Updated: November 2022
The number has grown to 27!
Queer, and especially lesbian bars have been slowly disappearing since their high point in the late 1980s (when an estimated 200 lesbian bars existed in the country). As of 2020 only 21 queer women's bars remained when Lea DeLaria (Orange is the New Black) launched The Lesbian Bar Project, a grassroots-fundraising-turned-documentary-film-, to support and celebrate the last lesbian clubs.
In this updated slideshow, Out Traveler presents both the surviving 27 lesbian bars and clubs launched or reopened since.
Chicago's Nobody's Darling isn't exclusively lesbian, but it was founded by two Black queer women, Angela Barnes and Renauda Riddle, so we're counting it. Opened in 2021 in the Windy City gaybhorhodd of Andersonville, quickly became an institution and a national finalist for a James Beard award.
When The Sports Bra opened in 2021, it became the first women’s sports bar in the world. And this isn’t just a gathering space for women to watch sports, but a space for folks to watch women’s sports. The brainchild of lesbian owner Jenny Nguyen, The Sports Bra in Portland also centers women-owned food and spirits.
In early 2022 the self-declared lesbian bar Doc Marie's opened in Portland, Oregon to throngs of patrons, ready for the first queer women's bar in the famously queer & wierd northwest city since the closure of The Egyptian in 2010. It closed the next day over plumbing problems and employee walk offs. Doc Marie's reopened in August 2022.
Dorothy, located downstairs at 2500 W Chicago Ave., is a lesbian cocktail lounge “for every friend of Dorothy.” Dave’s currently has a GoFundMe page to open a permanent space in Astoria.