Best Dance Club: Town Danceboutique
2009 8th Street, NW
Best non-D.C. bar & Best Karaoke Party: Freddie’s Beach Bar
555 23rd Street South
Best Happy Hour: Nellie’s Sports Bar
900 U Street, NW
Best Drag Show: Ladies of Town
Best Gay-Friendly Straight Bar: The Black Cat
1811 14th Street, NW
Best Live Music: 9:30 Club
815 V Street, NW
Hottest Stripper: Matthew King
1824 Half Street, SW
Best Women’s Party & Best Place to Meet Women: BARe by LURe at Cobalt
Bare is a monthly lesbian event happening every third Saturday of the month, presented by the Ladies of LURe at Cobalt (1639 R St., N.W.), which celebrated its third anniversary this year.
Karen Diehl reached out to Cobalt about holding a party in early 2009, but it wasn’t until that August that things really got moving and two months later, Bare was born.
Bare also has an annual White Party and Pride kick-off party. They’re co-sponsoring “Queer the Vote,” an election night party at the Fillmore Silver Spring (8658 Colesville Rd.)
For more information on Bare and the Ladies of LURe, find the group on Facebook. (JE)
1639 R St., N.W.
Best Neighborhood Bar: Larry’s Lounge
Upstairs, downstairs or on the patio, it doesn’t matter where you sit, Larry’s Lounge is still our favorite neighborhood bar where you can comfortably get together with a group of friends, relax and have a drink. And when the weather is nice, the patio offers great opportunities to people and traffic watch.
Almost every night, Larry’s offers drink specials on already low drink prices. Most nights you can grab an Absolut for about $5. This low-key establishment opens its doors to everybody for either a quick drink or a night relaxing with friends. (JH)
1836 18th Street NW
Best Men’s Party: Mixtape
For anyone who hasn’t danced the night away to one of their eclectic set lists, Mixtape is the gay and straight-friendly alternative dance party that is taking D.C. by storm. The monthly dance party generally takes place on the second Saturday of each month. It’s hosted by gay DJs Shea Van Horn and Matt Bailer.
Bailer and Van Horn play an eclectic mix of electro, alt-pop, indie rock, house, disco, new wave and anything else audiences want to dance to. Set lists and samplers are available on their website.
Their nomadic queer dance party has been venue hopping all over D.C. since September 2008. In recent months, they’ve been spending a lot of time at Town and The Black Cat, but they’ll be mixing things up for Halloween. They’re hosting a spooky Mixtape Halloween Party at the historic Howard Theatre. Van Horn invites audiences to party with them in their slutty new costumes. (BTC)
Best Rehoboth Restaurant & Best Rehoboth Bar: Blue Moon
Celebrating 30 years in business, the Blue Moon is the cornerstone of Baltimore Avenue. The restaurant — under the direction of chef Lion Gardner — continues to deliver innovative and award-winning cuisine, like Maine lobster spaghetti and wild boar bolognese. Dinner is served daily starting at 5:30 p.m. and there’s a popular Sunday brunch served from 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. For a real deal, don’t miss Tasting Tuesdays when Blue Moon offers three courses, each paired with wine, for just $40.
After dinner, head over to the Blue Moon’s bar side and grab one for the road. The friendly staff and regular lineup of live entertainment always make for a fun night out. The fabulous Pamala Stanley has already announced plans to return for the 2013 season; she performs Sundays through Thursdays during the summer and her Sunday show is always a raucous dance party to close out the weekend. The fabulous Mona Lotts hosts “Karaoke and Martinis with Mona” on Thursday nights through the fall. (KN)
35 Baltimore Ave.
Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
Best Place to Meet Men: Duplex Diner
Might have something to do with the strong drinks and the tight bar space, or maybe it’s the comforting effect of meatloaf like mom used to make. Whatever the reason, Blade readers say Duplex Diner is the best place to meet men.
One of the anchor establishments of lower Adams Morgan, Duplex Diner has consistently attracted gay and lesbian patrons and their friends since it opened almost 15 years ago. With its laid back décor, the space says casual, but that fancy chandelier screams this isn’t your ordinary diner. The photo booth en route to the Madonna-themed restroom reiterates the point. And despite a change of ownership several years ago, the popular restaurant is still going strong.
In addition to good drinks and reasonably priced food, the diner boasts consistent bartenders, friendly servers and a cute crowd. Undoubtedly Thursdays — the diner’s big social night when the place is packed with men — is an excellent time for meeting new friends. (PF)
2004 18th Street, NW
Best Alternative Party: D.C. Bear Crue Happy Hour at Town
Once a week, Town attracts a slightly different crowd: It’s a bit older and a lot scruffier. Beckoned by the promise of cheap beer, no attitude and hairy men, they show up for the popular D.C. Bear Crue Happy Hour, each Friday from 6-11 p.m.
At Town’s bear happy hour, these scruffy guys (also known as bears, otters and cubs) and their admirers chat, eat free pizza, imbibe $7 pitchers, and later in the evening when DJ Christian Gerard turns up the volume, they even dance (yes, dancing bears). There are theme nights and guest performers.
D.C. Bear Crue is the brainchild of Nicholas Baatz, a former Marine who is known on the bear scene as Charger Stone. In addition to its popular weekly happy hour, Stone runs D.C. Bear Crue’s other events like yoga classes and fundraisers. He also manages Unleashed Massage Studio in Northeast Washington. (PF)