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Larry's Lounge, a neighborhood favorite among D.C.'s LGBTQ community
Larry's Lounge, a neighborhood favorite among D.C.'s LGBTQ community
Larry's Lounge

D.C.'s Best Gay Bars and Hangouts

Sports bars, dance clubs, cocktail spots and more

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Larry's Lounge, a neighborhood favorite among D.C.'s LGBTQ community
| Larry's Lounge

For decades, Dupont Circle was one of the centers of D.C.’s LGBTQ community. "Dupont Circle was like a little island where people would come and have a good time," a longtime District resident told the Washington City Paper last year.

Today Dupont Circle and 17th Street institutions such as JR’s, The Fireplace, Cobalt, Duplex Diner and Larry’s Lounge are still going strong. But D.C.'s evolving gayborhood has shifted towards Logan Circle and U Street. In February 2016, the Washington Blade noted an "unusual flurry of activity" with the opening of four new gay bars, the majority of which landed in the U Street/Shaw/Logan Circle area. Those new hangouts include Dirty Goose, Trade and Uproar.

There have also been losses: Iconic Barracks Row lesbian bar Phase 1 shuttered its doors last year. But another historic bar, DC Eagle, recently made a big move to a gigantic space on Benning Road NE. Those spots and more sports bars, dance clubs, and cocktail havens are all included in Eater's round up of the District's gay-friendliest bars and hangouts.

Missed your go-to hangout? Share other favorites in the comments or sound off via email (dc@eater.com).

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. DC Eagle

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3701 Benning Rd NE
Washington, D.C. 20019

Historic leather/Levi bar DC Eagle opened in 1971 on 9th Street NW and spent 26 years on New York Avenue before moving in 2015 to a space on Benning Road NE. The new location includes a dance floor called Exile.

2. Dirty Goose

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913 U St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 629-1462
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Cocktails with Gray Goose vodka and bow ties are the themes at Dirty Goose, a stylish new LGBTQ-friendly bar and restaurant complete with a rooftop that opened in August on U Street NW. Menu options include house-made olive bread, green goddess salads, and a fried chicken sandwich with signature sweet and spicy pickles.

Daniel Honeycutt

3. Duplex Diner

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2004 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 265-7828
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Open since 1998, the '50s-inspired Duplex Diner in AdMo has both a lively bar scene and damn good meatloaf. The restaurant's Madonna wallpaper collage in the bathroom is a thing of beauty.

4. The Fireplace

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2161 P St NW
Washington, D.C. 20037
(202) 293-1293
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The Fireplace is a laidback Dupont Circle dive bar, complete with, yes, a working fireplace.

5. Green Lantern

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1335 Green Ct NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
(202) 347-4533
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Two-story Thomas Circle bar and nightclub Green Lantern’s been open for over 10 years. Thursday nights from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. are Green Lantern’s sometimes imitated but never duplicated “Shirtless Men Drink Free” nights.

6. JR's Bar

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1519 17th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 328-0090
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Under the watchful eye of a giant portrait of Joan Crawford, long-running neighborhood bar JR’s features major drink specials including a $15 all-you-can-drink deal on Thursday and a $2 Skyy Highballs and drafts deal on Friday. Events include drag trivia and show tune nights.

7. Larry's Lounge

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1840 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 483-1483
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Dupont Circle fixture Larry’s Lounge has one of the best outdoor patios around, and bonus, the patio is a dog-friendly spot. The unpretentious two-story bar is a neighborhood favorite.

8. Nellie's Sports Bar

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900 U St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 332-6355
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An icon on U Street, Nellie’s Sports Bar has been going strong for 10 years, although it’s drawing an increasingly hetero crowd as of late. The bar boasts two levels with TVs for game watching, and a rooftop overlooking 9th and U Streets NW, along with events like trivia, drag bingo and drag brunch, and karaoke.

9. Number Nine

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1435 P St NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
(202) 986-0999
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Trendy bar Number Nine on P Street has craft cocktails, drink specials (including a buy-one-get-one happy hour deal), and fun theme nights like a ‘00s dance party. Check out the video bar upstairs, dubbed the 9 ½ floor.

