5 reasons Seattle is an unexpected champion of gay nightlife

Seattle is an unexpected champion of American nightlife, a city where bars and clubs are almost as plentiful as coffee shops.

There is truly something for everyone in Seattle: from big nightclubs to hole-in-the-wall bars, from drag shows to leather daddy hangouts. And then there genderqueer burlesque to round out the diverse mix.

Here is a primer on Seattle nightlife, with five hotspots assured to serve up a good time.

1. Dive Bar: Pony

One of the most popular bars in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, Pony is in a 1930s-vintage gas station building with featuring a year-round patio. DJs spin punk rock, disco, new wave, and Seattle’s famous grunge.

2. Leather bar: The Cuff Complex

Three bars, with a dance club and patio thrown in, make Cuff Complex one Seattle’s grandest nightclubs.

3. Sports bar: Madison Pub

Every city needs a bunch of neighborhood watering holes where locals can have a beer and watch a game. Madison Pub is the bar of choice for local gay softball teams to get together after games. The jukebox is always going.

4. Drag shows: Bacon Strip


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Burlesque is big in Seattle, and the drag world happily lends its talents to the stages filled with acrobats and strippers. Bacon Strip is a collection of variety shows and parties, many of which celebrate drag burlesque, but also lend lots of opportunities to just drink and hang out. The shows often happen at Palace Theater & Art Bar, but they have a way of popping up all over town. Be sure to watch for the Miss Bacon Strip pageant, which is hilarious, and counts RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Jinkx Monsoon among its esteemed winners.

5. Bears and cubs: CC Attle’s

The big boys play at CC Attle’s, a no-nonsense bar with a loyal following of bears and cubs and the men who love them. The pool tables tend to be popular, as does open mic night.

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