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Top 7 Best Gay Bars in Columbus Ohio to Check Out in 2024

Union Cafe Columbus Ohio

Well, well, well, Columbus sure knows how to party! The city's teeming with a bunch of rainbow-proud LGBTQIA+ businesses, including quite a few gay and lesbian bars and clubs that add some serious sparkle to the Gay bars in Columbus Ohio nightlife.

Now, let's take a little stroll down memory lane. There was a time when Columbus was bustling with LGBTQ-friendly watering holes and, of course, you can also try dating apps. These spots were more than just bars - they were safe havens, where folks could let their hair down and be their fabulous selves, without a hint of judgment.

But alas, times are a-changin’. Whether it's due to societal shifts or the increasing inclusivity we see across the board in many bars and clubs, there's been a bit of a dip in the number of LGBTQ-exclusive spaces. In fact, our good buddy Greggor Mattson, who happens to be an associate professor of sociology at Oberlin College, says LGBTQIA+ bars have seen a decline of 36.6% between 2007 and 2019. Quite a sobering stat, right?

But hey, don't get your party hats in a twist just yet! A 2016 report by the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce tells us that LGBTQ businesses are not just surviving, they're thriving! Contributing a jaw-dropping $1.7 trillion to the economy, these champs have an average lifespan of 12 years and have created over 33,000 jobs. Now that's what I call making a splash!

List of Best Gay Bars & Clubs in Columbus Ohio

So, fingers crossed, with a little love and support from all of us, these fab joints of the many Gay bars in Columbus Ohio will keep the party going for years to come. Now, let's dive in and check out seven of Columbus' most popular LGBTQIA+ bars that are ready to welcome everyone for a good time!

  1. Slammers Bar
  2. Union Café
  3. District West
  4. Awol Bar
  5. Club Diversity
  6. Cavan
  7. Axis Nightclub

Get Slammed with Fun at Slammers Bar

Slammers Bar is one of the oldest Gay bars in Columbus Ohio. Its “where the rainbow meets the dance floor!” sums up this epic joint's vibe of embracing every Tom, Dick, Harry, and their aunts! But it's not just about the booze here, folks. You can also chow down on a smorgasbord of lip-smacking pizzas, hearty subs, and snug wraps. They've got everything!

What’s on the entertainment menu, you ask? Brace yourself! How about an eclectic mix of DJs spinning tracks, heart-throbbing live music, and brain-busting trivia nights that could make even Einstein break a sweat? There's something different going on every night!

Now, the crucial info - opening hours. Attention all workaholics, they start serving happiness Tuesdays to Thursdays from 4 p.m. to midnight. Got a bit of the Friday feels? They've got you covered until the wee hours of 2:30 a.m. The Saturday shindig starts a tad earlier at 3 p.m. and goes on till 2:30 a.m., giving you ample time to shake your groove thing. For the Sunday loungers, they're pouring from 1 p.m. right up to the midnight hour. Ah, and one tiny thing - don't show up on Mondays. It's their 'gone fishing' day. They need to recharge their awesomeness for the rest of the week, after all!

Unite in Celebration at Union Café

Flashback to the '90s, guys! Union Cafe at 782 N High St., a buzzing gay bar in the vibrant Short North, first swung open its doors. And let me tell you, it's not just a bar - it's a full-on, bells-and-whistles eatery too!

You'll find salads fresher than the Prince of Bel-Air, sandwiches heftier than Arnold in his prime, and pizzas cheesier than...well, cheesy '90s pop tunes! Craving brekkie at midnight? Sorted! They serve breakfast round-the-clock, flipping pancakes faster than you can say "Yum!" Oh, and did I mention the legendary Sunday brunch buffet? It's an all-you-can-eat gastronomic marathon. Loosen those belts, folks!

But we aren't done yet. It's time for the liquid sunshine! Wines, beers, spirits, you name it! They've even got a Long Island line-up that's got the real Long Island blushing. Want more? Their cocktails come in two sizes - "thirst-quenching" and "I may need a snorkel!"

