This past August, the love for Charlotte’s LGBTQ+ community could be felt throughout the city streets at the Charlotte Pride Parade. And you can take heart in the fact that, although Charlotte Pride 2017 may have already come and gone, that love for the LGBTQ+ community hasn’t gone anywhere.
There are spaces in Charlotte that were specifically designed to be safe and supportive for all those in the queer community. So, we set out to find places in Charlotte that proudly identify as LGBTQ+ friendly to make it easier to keep the love from Pride weekend going all year long.
(1) Snug Harbor
1228 Gordon St, snugrock.com
This nautical-themed hip-hop venue features live music from both local and regional artists, DJ nights, drag shows, karaoke and more. Snug Harbor is not shy about its inclusive atmosphere.
“We absolutely embrace the full spectrum of human sexuality and identity in all its wonderfully diverse expressions,” Snug Harbor’s owner Jason Michel said.
1919 Commonwealth Ave, petrasbar.com
With rotating art exhibits, signature martinis, multiple fully-stocked bars, a string-lit patio, live music from artists of all kinds, open mic nights and songwriter workshops, Petra’s offers a little bit of everything. Visit on Wednesdays for karaoke starting at 10 p.m. or join Petra’s P-Ride (a weekly social bike ride through the city) on Thursdays at 6:45 p.m.
(3) Hattie’s Tap & Tavern
2918 The Plaza, hattiescharlotte.com
This dog-friendly dive sports bar, sandwiched between Plaza Midwood and NoDa, features a full bar, a large patio space, tons of both board and video games, and a massive craft beer selection. Mark your calendars for bingo on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. and karaoke on Thursdays at 10 p.m.
(4) NoDa Company Store
3221 Yadkin Ave, thecompanystorenoda.com
Scott Lindsley and Joey Hewell opened NoDa Company Store in 2016 with the goal of creating a laidback, welcoming “back porch” for the neighborhood. Set in an old mill house in NoDa, you can head here to check out the work of local artists while you consume wine by the glass or by the bottle, wide variety of local craft beer, a rotating house-made sangria selection, snacks, and more.
(5) Common Market
2007 Commonwealth Ave, commonmarketisgood.com
This all-in-one bar, bottle shop, convenience store and deli’s goal is to “bring people together, grow our communities, and celebrate our diversity,” according to its website. We’re all different, and that’s what we’ve got in common, so let’s toast to that notion with a drink from Common Market’s massive selection of beer, wine, cider, sake, and non-alcoholic beverages.
(6) The Bar at 316
316 Rensselaer Ave, bar316.com
One of the Queen City’s best-known LGBTQ+ friendly bars for more than 25 years, The Bar at 316 is often considered a “neighborhood gay bar” that is a welcoming space for locals and visitors alike. Check it out for weekly karaoke, game nights, drag shows, dancing, special entertainment, and more.
(7) The Woodshed Lounge
4000 Queen City Dr, woodshedlounge.com
This laidback, friendly, gay leather bar offers daily drink specials, four bars, a massive patio and a new Biergarten. They have one simple request laid out on their website – “Please leave your DRAMA, your DRUGS, your PREJUDICES, your RELATIONSHIP PROBLEMS, your EXCUSES, your TEMPER, your WEAPONS, your ISSUES, and your FOOLISHNESS outside!”
(8) Central Station
2131 Central Ave, woodshedlounge.com/central_station
On its website, Central Station defines itself as “a gay/lesbian/transgender bar where you don’t have to get dressed up”. It’s casual and laidback, featuring friendly and skilled bartenders, beer specials, pool tables, video games and a jukebox.
3217 The Plaza, chaserscharlotte.club
If you’re looking for pool, dancing and drag shows, look no farther than Chasers. Owned by the Queen City’s own Tiffany Storm, Chasers features some of the best local and national drag superstars, as well as nightly performances from male go-go dancers.
(10) Sidelines Sports Bar & Billiards
4544 South Blvd, thesidelinesbar.com
According to its website, Sidelines Sports Bar & Billiards has been known as “the accepting place where everyone is welcome and respected” since it opened 10 years ago. As the name implies, it is a casual sports bar with plenty of TVs, free pool, dartboards, beer pong, and a variety of weekly drink specials.
(11) The Nickel Bar
2817 Rozzelles Ferry Rd, facebook.com/The-Nickel-Bar-605506552902168
Charlotte’s only urban neighborhood social/dance club and gay bar, The Nickel Bar is a culturally diverse space that hosts a primarily male crowd looking to dance to music from well-known local and regional DJs.
(12) The Scorpio
2301 Freedom Dr, thescorpio.com
Charlotte’s longest running nightclub complex, The Scorpio has been catering to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities for 49 years. Check it out for great drinks, music from a variety of DJs, fabulous live shows, pool tables, video games and more.
(13) White Rabbit
920 Central Ave, whiterabbitbooks.com
Known as the number one shopping destination for the LGBTQ+ community in Charlotte, White Rabbit is a gift shop that sells a wide variety of products, from cards and books to adult novelties and designer underwear and beyond.
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Additional Resources for Charlotte’s LGBTQ+ Community
In addition to the brick-and-morter locations listed above, the following organizations are working to make Charlotte a more inclusive and welcoming space for those all across the spectrum of sexuality and gender identity.
Stonewall Sports is a not-for-profit sports league for the LGBTQ+ and Ally community in Charlotte. This inclusive, low-cost sports league organizes all kinds of activities, including bowling, dodgeball, kickball, softball, volleyball, run clubs, and more. In addition to providing the equipment and facilities for the activities, they also give players shirts and organize fun social and community events.
Reel Out Charlotte
Known for the past 10 years as GayCharlotte Film Festival, Reel Out Charlotte is an annual LGBTQ+ film festival showcasing the best in local LGBTQ-themed films and documentaries each year. Throughout the year, the organization also hosts film premieres, artist and filmmaker panels, receptions, and more.
LGBTQ+ Meetups in Charlotte
Meetup can be a valuable tool whether you’re new to Charlotte, seeking to try new activities, or build new relationships. There are a variety of different groups for you to choose from in Charlotte’s LGBTQ+ meetups listing, depending on your hobbies and interests.
One World Dragon Boat
One World Dragon Boat is exactly what it sounds like – An organization that specializes in dragon boating, a team water sport that originated in China more than 2,000 years ago. One World Dragon Boat is North Carolina’s first LGBTQ+ and inclusive paddle sport organization – Designed to provide a healthy, athletic and supportive outlet for LGBTQ members and allies.
This Charlotte-based advocacy group fights for equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community, in addition to providing counselling and outreach services for people that are at risk or who may be struggling with their sexual orientation or identity.