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Liquid Pride: Queer spaces to drink around town

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Photo courtesy of Queer/Bar
Photo courtesy of Queer/Bar

It's time to be proud this month, but if you need a little liquid courage to get out there, you can discover LGBTQIA+ bars aplenty around town. Capitol Hill is stuffed to the gills with Gay bars, but you may also be surprised to find a few sprinkled in other neighborhoods (and one further away).
This is a list of some local watering holes that can satiate your need for a morning mimosa or a late-night beer.

Photo courtesy of Wildrose Bar  

The Wildrose, Capitol Hill
If you've spent time on the Hill, you probably know the Wildrose. However, it's important to understand the significance of this establishment. Founded in 1984 and is the only dedicated Lesbian bar in Seattle and one of only 23 in the country. So the Wildrose is a point of pride for local Sapphics. The venue features a small dance floor for live music and is well known for its block parties. http://www.thewildrosebar.com/

The Seattle Eagle, Capitol Hill
Like the Wildrose, this leather bar has been around for quite some time. Established in 1981, it is one of the longest-surviving Gay bars in Seattle, and is now owned by Keith Christensen. It hosts regular kink-themed events, like the infamous Make Out Party. You can add this haunt, with its shadowy chain-link fence aesthetic and catwalk, to your list of stops if you're interested in the leather scene. http://www.seattleeagle.com/

Queen Anne Beerhall, Queen Anne
This beer hall may not be advertised as a Gay bar, but it is Queer owned. Gary Szeredy took over in 2020 and revamped the Czech Republic—inspired business. The 24 taps that used to feature only European beers now include local brews. The venue is also celebrating Pride with special events and performances throughout the month. So check out Queen Anne Beerhall if you want to relax, drink a beer, and eat soft pretzels. Your canine companions are also welcome. https://queenannebeerhall.com/

Photo courtesy of Union Seattle  

Union, Capitol Hill
This bar and nightclub was started in 2018 and "proudly serves the LGBTQ/allied community." With plenty of food and spirits, Union's airy bar and patio is a fantastic summer hangout. On "Team Tuesday," every $1 spent on a Tito's beverage is donated to local LGBTQIA+ nonprofit organizations. Attend the Pride block party June 23—25 to dance the night away. https://www.unionseattle.com/

Photo courtesy of Rough and Tumble Pub  

Rough and Tumble Pub, Ballard
Opened in 2022, this woman's sports bar in the historic Henry White Sawmill building is one of a kind. Jen Barnes came up with the idea when she couldn't find a place to watch the 2021 OL Reign soccer team's semifinal playoff game.

Get a drink and a bite to eat while choosing one of the 18 screens on which to watch sports. As the website says, "Whether you are looking for a new game-day tradition, alumni event, after-practice dinner with the family, or overtime catchup, we invite all fans of all ages to join us to watch ALL the sports. https://www.roughandtumblepub.com/

The Bottleneck Lounge, Capitol Hill
This cozy bar "on the backside of Capitol Hill" strives to be "the best little neighborhood bar in Seattle." Regulars know this laid-back spot as the place to get their cocktail fix and barside conversation. The lounge doesn't advertise itself as a Gay bar, but it is Queer owned and welcoming to all. Most of the award-winning beers and ciders are made locally, as are the distilled spirits. http://www.bottlenecklounge.com/

Diesel, Capitol Hill
Calling all "bears, bikers, buddies, bubbas, blue collars, and badasses"! Diesel was opened in 2011 by Mike Reis and Mark Hurst as Seattle's premier bear bar. One doesn't need to be a motorhead to appreciate their trucker aesthetic and car-themed menu items, like the Mozzarella Stick-Shift sticks. Diesel has a loyal clientele from the local Bear community while being inclusive and welcoming to those who may not be of the large and hairy variety. https://www.dieselseattle.com/

Footprint Wine Tap, Capitol Hill
The first and only sustainable keg wine-on-tap bar, Footprint, is Queer owned, by Ken Dillon. The business focuses on reducing its carbon footprint (thus the name) while showcasing Pacific Northwest wines, which can be paired with a gorgeous charcuterie board and housemade crostini. The design, with its modern natural hardwood aesthetic, is incredibly pleasing. Listen to live piano while pouring a merlot from one of the many pristine, glistening taps. The venue can host private events for up to 50 people. https://www.footprintwine.com/

