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Downtown is home to many of the Queen City gay bars and clubs. Others are around the University area on the Ludlow Avenue Strip, and along Hamilton Street in the North Side.
Pride, this year coordinated by the local Gay Chamber of Commerce will kick off Friday July 2nd, 2010 as groups walking from each side of the Ohio River meet on the bridge, to be followed by an area-wide pub crawl on chartered buses.
Saturday events will include a water party at Fountain Square, a Tea Dance and pool party at the Millenium Hotel, and an Equinox Ball (location tba).
The parade begins at 11am Sunday downtown on Broadway to 5th Street, followed by PrideFest at Fountain Square until 4pm. See local media for more events and venues as they're announced.
Popular with gay visitors to Cincinnati, especially this year during Pride events of Memorial Day weekend, the
Millenium Hotel (150 W. 5th; 866-866-8086) has downtown convenience and reasonable rates.
Just across the river the Weller Haus (319 Poplar St, Belleview; 800-431-4287) is a five room gay-friendly guesthouse in a pair of 1880's era Victorian Gothic homes. All rooms have private baths and modern amenities.
Bars and restaurants
Adonis (4601 Kellogg), open Saturdays to all (Fridays reserved for special events only), is a big multi-entertainment complex alongside the Ohio River, with dance club, video bar, jazz bar, cabaret room, and outdoor deck with a swimming pool. The lounges feature blazing fireplaces, and there's plenty of parking. Saturday Show Gurls feature regular and guest drag performers.
Below Zero (1122 Walnut St) is an up-market downtown lounge with gay-friendly ambience, piano, drag divas, karaoke and show tunes sing-alongs.
Bullfishes (4023 Hamilton), a mostly women Northside dance bar, has karaoke, pool table, and theme nights.
Club BronZ (4029 Hamilton) is a Northside neighborhood bar with dancing, a generally young mix, heated courtyard, lots to watch on TV, and drag entertainent.
Scheduled to open in late March 2010,
Club Nonta (4023 Hamilton Ave) reckons to become Cincinnati's hottest new dance club with shows and the premiere of the Nonta Boys.
Dock (603 Pete Rose Way W), a local legend dance club with a 25 year history of high-energy music and throbbing lights, sits beneath high bridges spanning the river, just west of the stadium. The scene is more relaxed in their video bar with pool table at the front. The Dock is open Wednesday through Thursday with a different theme every night, and dancing until 4am on weekends.
Golden Lions (340 Ludlow) another old favorite, known for good strong and cheap drinks, is located on an appealing street, good for a stroll with shops and cafes, up by the University.
Hamburger Mary's (909 Vine St) back again after a short change of name, the place where anyone can eat, drink, and be themselves! Generally boisterous, always fun and friendly, the restaurant serves burgers, pizzas, and salads plus more upscale entree offerings. Their nightclub and bar has nightly entertainment and a full schedule of special events.
Little Bit (2401 Vine St) a mostly women's video bar where all are welcome, has karaoke, pool games and Friday night drag shows.
On Broadway (817 Broadway) is a small and friendly downtown bar with a neighborly mixed crowd, big screen videos, an outdoor patio, and live entertainment that includes drag shows; also bear and leather special events.
Parkside Cafe (1024 E. McMillan St) is popular for breakfast, lunch or just coffee; also with Sunday brunch and free Wi-Fi internet access.
Serpent (4042 Hamilton Ave), a Northside men's leather bar has very low lighting - so you can imagine the rest. They also have an outdoor patio, pool room and leather shop.
Shooters (927 Race St) the country-western music dance bar of much wood and many years draws a mostly male crowd.
Simon Says (428 Walnut St) downtown business district favorite for men -especially bears, with strong drinks, and a long history (see the website).
Subway (609 Walnut St) is a downtown walk-down bar with strong pours, good prices, food, Saturday drag shows and an open welcome to all.
Old Street Saloon (13 Old St, Monroe) is a "Cheers for Queers" up north towards Dayton, with Saturday floor shows, and Thursday karoake and taco bar.
Over the river in Covington Kentucky, there are two new places appealing to gay people: the Avenue Lounge (411 Madison Ave), an urban concept nightspot with a diverse crowd; and the Seven Zero One (701 Bakewell St). Also in Covington is long-time favorite, the Yadda Club (404 Pike) party and dance bar.
While you're on the Kentucky side, check out the Crazy Fox (901 Washington Ave), in Newport, for a mixed gay/straight crowd, live music and games.
If a good movie is what you crave, the Esquire Theatre (320 Ludlow) has all the best current art-house films, located amid a cluster of interesting shops, restaurants, and cafes on the Ludlow Strip near U.C.
GLBT News, the area gay paper, also has online listings at Rainbow Cincinnati.
Other helpful gay Ohio sites include: the Gay People's Chronicle, and the Word, the Indianapolis gay paper with regional coverage that includes Cincinnati.
CityBeat is the local alternative weekly paper for area news, plus dining, arts and entertainment listings.