It’s almost Bastille Day, which means it’s time for a round up of the Paris gay bars.
Funny thing first: Apparently enough visitors have complained about the famous shitty Parisenne ’tude toward “l’etrangers” that the 30,000 folks who work in the tourism trade got a new manual called “Do you speak Touriste?” last month. Soooo now the locals are probably even pissier. But not always true at night, after a few drinks or a bottle of wine!
Here are a few bars where the Paris fellas get rrreal friendly—even frisky—as the night progresses. [To be clear: We’re not promising you’re going to like the guy who’s getting handsy.]
It’s tiny but full of youngish, kooky, stylish, friendly geighs — both girls and boys. The basement has a small dance floor and the occasional dj as well, but this is not a DANCEFLOOR for folks looking for le clube discotheque. Saturdays it’s mostly for men, Thursdays are for the ladies. To find it, bring a map or a smart phone, as it’s not all that well marked. Bonus: cheaper drinks than most of the gay bars in Paris!
7 rue de la Verrerie, 4th
2. The Cud
This is an after hours club so you can’t even get in until midnight at the earliest — and shouldn’t bother trying until more like 2am. When the other bars close, this is where the guys who haven’t had it (found the guy) for the night, head.
Located off Rue du Temple on a tiny side street, the highlight of this bi-leveled club is probably the downstairs catacombs. It’s not the way it sounds, it’s not a sex club — the steamy area downstairs is just where the hottest folks head, and seems the liveliest. Perhaps because everyone down there has the least amount of clothing. The patrons — particularly below — are friendly, sometimes too friendly with Americans. So if you don’t want anyone to cop a feel, stay upstairs.
12 rue des Haudriettes, 3rd
What you’d expect for a big gay bar in the Marias, nothing more, nothing less. Never creepy, and totally depends on the night you go. Could be great, great DJ, sexy go-go boys and a hot crowd—or could be old man alert and ’roid rage guys on stage. For folks who have been to NYC, this is Splash for the City of Lights—always crowded, split-level and sometimes guys in showers.
The good news is that there are dozens of other gay bars in this ’hood. So if this one sucks the night you’re there, you’re only a block or less from several other options. (See Banana, below)
23 rue du Temple, 4th
Oh look…shower bar video clips!
4. In OUT
Finally out of the Marais and into the cooler, though visibly less gay Bastille area. It’s a hip bar for a more sophisticated crowd, not for the bears in ill fitting jeans or muscle ’boys’ in tight tops. Unlike the other bars, they’ve got some fairly interesting drinks (this is Paris, it’s not going to be INSANE mixology) — but you won’t have to drink a vodka and soda if you don’t want to. The area also has some of the best inexpensive restaurants in town, so there’s that to consider once you’re done with the so-so food in the Marais. But the downside there: if you hit this bar on a bad night, there aren’t really any other gay bars in the area to walk to.
241 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine, 11th
Since the Eagle dropped the leather/bear thing and changed up to TheLabo, this is the pretty much the last place for otters, cubs, bears and fans of hirsute gay male in Paris. It’s tiny, and the fact that everyone in here is kinda on the big side, makes it even more claustrophobic at times.
The good news is that where they are on the lively Rue des Lombards, they fill the terrace and spill onto the street every night of the week, beers in hand. Most importantly, it’s super friendly and the teensy downstairs dance floor is hilarious/worth the visit — featuring husky fellas getting down to Madonna. Be warned, some nights that’s a “dark room”.
6 rue des Lombards, 4th
Honorable mention: Everyone should go to the Banana Cafe once in their life. I mean…
Related: 10 Best Gay Bars in Barcelona