place fixed in time--the disco era of the 1970s--and because music has a magic way of transporting us, when I hear disco (which, bizarrely, is played regularly at my 94-year-old mother's cardiac rehab program), I am carried back to dancing with other young men at The Brook a lifetime ago. I was in college when my friend Lisa and her girlfriend first took me there on New Years Eve 1974. I think I was given a heads-up that there were separate rooms for men and women and that they would not be holding my hand all night. If that scared me (I hadn't yet slept with a guy; I hadn't even kissed one), I went anyway, and on the way in, we bumped into a fellow Lisa knew. His name was Chuck. He looked me up and down and apparently decided I was good enough to dance with. It was about another five minutes until I could no longer claim that I'd never kissed a guy. What more can I say? ... More, More, More, How do you like it? How do you like it? ...

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"It's sad to see it go because it means so much to the older generation, and to the newer generation who doesn't really know it as well," he said. "I hope something new comes to the area, but you can't truly replace the Cedar Brook."

 

Looking at it you'd never know it was even a bar. I don't think the newer generation is all that interested in something quaint like that though. It's now part of a by gone era.

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The Sanctuary was my first big city dance experience and it was fantastic. You could see Broadway chorus boys, girls and stars there on any given night. Very democratic and totally without the attitudes that sometime exists today in clubs. Alas, still deaf in one ear from all that loud music of the 70s.

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