Long Beach is quickly becoming more and more of a safe haven for LGBTQ individuals with its queer spaces exploding in popularity.
While West Hollywood is considered the Mecca for anything LGBTQ Long Beach has a thriving queer community by the waterside.
Long Beach may be primarily known for its tourist attractions, art scene, bustling downtown, and its port — the largest in the nation — the city has a vibrant queer scene, built by local residents, is as open-minded and inclusive as anywhere in the state.
Long Beach has its own LGBTQ Center offering a library and health services tailored to the LGBTQ community. There’s also an LGBTQ swim team, other gay sports leagues, and even the city hosts its own Pride Parade and Festival. Even the mayor of Long Beach is an out and proud gay man, so it’s no wonder that the city would have its own bar scene catering to the community.
According to la.eater.com if you’re in the Long Beach area there are a few bars to start with.
Mineshaft is considered the anchor of Long Beach’s Broadway corridor, a mile long stretch between Alamitos Avenue and Cherry Avenue with the city’s densest collection of gay establishments. The bar, opened in 1977, literally looks like a mine shaft with exposed beams and wall decor adding to the theme. On weekend nights the space hosts a DJ and a small dance floor, but Mineshaft also has pool tables and a photo booth for those who choose to visit on a weeknight. The owners also own the Brit next door, which has yet to reopen after closing during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Falcon is not the biggest space but it boasts a nice sized dance floor, short lines to get in on the weekends and a friendly staff that would be more than happy to strike up a conversation.
SweetWater Saloon is cash only and has the most lesbian-centric clientele of all the establishments on the Broadway corridor, but they are open and welcome to all. Step inside and visit its long wraparound bar, numerous pool tables, and jukebox.
The Silver Fox is inspired by art deco design and looks like a set from 80s television show Miami Vice, but head inside to find a spacious bar area with karaoke (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Sundays) and a video DJ with go-go dancers on Friday and Saturday nights. They also have a spacious outdoor patio where gay sports leagues often gather after games on weekends.
Executive Suite is a three-level club with different theme nights throughout the week. After paying a cover charge guests can enjoy drink specials, go-go dancers and drag shows depending on the night of the week.