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LGBT-Friendly Detroit

Posted on Tuesday, October 28 2014 in Nightlife

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Visiting a new city can be a big adventure, but it often helps to have a road map of where to start. If you’re looking for LGBT-friendly nightlife and entertainment in Detroit, here are some suggestions.

Fabulous Ferndale

In metro Detroit, Ferndale, an inner suburb, is an inclusive and welcoming hub for the gay community. Diversity is celebrated here.

It’s the home base for Affirmations Gay and Lesbian Community Center, filled with resources that cater to the gay community. Drop by to find out what’s going on locally. Hop on a computer to surf the web, stop in the media center to borrow a book or video (on the honor system), or just hang out and enjoy the camaraderie.

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The Affirmations Gay and Lesbian Community Center, located in
downtown Ferndale, is a great resource to the gay community.

Check out SoHo, a gay bar with a casual, lounge-y vibe, killer martinis and daily drink specials. SoHo also hosts karaoke, trivia, dance parties and free pool nights.

Try Rosie O’Grady’s, a popular Irish pub for burgers, tableside tossed salads or fish and chips. Did we mention Taco Tuesdays? Rosie’s is a big supporter of the annual Ferndale Pride event and hosts ancillary Pride events the first Wednesday of every month.

Another standout neighborhood restaurant is Como’s, famous for its pizza and seasonal outdoor patio. Como’s has been around since 1961, so they’re doing something right. Late-nighters will appreciate the 4 a.m. weekend closing time.

Ready for Royal Oak

Head north on Woodward Avenue for more fun in Royal Oak. Five15 Media, Mojo and More is a popular book store, café and gift shop. Five15 presents Drag Queen BINGO, an audience participation comedy show, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, as well as Sunday brunch. The shows typically sell out in advance so reservations are a must.

Pronto has been a mainstay in Royal Oak for years, combining a restaurant, bakery and gay Video Bar all under one roof. It’s a good choice for a quiet meal with a date or to hang out and party. The bar hosts fun weekly TV viewing parties for shows like Ru Paul’s Drag Race, Glee and American Idol.

The luxury Emagine Theatre in Royal Oak screens LGBT films every Wednesday. Kick back with a beer, glass of wine or cocktail during the show. An after party follows inside the Star Lanes Events Center, where DJ Marquis keeps the dance floor hot, and the bar is open until 2 a.m. There’s also a bowling alley in the same complex if you’re up for it.

Take it Downtown

If there were such a thing as gay national historic landmarks, Menjo’s would be on the registry. Menjo’s, a legend in Detroit for more than four decades, has evolved into an entertainment complex — New Menjo’s Complex — with a nightclub, movies and shopping.

Also downtown are Adam’s Apple, Hayloft Saloon, Temptation Lounge, Club Gold Coast, a men’s dance club with live shows — and the list goes on. Let’s not forget Gigi’s, known for great drag shows.

Other places worth checking out while you’re in town: The Liberty Bar, a co-ed bar with an un-bar-like food menu in Pontiac and Stilleto’s in Inkster, a gay and lesbian dance nightclub and drag show, celebrating 20 years in business in 2014.

Looking for overnight accommodations? The Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, Detroit Marriott Troy and the Dearborn Inn have LGBT-friendly packages available.

For more information on Detroit hotels, dining, shopping, entertainment and attractions, go to visitdetroit.com.


Surely the list goes on. Where are some of your favorite places to hang out?


By: Michelle Fusco

Photo Credit: Ferndale Downtown Development Association (SoHo and Just 4 Us), Affirmations Gay and Lesbian Community Center (Affirmations Center)