Charlotte’s Best LGBTQ+ Bars
The Queen City has a vibrant and busy gay scene, with something happening virtually every day of the week. Charlotte has no shortage of queer hot spots, from nightclubs and sports bars to lounges and “Sunday Funday” oases.
by Dean McCain
Area: East Charlotte
If you’ve got dancing on your mind and need to move your hips, Azucar is your nightclub. Rising-star DJs, extravagant drag queens and studly go-go dancers make this Latin venue one to guarantee a wild night out. The fun and flashy nightclub is all about dancing whenever, and with whomever, you want.
Located down South Boulevard, in the Lower South End (LoSo) area, this casual dance club is a welcoming spot for all types. Check Argon’s online calendar for frequently hosted themed nights like leather gear parties, Latin nights, line dancing lessons, karaoke and even table-top card game tournaments. Saturday nights on the dance floor are some of the best on the scene.
For over 30 years, Chasers has served as a welcoming space for everyone to enjoy a night of high-energy dancing and daily drink specials. Against the glow of neon lights, go-go dancers join you on the dance floor an electric experience. Check Chasers calendar for regular events, such as drag shows, game nights, theme parties and more.
Neighborhood: Plaza Midwood
Hattie’s Tap and Tavern is another great pick for a lowkey night out. Hattie’s is a friendly neighborhood joint featuring local brews on draft, a massive patio that allows dogs, themed nights ranging from comedy shows to burlesque and everything in between. Though not designated as an “LGBT bar,” this taproom is a favorite particularly for ladies and femmes in the community.
Neighborhood: Plaza Midwood
This funky Plaza Midwood bar is open to anyone who might like smooth jazz, karaoke, live art performances or a stiff Tiki drink. Petra’s is a fun, lowkey atmosphere catering to anyone looking for a creative scene. Don't miss Hazy Sundays, every first, third and fifth Sunday, for an afternoon of deep house cuts and dancing on the back patio.
Neighborhood: Wesley Heights
The Scorpio is Charlotte’s oldest gay bar and one of the most consistent for big crowds and wild times. Drag shows are the main draw here, with the dance floor clearing on Fridays or Saturdays for some seriously high-energy spectacles. The Scorpio has one of the most diverse crowds of any Charlotte gay bar, by age, race and gender expression. The venue is 18 and older and cash only.
In the mood for watching a game, playing a round of pool and having a few cold ones with the local rugby guys? Sidelines is the gay sports bar for you. It’s a no-frills spot with a friendly, neighborhood-crowd feel. Start your night here before amping it up next door at Argon.
Located off I-85 and near the airport, The Woodshed is Charlotte’s only gay bar catering specifically to the leather crowd. Once you enter The Woodshed, you’ll be treated to friendly faces on both sides of the bar, cheap drinks, low lights and Dolly on the jukebox. The back patio is where the real party is, featuring a leather shop where Dirty South Leather crafts custom harnesses and other sexy gear. Whether you’re on the prowl for bears, pups or otters, this spot is for you.