The Greatest Gay Bars Seattle Guide


Gay Bars Seattle

Like lots of other cities in the United States, Seattle has fought long and hard for their rights to have gay bars and clubs running today. Seattle has a long history about what has happened since the 30’s concerning gay bars. Since it’s been such a long time coming, the gay bar Seattle scene parties harder than most cities in the U.S. The great thing about the Seattle gay bar scene, is that there are so many different clubs and bars that there is always a new experience to try and a different night to have. You don’t have to do the exact same thing every Saturday night. There are drag bars, dance clubs, sports bars, dive bars, karaoke bars, cocktail bars, lounges, gay BBQ restaurants, music venues and more! The way the Seattle gay scene has opened up is one of the best things about the city - everyone is so accepting now, but it wasn’t always that way. Read on to learn the history of Seattle’s gay bar scene.

Gay Bars Seattle: History

Gay bars began in Seattle in the 20’s and 30’s. They were opened for the homosexuals in the area, but they had bad reputations and no one who wasn’t gay would go in. The Casino was the first gay bar that opened in Seattle, which was on the corner of Washington Street and 2nd Ave. This was known as the only place on the West Coast that you could be open and free as a homosexual man. This was also the one place where same-sex dancing was even legal. Other different places where gay men would meet up were on Capitol Hill, Restrooms in different hotels, the Greyhound station, and other public places that weren’t bars or clubs. These were the only places that they could go and socialize without using their own homes. In the 40’s and 50’s, the Garden of Allah was the newest and most popular hot spot for drag shows. This is where service men from the war would go until it became off-limits to anyone who fought in war by the military. In the 50’s, gay clubs were places where gay men and women would go to meet and strategize for a better future, this idea was compared to African-Americans who met and strategized in churches during the civil rights movement. Both had a struggle and a message that they needed the world to see.

In the late 50’s, when anti-sodomy laws took effect in the U.S. gay bars and clubs became a bigger issue for the outside world. When police would go to these clubs and try to shut them down (for the night or forever), owners would have to constantly bribe them (with large sums of money) in order for them to leave. When the bars and clubs were open more than three or four police teams would come by, which means that these people spent a lot of money just to keep their and everyone else in the venue’s rights. Owners would also have to bribe law enforcement not to harass or attack any of their customers.

In the late 60’s, the Seattle chef of police restricted any gay bars or clubs from having liquor licenses.

In 1987, when things were now cooled off, bars and clubs were open and doing well. There was a huge AIDS movement called "Jars in Bars" where bar and club owners would have a jar (in every bar in Seattle) where you could donate in order to help contribute to the issue of AIDS. Today, things are better than they have ever been for the gay community. Pride week happens every single year in most places, and gay bars and clubs are open on the regular.

Gay Bars Seattle: Best Times and Dates

If you are a regular in the gay bar Seattle scene, you probably know what the best days are to. For anyone who is new to the scene, the prime days and times to go out in Seattle are Friday and Saturday from 11pm-2am.

Gay Bars Seattle: Directory

The gay bars Seattle scene is a favorite one in the United States. There are so many different types of gay bars and gay clubs here that there isn't much of a chance that you will have the same experience more than once, it keeps things interesting. Having a local bar to call your own is nice, but when it comes to going out and dancing, it is fun to have more than one option and this is why you must go out and try new places and venues.


Type: Gay Bar, Dive Bar
Space: Large Room, Patio
Crowd: 21+, Mixed
Address: 1221 E Madison St, Seattle
Brief Description: If you are a fan of hanging paper mache penis’ hanging from the ceilings, porn on the walls, go-go dancers, glory holes, strong drinks and great music you will LOVE Pony. This is a great gay bar to go out to on a night out with friends. The patio is great with a cool view of the city, all of the staff are very friendly, outgoing and good looking. This bar doesn’t get insanely packed to the point where you can’t move, but there is always just enough space where you can dance and not constantly get bumped around by people. The clientele who visit Pony tend to be all extremely handsome but never cocky or prudish. The hours of oppression are from 5pm until 2am (Monday until Thursday), and 3pm until 2am (Friday until Sunday). There is no cover and you are guaranteed to have an exciting, gay night.

