Visiting Las Vegas is fun for anyone gay or straight but if you want to go out on the town a as couple (showing affection, holding hands) you might want to avoid the tourist flooded areas and venture into our local havens.
1. See a drag show at a local bar
Phired Up Fridays at The Phoenix is always a good time if you are into drag queen banter and over the top performances. Keyska Diva is a hilarious hostess who will force you to pay attention to her and her special guests. The show is scheduled to start at 11 PM with audience participation games in between and Go-Go dancers before and after with live DJ.
The Phoenix Bar & Lounge is open 24/7 with gaming and full bar. Phired Up Friday starts at 9 PM with DJ and drink specials (usually a liquor or beer bust is available for $10). Go-Go dancers go on through the night starting at 10 PM.
Local tips: Tip the queens. DON’T walk across the “stage.” Ask the bartender for drink specials. The show never starts on time.
2. Eat at a local hot spot in the Arts District
Mundo at Mingo Kitchen & Lounge is always welcoming to gay clientele (half the staff is a bunch of queens) and the food is always satisfying. The edamame, wings and brussels sprouts are great starters but there are no wrong choices here. The Mundo apps and Mingo small bites are perfect for eating small before a night out on the town or have the bistro burger to fill up.
For reservations or information, call 702.685.0328.
Local tips: Don’t have an attitude with the staff or they will check you. Ask to try the Alien Tequila (same owners as the restaurant). You can also order through Postmates.
3. See a movie Downtown
Luxury theaters are popping up everywhere with reclining seats but the Eclipse Theater has taken it a step further. Sit back with push button service and order specialty cocktails plus restaurant quality food. What takes Eclipse to the next level is having a full bar and no one under 21 is allowed after 6 PM making the theater perfect for date night. The service staff and security are welcoming to all guests so enjoy being yourselves.
Local tips: There is a free parking garage hidden behind the theater. Check their Facebook for deals or discount. Purchase tickets online and pick your seats early.
4. Shop where the locals shop
Shopping on the Strip is great if you are looking for the latest trends from high-end brands and retailers, but Las Vegas has options for every shopper if you know where to go. Town Square is a beautiful shopping center with many premium retailers, center park, movie theater and plenty of bars and restaurants. If you want to get away from the Strip and do some walking around outside with plenty of shade, Town Square will not disappoint.
Local tips: Look for the free valet and free parking garage. The H&M here is the best off the Strip. Check their website for upcoming events (usually free entertainment and movies in the center park).
5. Gamble and enjoy free drinks away from big casinos
Yes, you can do this almost anywhere but those watered-down cocktails at big casinos are a joke, plus it takes 30 minutes to get a drink! Luckily Vegas has plenty of gay bars with gaming. The oldest gay bar in Vegas, Bastille on 3rd (formerly Snicks) offers keno, poker and slots with touch screens just north of the Strip. A little further drive or Lyft can take you to Flex, Charlie’s or Quadz all offering 24-hour gaming and known for paying out!
Local tips: Put a $20 in before ordering drinks so the bartender knows you’re playing. If no seats are open tell the staff you want to gamble and they will find you a seat. Tip well to keep the free drinks coming.