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From Piano and Jazzy Vibes to Drag Shows, These Gay Bars Know How to Welcome All

Written By: Patricia Kemp Palm Springs Gay Bar

Go-go dancers, drag shows, and snazzy karaoke piano bars are just some of the colorful activities that make Greater Palm Spring a gay-station oasis for the LGBTQ community. With National Gay Pride Month celebrated all month long in June, we asked readers in an online poll to vote for their favorite rainbow flag destinations in the desert. From nooner lunch spots to nightly fun to frolic, here’s your pick of the top three GPS Gay Bars.

1 | Stacy’s Palm Springs Palm Springs Gay Bar

Step into Stacy’s Palm Springs where the clink of cocktails and cheerful conversation fill the air. From smooth jazz to upbeat Sinatra standards, this piano bar with antique mirror speakeasy décor stands out as a favorite chill spot to carouse after a day of poolside fun in the sun. Nightly entertainment of rotating vocalists and pianists keep crowds entertained with keyboard classics and a mix of guitar and saxophones. Guests are welcome to take the mic on Tuesdays for open karaoke after some liquid courage from the bar, like the signature Black Keys cocktail mixed with Stillhouse Bourbon, Mr. Black Coffee Liqueur and orange bitters. Owner Joseph Miller, whom you’ll find frequently behind the bar greeting guests, is a maestro of craft cocktails using fresh fruits and natural essences like cilantro, sage and mint to mix a mighty tasty mojito. Taking ownership of the bar back in February, Miller and his husband and business partner, Dima Pevzner, have grand plans to expand the entertainment lineup this summer with special events like stand-up comedy, a Dean Martin night and a Great Gatsby theme party. “I want to mix it up so it never gets stale,” Miller said. “We had our best week ever during Memorial Day weekend. I think that’s because we’re a fun, laidback entertainment venue that caters to everyone—gay, straight, bi—it doesn’t matter. Everyone is treated with the same respect and kindness.”

Stacy’s Palm Springs
220 E Arenas Rd
Palm Springs, CA 92262
760.620.5003 Palm Springs Gay Bar

2 | Blackbook

Hip atmosphere, scenic views, a large whiskey and wine list and friendly staff are just a handful of reasons why this downtown bar and restaurant is a destination for LGBTQ+ desert dwellers. With large, open-air patio seating to people-watching, Blackbook is a communal, social place for large groups to gather or for couples to enjoy an intimate meal for two. Guests rave about the bar bites from the Super Super Cheesy Nachos with every chip covered in cheese, while some claim the Disco Superfries with a flight of dipping sauces are the best in the desert. Others can’t pass up the Classic Nashville Fried Chicken Sandwich paired with ranch slaw. Owner Dean Lavine went through 50 recipes since he opened two years ago before achieving his version of the perfect spicy chicken sandwich. It’s that attention to detail the former Disney Channel executive-turned-bar/restaurant owner excels at that makes guests feel at ease. “I think times are changing for people to come out and be comfortable with who they are,” Lavine said. “We’re an inclusive place where everyone is welcome.”           

315 E Arenas Rd
Palm Springs, CA 92262

3 | Toucans Tiki Lounge Palm Springs Gay Bar

A tropical paradise renowned for dancing and drag, Toucans Tiki Lounge is the late-night hotspot to mingle with a Mai Tai. There’s electrifying entertainment nearly every night of the week to put a sparkle in your step. From Latin Fever Mondays to weekend Boys & Babes and go-go dance parties as DJs spin today’s pop hits and retro ‘70s disco, you’ll never find the dance floor empty. Hailed as the longest-running drag show in the desert, Sundays showcase The Playgirls, regulars of RuPaul’s Drag Race, coming out dressed to the nines in head-to-toe sequence performing to a packed house. Not just for night owls, Toucans Tiki Lounge also offers all-day happy hour, $4-5 drink specials on Thursdays from 3 p.m. till midnight. The bar menu also offers Polynesian classics, such as the Bahama Mama with Malibu Rum, coffee liqueur and pineapple juice to quench your thirst after hitting the dance floor.         

Toucans Tiki Lounge
2100 N Palm Canyon Dr
Palm Springs, CA 92262