And it wouldn't be a true gay bar without some fabulous drag events, would it? Their catwalk sees more queens than Buckingham Palace! Their sibling club Axis, just a catwalk away, shares the same flamboyant genes.

As for the operating hours, they're pouring happiness from Mondays to Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., and on Sundays, they kick off a little earlier at 10:30 a.m. and keep the fun rolling till 2 a.m. So swing by, the '90s are waiting!

Discover a World of Fun at District West

Fresh as a newly baked pretzel on this list is the downtown darling, District West, nestled on 145 N. 5th St. It's so close to Slammers, the patrons are doing the boogie bounce between the two. It's like a lively game of ping-pong but with drinks and dance moves!

Welcome to the West family's crib - an all-embracing fun factory belting out an electric mix of drag shows, cabaret, and even more entrancing spectacles. A whopping two dozen dancers, drag artists, and performers form the artistic backbone of this joint, giving Broadway a run for its money!

But it ain't just about the performances, my friend. District West is also shaking and stirring a tantalizing line-up of specialty cocktails, along with wine and beer. You could say they've got more mixology magic than Hogwarts has spells!

In the mood for some action? You're in luck! District West throws open its doors seven days a week, from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. It's the venue's version of "The show must go on!" So get your dancing shoes on and pop over for an evening you won't forget!

Go AWOL for a Night at Awol Bar – No Regrets!

Put your hands together for the one, the only, Awol Bar! It is one of the best Gay bars in Columbus Ohio… Tucked away in Olde Towne East, this place is a glittering gem in Columbus Ohio gay scene. You'll find it strutting its stuff at 49 Parsons Ave., blasting out everything from karaoke to DJs, from dance parties to go-go dancers! They've even got tea dances - because who doesn't love a little cha-cha with their chamomile?

Their indoor and outdoor dance floors are like a choose-your-own-adventure - boogie inside, jive outside, or pull a Zoolander and do both!

And when can you join this fabulous fiesta? Take a wild guess. No, seriously, guess! Okay, I'll tell ya - it's every single day, from 2 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. So, the only question left is, "Why are you still here and not at Awol Bar already?!"

Embrace the Spectacular at Club Diversity

Looking for a diverse gay club in Columbus Ohio? Well, hello there! Say "cheers" to Club Diversity, or as its cool pals call it, "Club D." Nestled snugly at 863 S. High St., it's a chill martini and piano bar housed, well, in a house! Kinda like your favorite aunt's living room, but with more booze and less weird porcelain figurines.

It's in the heart of the Brewery District, where beer flows like rivers and the scent of hops is practically the air freshener.

Now, don't get fooled by its sophisticated, martini-sipping ambiance. Club D's welcome mat reads "All welcome!" This includes the colorful LGBTQ+ squad, and the "friendly straights" (their words, not mine). Basically, if you're cool with cool people, you're in!

They've got everything to keep your evenings spicy - karaoke nights for the bathroom singers, movie nights in gazebos (who needs Netflix, eh?), live music, and even plays (we're talking Shakespeare-level stuff here).

Curious about when you can pop by? Well, here's the drill: Monday to Thursday, they're serving good vibes from 4 p.m. to midnight. On Fridays, they're up till an eye-rubbing 2:30 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays, they kick off the party early at 12 p.m., running till 2:30 a.m. and midnight, respectively. Now, off you go and shake a leg at Club D!

Find a Cozy Corner at Cavan
Give it up for Cavan, folks! This tavern has more rainbow flags than a Pride Parade and it's proud to mix things up a bit. It's like they smooshed a traditional Irish pub and a classic gay bar together and said, "Voila, best of both worlds!" And boy, did it work!

At Cavan, you've got all the charms of an Irish pub - think cheery barkeeps, frothy pints, and that irresistible Celtic warmth that makes you feel like you're part of a big, rowdy, lovable family.

Then, there's the cherry on top - all the glitter and glam of a classic LGBTQ+ bar. It's all love, all fun, all the time. Age is just a number here; whether you're in the throbbing heart of your 30s or 40s or anywhere beyond, there's always a party waiting for you!

