Gazedibles: Pouring pride

OKC Pride Week events run Friday through Sunday, drawing tens of thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, questioning people, family, friends and allies from across the region to celebrate. It is a time to rejoice in being who you are and loving who you love and enjoy the open embrace of like-minded company. If you’re looking for a place to meet up with longtime friends or find some new ones, here are some of Oklahoma City’s most accepting bars.

By Greg Elwell 

Photos by Cara Johnson and Garett Fisbeck

Lindsay Paige performs during The Gender Bender Lipstick Revue at Phoenix Rising (Garett Fisbeck / file)

Lindsay Paige performs during The Gender Bender Lipstick Revue at Phoenix Rising (Garett Fisbeck / file)

Phoenix Rising

2120 NW 39th St.

phoenixrisingokc.com

405-601-3711

The NW 39th Street Enclave is OKC’s long-lived LGBTQ mecca. For those seeking a casual, neighborhood bar — even if you’re not from the neighborhood — Phoenix Rising is an excellent stop. Live entertainment, especially top-notch drag shows, is a big draw and keeps the crowds lively. Every Tuesday night, Phoenix Rising hosts its Rising Star Show for up-and-coming drag performers.

Norma Jean Goldenstein performs in Sunday Gospel Brunch at The Boom! (Garett Fisbeck / file)

Norma Jean Goldenstein performs in Sunday Gospel Brunch at The Boom! (Garett Fisbeck / file)

The Boom!

2218 NW 39th St.

theboomokc.com

405-601-7200

The only night nothing happens at The Boom! is Monday, and that’s because it’s closed. The most popular attraction continues to be Sunday Gospel Brunch hosted by Kitty Bob Aimes and Norma Jean Goldenstein, but there’s plenty more to choose from. The Boom! hosts karaoke Tuesday and Sunday nights, trivia with Stephanie Debarge on Wednesdays, Trashy Thursday dance parties and Drag Bingo on Sundays.

Apothecary Thirty-Nine bartender Molly Musgrove mixes a Kentucky Colada for a customer. (Cara Johnson)

Apothecary Thirty-Nine bartender Molly Musgrove mixes a Kentucky Colada for a customer. (Cara Johnson)

Apothecary Thirty-Nine

2125 NW 39th St.

apothecary39.com

405-605-4100

Appealing to a more laid-back crowd, Apothecary Thirty-Nine is Phoenix Rising’s sister bar. The volume stays low here, giving patrons an opportunity to enjoy a cocktails and conversations. It’s also smoke-free and comfortable, with loveseats and cushy chairs. It’s a great place to grab a drink when you want to relax, whether you stay one hour or five.

Ian Taylor makes a drink at HiLo Club. (Garett Fisbeck / file)

Ian Taylor makes a drink at HiLo Club. (Garett Fisbeck / file)

HiLo Club

1221 NW 50th St.

hilookc.com

405-843-1722

Say hello to HiLo Club, which has been a local fixture since it opened in 1956. Sixty years later, the bar is just as popular and even more boisterous. Not a “gay bar” or a “straight bar,” HiLo is an absolutely-everyone-is-welcome bar. As long as you’re friendly and have a sense of humor, there’s a good time to be had in this classic Classen Circle hotspot. Live music, burlesque and drag shows bring big crowds, but just as many people show up to enjoy the chill atmosphere and dark corners.

Partners (Cara Johnson)

Partners (Cara Johnson)

Partners

2805 NW 36th St.

facebook.com/partnersokc 

405-942-2199

For the L in LGBTQ, the best dance club and bar in town is Partners. The Partners family also welcomes everybody to enjoy great music, fun times and strong drinks. Sports lovers will find much to enjoy at Partners, where you can catch a game, throw a few darts and play a pool match before the night ends.

PToo Mix, located next door to the original Partners, hosts a number of events, from Women of Country to Gayme Night. (Cara Johnson)

PToo Mix, located next door to the original Partners, hosts a number of events, from Women of Country to Gayme Night. (Cara Johnson)

PToo Mix

2807 NW 36th St.

facebook.com/partnerstoo

405-602-2030

Right next door to Partners is its sister bar, PToo Mix (also known as PartnersToo), which is a little smaller and more intimate. After dancing at Partners, have a seat on the patio at PToo Mix. The atmosphere is a little more relaxed, which means it’s a short trip find a chair, order a Rainbow Surprise and spend some time enjoying the company.

Habana Inn houses two nightclubs, two outdoor pools and a restaurant in addition to hotel rooms and suites. (Cara Johnson)

Habana Inn houses two nightclubs, two outdoor pools and a restaurant in addition to hotel rooms and suites. (Cara Johnson)

Habana Inn

2200 NW 40th St.

habanainn.com

405-528-2221

Wondering where the thousands of Pride partygoers are staying during OKC Pride Week? It’s a good bet many of them are sleeping and partying in one of Habana Inn’s 170 guest rooms. Inside Habana is dance bar The Copa and country-and-Western hotspot Finishline. For a more casual experience, there’s a second-floor bar called The Ledo, which overlooks Gushers — Habana’s in-house restaurant known for its fine prime rib dinners.

Print Headline; Pouring pride

Greg is the Gazette's full-time food writer and reviewer. He goes to restaurants a lot. He orders three entrees and gets funny looks and then takes out his camera and people are like, "Ugh. This guy." Greg is writing this right now and it feels weird to keep referring to myself in the third person. On Twitter and Instagram: @Elwelleats

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