CC Attle’s

Type: Gay Bar, Cocktail Bar
Space: Large Room
Crowd: 21+ (After 9pm), Mixed
Address: 1701 E Olive Way, Seattle
Brief Description: If you’ve always wanted to make the television show Cheers your life, make this bar your local. Everyone knows everyone and the bartenders know your drinks. If you walk in for your first time, you’ll notice the bartenders and guests having conversations about life, and you will feel a sense of home. Once you go in a few times, the owners and staff will make sure to get to know you. They are all very talkative and sociable. Strong drinks are a plus here, especially because they are reasonably priced meaning that you can get drunk here on a dime. Upper scale pub food is sold here - you will be able to tell that everything is made in house. All of the food is from local butchers and fruit and vegetable markets which makes everything extra fresh and extra delicious, not to mention that the food is also very cheap. Free pool and darts will make your night even more interesting (and competitive!) When the bar isn’t busy, you may be challenged to a game of pool or darts by a staff member. It’s all fun, games and laughs here.

The Crescent Lounge

Type: Gay Bar, Dive Bar, Karaoke
Space: Large Room
Crowd: 21+, Mixed
Address: 1413 E Olive Way, Seattle
Phone: (206) 659-4476
Brief Description: A karaoke lover’s dream! Everyone comes to sing, support and drink. When you look out into the crowd, you will not see one judgemental face out there. The clientele love karaoke just as much as you do, and are just happy if they can get a song in. Every night it is extremely busy though the best nights are Thursday-Saturday. The drinks are reasonably priced, and there is no cover at the door. If you go with your friends and expect not to sing, you will probably end up belting one or two songs. There is a great energy in the room that makes you just want to... well, sing and also be in the spot light! Even if your bedroom or shower are the only places you sing now, you will feel comfortable infront of this warm, friendly crowd. The Crescent Lounge will make for a fun, exciting and cheap night.

Diesel Seattle

Type: Gay Bar, "Bear Bar"
Space: Large Room
Crowd: 21+, Mixed
Address: 1413 14th Ave, Seattle
Brief Description: Everything about this bar is absolutely amazing. All of the staff are good at their jobs and are also extremely efficient. This means, the bartenders are quick and social, the servers are always checking up and the cooks and chef are just amazing, the food is incredible for bar food. When you become a regular here, you will definitely become friends with everyone around (staff and guests). Diesel has been called "Seattle’s premium bear bar" which means that there are lots of big, hairy men who come here - and who doesn’t like that? With that being said, it has a very macho vibe. Go on a Friday or Saturday night and the bar is sure to be packed until closing time. Whether you are a "bear" or not, you will always feel welcome. On weekdays the hours go from 2:00pm until 2:00am and on the weekends Diesel Seattle is open from 11:00am until 2:00am.

R Place Bar&Grill

Type: Gay Bar, Grill
Space: Large Room, Patio
Crowd: 21+, Mixed
Address: 619 E Pine St, Seattle
Brief Description:R Place Bar&Grill has three stories of drinking, dancing drag and caged go-go dancers. If you are looking to go out and have a great night of dancing and fun, R Place Bar&Grill is the place. You won’t get bored or the atmosphere because there are three! Go to any of the other floors and there is different music and a different vibe. Instead of going in, getting tired of looking at the same scenery and people, you can just move to another floor - perfect! There is a cover price of $7 (make sure you have the exact $7 or it can be a hassle). Once you’re in you are good for the night. You don’t have to go else where and you also don’t have to pay for expensive drinks since the drinks here are so cheap that they should just be free. The drag performances are spectacular, and will make your night.


Type: Gay Bar
Space: Medium Room, Patio
Crowd: 21+, Mixed
Address: 1809 Minor Ave, Seattle
Brief Description: Going out to the Kremwek will not disappoint. There are tons of DJ and live music events to partake in with low - no cover fee. There is a drag night that is one of the best in Seattle and the interior has a very underground feel, not only because of the fact that it is literally in a basement, the ceilings are very low or the fact that the dark walls make it so it would be terribly hard to see anything if there were no lights on, but also because there are never shoulder to shoulder crowds here. It is a very new and secretive place. Not too many people know about it yet, which makes it a gem for the ones who do. There is opportunity to rent out the bar for private events for low prices. You can call or email them for reservations. There is a $10 cover here at Kremwerk which won't break the bank, and there are also very cheap drinks. The music here is always very upbeat and exciting which makes for a great, exciting vibe from all the guests.

Gay Bars Seattle: Concluding Thoughts

Now that you have learnt all the information you need about gay bars Seattle and gay clubs Seattle, it’s time to go out and meet local men! The next time you have a night off or are feeling frisky, check out’s gay bar guide and hit up your best friends and go out to one of these awesome venues!

To learn about different gay bars in San Diego, click here!

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