From show-stopping drag performances to go-go boys strutting their stuff to nerve-racking sports nights and ear-deafening karaoke, this place has it all! You can't spell "pub" without "u," so whether it's a decadent brunch, belly-warming bar food, or a round of cold ones, you're in for a grand time!

So, mark it on your maps, folks! Cavan's at 1409 S High St, Columbus, OH 43207. Come for a pint, stay for the party!

Spin Around the Dance Floor at Axis Nightclub

Looking for a dance gay club in Columbus Ohio? Ladies, gents, and everyone in between allow me to introduce you to Axis Nightclub! This place has been a hot ticket in Columbus for over a decade, and let me tell ya, it's not just because they've cracked the air conditioning.

Axis is your ultimate techno and house music sanctuary. It's like the DJ's got the power to control your feet. You'll be throwing shapes on the dance floor you didn't even know you could!

Not in the mood to bust a move? That's alright, the party doesn't stop inside. They've got a patio where you can kick back and chill. But hold your horses, the best part is still to come - they occasionally host an all-male revue cabaret. Yep, you read that right!

This place is a magnet for the energetic 20+ crowd, but they don't discriminate. If you're 18 or older and ready for a good time, you're in! Expect heart-stopping drag performances and go-go boys who can give Channing Tatum a run for his money!

So, grab your dancing shoes and make a beeline for this gay nightclub in Columbus Ohio at 775 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215. It's tucked right in the bustling heart of Short North, near Hubbard Ave. I'll see ya there!

Gay bars in Columbus Ohio, where the LGBTQ party never stops! Whether you're after some good old-fashioned fun or a lively night of dancing, these seven gems have got you covered. While it's true that the number of exclusive LGBTQ spaces has dipped, these venues are more than just bars - they're a celebration of life, love, and community. So, shake off the statistics, grab your glitter, and get ready to hit the town! From Slammers Bar to Axis Nightclub, Columbus has a colorful tapestry of places ready to welcome you with open arms. And remember, supporting these businesses is like throwing confetti on the world, one fabulous party at a time. Cheers to Columbus for keeping the sparkles alive! 🎉🌈

Frequently Asked Questions on Gay Bars in Columbus Ohio

What is the gay neighborhood in Columbus Ohio?

So, you've heard about Columbus, right? Ah, it's not just another city, my friend! This place has more brains than a zombie's dream buffet and it's as open-hearted as a grandma at Christmas! It's a smorgasbord of LGBTQIA+-friendly neighborhoods that make a rainbow look beige.

First off, we've got the Short North Arts District. This neighborhood's so hip, even its coffee shops wear skinny jeans! It's practically brimming over with culture, creativity, and a love for all things different.

Next, step into the time machine and say "Guten Tag!" to German Village. It's like a slice of Europe right in the middle of the US, complete with a side of love-is-love acceptance. You bet your lederhosen it's LGBTQIA+ friendly!

And let's not forget the Ohio State University's campus. It's not just a hub of brainy academics; it's also a vibrant, accepting community that welcomes everyone. It's like Hogwarts but with more pride flags and fewer dark wizards!

But it doesn't stop there. Columbus is dotted with friendly neighborhoods that make LGBTQIA+ folk feel right at home. Not to mention the galaxy of bars and nightclubs spread across the city like glitter on a drag queen's dress. So come on over to Columbus. You'll fit right in, no matter where you are on the rainbow!

What is the oldest gay bar in Columbus?

Alright, let me spin a yarn for you about a gem of a joint in Columbus, Ohio. Meet Slammers Bar & Pizza Kitchen, an iconic lesbian bar that's been serving smiles (and slices) since 1993.

But hang on, it's not just any bar. Nah, it's like the Madonna of gay bars in Ohio – timeless, fabulous, and beloved by all. And the secret to its success? That would be the ever-awesome Marcia Riley. She opened the joint back in the day and has been the heart and soul of Slammers ever since. Now that's what I call dedication!

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