Dragster, Fremont
Owners Auzie Oxford and James Wiemann started Dragster "with the idea of cultivating community in mind." This fresh Gay bar opened last year and offers a new addition to Seattle's nightlife. The welcoming ambiance is combined with a glam decor of neon signs and fire pits. It offers food, drinks, dancing, pool tables, and live events, such as drag shows. The building was formerly the Fremont Ballroom and is now the neighborhood's only bar for the Queer community. Come in for a Slutty Smurf cocktail and stay for the good vibes. https://www.dragsterseattle.com/

The Lumber Yard Bar, White Center
Michale Farrar and Nathan Adams often held large gatherings and entertained in their home. The Lumber Yard, the first Queer bar in White Center, offers an experience that calls back to the pair's love for hosting. "We both have a background in retail, love to cook, appreciate a good cocktail or a glass of wine, and felt that this was our next logical step," they state on their website. The lumberjack decor is rustic yet modern and makes for an excellent backdrop for live events. The bar offers karaoke, dancing, trivia nights, kink nights, and drag shows. https://www.thelumberyardbar.com/

Ashley's Pub, Bremerton
This business started by Ashley Martinez is outside of King County but deserves to be mentioned. Like the Bottleneck Lounge, it is Queer owned. The venue is a geek's dream. The walls are lined with board games, and the bar is stocked with microbrews, ciders, wines, and even mead. It offers wraps, sandwiches, and pizza, but you are welcome to bring food to feed your party. There is plenty of space to run your weekly tabletop RPG campaign, or you can sip away while playing a single-player game. At Ashley's Pub, "gamers of all classes, races, and most alignments are welcome." https://www.ashleys.pub/

Photo courtesy of The Cuff Complex  

The Cuff Complex, Capitol Hill
Looking for a leather bar with a friendly, just-seedy-enough vibe? The Cuff is it. An eclectic mix of bar and performance space, this puppy-play friendly kink bar throws one hell of a party. Their Taco Tuesdays are kickass, but word around the SGN office is that their chicken tinga is to die for.

Photo courtesy of CC Attle's  

CC Attle's, Capitol Hill
Sleek, sexy, and classic, CC's is another staple on the Hill. Darts, a relaxing atmosphere, and an underwear night where you can "let it all hang out" every third Saturday — this bar and lounge are perfect for nights when you want to have fun without getting too crazy. The staff is friendly and the patio's a plus! It tends to draw a millennial-and-older crowd, but there's never a cover, so we think everyone should give it a try. https://www.ccsseattle.com/

Changes, Wallingford
The closest thing to Cheers Seattle's gay community is going to get, Changes is a great place to go for a warm, welcoming, unpretentious drinking experience. They're celebrating 34 years in business as Wallingford's watering hole. The burgers are pretty great and of course there's karaoke!

You can find them on Instagram @changesinwallingford

Pony, Capitol Hill
If a dive bar is more your style, Pony is the spot to go to. They're located in what used to be a gas station, they've got a fire pit, their DJ lineup is immaculate, and the vibes are as pristine as the location is gritty. Come for the music, stay for the go-go boys and karaoke. The place gets packed. They're not lying when they say they're the most popular Gay dive in town. https://www.ponyseattle.com/

Queer/Bar, Capitol Hill
In 2017, Joey Burgess founded the bar that loudly proclaims in its simple yet sleek font, "Queer/Bar." The name choice was part welcome mat to LGBTQIA+ members and allies, part warning sign to those who might intrude on this safe space. They offer drag performances, RuPaul's Drag Race viewings, and a private lounge on the bar's second floor. During their Queer Pride Fest June 23 to 25, they'll have many performers, including Trixie Mattel. https://www.thequeerbar.com/

Whatever your tastes, the greater Seattle area has a lot to offer. These locations can quench your thirst for beer, wine, and even mead while providing an inclusive atmosphere. With plenty of events and experiences to offer this Pride, and all year round, you can find one you'll love.