10. TRADE

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1410 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

New gay dive bar Trade opened last year, courtesy of the team behind Town Danceboutique and Number Nine. Trade has a back alley patio, DJ nights, and a “huge” happy hour from opening until 10 p.m., during which oversized drinks are served for the same price as regular pours.

11. Uproar Lounge & Restaurant

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639 Florida Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 462-4464
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New to the Shaw/U Street gay bar scene is Uproar, which debuted last year. The bear bar boasts drink specials and a rooftop recognized by The Washington Blade in 2016.

1. DC Eagle

3701 Benning Rd NE, Washington, D.C. 20019

Historic leather/Levi bar DC Eagle opened in 1971 on 9th Street NW and spent 26 years on New York Avenue before moving in 2015 to a space on Benning Road NE. The new location includes a dance floor called Exile.

3701 Benning Rd NE
Washington, D.C. 20019

2. Dirty Goose

913 U St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Daniel Honeycutt

Cocktails with Gray Goose vodka and bow ties are the themes at Dirty Goose, a stylish new LGBTQ-friendly bar and restaurant complete with a rooftop that opened in August on U Street NW. Menu options include house-made olive bread, green goddess salads, and a fried chicken sandwich with signature sweet and spicy pickles.

913 U St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

3. Duplex Diner

2004 18th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009

Open since 1998, the '50s-inspired Duplex Diner in AdMo has both a lively bar scene and damn good meatloaf. The restaurant's Madonna wallpaper collage in the bathroom is a thing of beauty.

2004 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

4. The Fireplace

2161 P St NW, Washington, D.C. 20037

The Fireplace is a laidback Dupont Circle dive bar, complete with, yes, a working fireplace.

2161 P St NW
Washington, D.C. 20037

5. Green Lantern

1335 Green Ct NW, Washington, D.C. 20005

Two-story Thomas Circle bar and nightclub Green Lantern’s been open for over 10 years. Thursday nights from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. are Green Lantern’s sometimes imitated but never duplicated “Shirtless Men Drink Free” nights.

1335 Green Ct NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

6. JR's Bar

1519 17th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009

Under the watchful eye of a giant portrait of Joan Crawford, long-running neighborhood bar JR’s features major drink specials including a $15 all-you-can-drink deal on Thursday and a $2 Skyy Highballs and drafts deal on Friday. Events include drag trivia and show tune nights.

1519 17th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

7. Larry's Lounge

1840 18th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009

Dupont Circle fixture Larry’s Lounge has one of the best outdoor patios around, and bonus, the patio is a dog-friendly spot. The unpretentious two-story bar is a neighborhood favorite.

1840 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

8. Nellie's Sports Bar

900 U St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

An icon on U Street, Nellie’s Sports Bar has been going strong for 10 years, although it’s drawing an increasingly hetero crowd as of late. The bar boasts two levels with TVs for game watching, and a rooftop overlooking 9th and U Streets NW, along with events like trivia, drag bingo and drag brunch, and karaoke.

900 U St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

9. Number Nine

1435 P St NW, Washington, D.C. 20005

Trendy bar Number Nine on P Street has craft cocktails, drink specials (including a buy-one-get-one happy hour deal), and fun theme nights like a ‘00s dance party. Check out the video bar upstairs, dubbed the 9 ½ floor.

1435 P St NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

10. TRADE

1410 14th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20005

New gay dive bar Trade opened last year, courtesy of the team behind Town Danceboutique and Number Nine. Trade has a back alley patio, DJ nights, and a “huge” happy hour from opening until 10 p.m., during which oversized drinks are served for the same price as regular pours.

1410 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

11. Uproar Lounge & Restaurant

639 Florida Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

New to the Shaw/U Street gay bar scene is Uproar, which debuted last year. The bear bar boasts drink specials and a rooftop recognized by The Washington Blade in 2016.

639 Florida Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

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