A list of Melbourne’s dedicated gay bars and clubs, ranked in no particular order
02.07.2021

A list of Melbourne’s dedicated gay bars and clubs, ranked in no particular order

Words by Arielle Richards

From Rainbow House Club to The 86, Poof Doof and beyond, we spotlight the Melbourne bars providing safe spaces for the queer community.

Let’s get one thing straight: all of Melbourne’s bars should be ‘queer friendly’. And they are, for the most part. Yet, there are many dedicated gay bars and clubs who have intentionally made space for the LGBTQIA+ community from the beginning.

To celebrate what these venues offer for the queer community and beyond, here’s a list of Melbourne’s dedicated gay bars and clubs, ranked in no particular order.

Stay up to date with what’s happening in Melbourne here.

Sircuit/Mollie’s Bar & Diner

Same owners, completely different venues. Upstairs at 103-105 Smith Street, you’ll find Mollie’s, a dedicated safe space for everyone. With a sunny terrace, sheltered from the elements and cozy interior, Mollie’s combines a focus on great, freshly-prepared food with a hint of sassy service. They really said dinner with a show… From Wednesday to Sunday you can enjoy your meal with a side of fabulous, raucous drag entertainment.

Downstairs is the famous Sircuit, which really needs no introduction. With free inclusive entry every night from Thursday to Sunday, Sircuit is the go-to if you like your evenings to end in sweat-soaked shambles. With a rotating roster of events, DJs and Queens, Sircuit is absolutely, always, on.

103-105 Smith St, Fitzroy. For more on Sircuit and Mollie’s, head here and here.

Pride of our Footscray Community Bar

Pride of our Footscray Community Bar is quietly nestled in the inner-west, opposite Footscray Market. Footscray’s dedicated LGBTQIA+ space, wholly community owned, Pride is a pioneering example of the possibilities that are open for co-op living, working and thriving. Locals have the opportunity to buy-in to the bar, strengthening the community surrounding the space. The bar has a pool table and offers a multitude of fabulous entertainment nightly, from comedy to live music, poetry, adult bingo and – of course – drag.

1/86-88 Hopkins St, Footscray. More info here.

Rainbow House Club

A cute neighbourhood bar committed to showcasing queer excellence five nights a week, Rainbow House Club offers a plethora of entertainment – from Wednesdays’ Tinkle, a “free queer piano bar” where you can score a free drink for having the gusto to sing, to Fisty’s Hyperpop Paradise, promising a rotating roster of iconic live performance and DJs on Sundays.

125 Smith St, Fitzroy. More info here.

Poof Doof

The name says it all! Possibly the most famous gay space in town, with a sister venue holding it down in Sydney, Poof Doof has recently undergone an inclusivity makeover. It is now, as their revamped slogan decries, “A gay club for all”. We love to see it.

386 Chapel St, South Yarra. More info here.

Evie’s Bar & Diner

Tucked away near the intersection of Smith and Gertrude is Evie’s. Did we expect anything less from Evie’s fabulous, aggressively-bubblegum and ultraviolet interior? With weekly events hosted by “the hottest queens in town” including Balls Deep Bingo and Queeraoke, Evie’s is an absolute must-visit.

230/232 Gertrude St, Fitzroy. More info here.

ADAM

Located at Inflation Entertainment Complex on King St, ADAM is Melbourne’s nudist bar for guys which also doubles as a club too. Known for hosting huge Thursday night parties, ADAM provides a safe space for trans and cis, same-sex attracted men to come and dance. Clothing is optional.

60 King St, Melbourne CBD. More info here.

The Laird

Melbourne’s longest-running gay owned and operated establishment. Since the ’80s, The Laird has been a fixture of the gay male community, having been granted a male-only status in 1998. The pub has accommodation and is a meeting place, haven and party space for both cis and trans same-sex attracted men.

149 Gipps St, Abbotsford. More info here.

The 86

Smith Street’s queer cabaret bar offers a nightly selection of fabulous shows, with a focus on drag performance. Former home to the popular Honcho Disko, The 86 is your certified go-to for entertainment, whether it’s comedy, burlesque or bingo… In short, all things high camp.

185 Smith St, Fitzroy. More info here.

DT’s Hotel

Over in Richmond, DT’s Hotel is a fuss-free cabaret space, pub and gay bar. A friendly queer local, at DT’s you’ll find classic pub fare, lovely locals, and maybe even some karaoke or trivia.

164 Church St, Richmond. More info here.

The Peel

Their slogan, “All roads lead to The Peel”, says it all, really. Open ‘til very late, The Peel is always there for you, beckoning in the night, the promise of a good boogie within. That is if you’re a man. A strict door policy applies: The Peel is for trans and cis, same-sex attracted men – straight males can attend as guests but are asked to be respectful and mindful of their behaviour during their time at the venue.

46 Peel St, Collingwood. More info here.

Sub Club

Honourable mention for this list has to go to Sub Club. While not a dedicated gay space per say, the club is undoubtedly a safe space for the wonderful community of queer babies who love the techno. While we truly miss Hugs&Kisses, Sub Club is somewhat filling the rowdy, frenetic, fun void it left in the CBD’s nightclub scene.

Flinders Ct, Melbourne CBD. More info here

Keen on another fun read? Check out our piece on the best spots in Melbourne to catch a drag show.