BEST GAY/LESBIAN BAR (1999)
For some unfathomable reason, the Saloon has shied away from the funky house music that made its Thursday nights central to Twin Cities nightlife last year. As a result the lanky club kids who stirred up the mix (including most of Minneapolis club life's queer contingent) have been replaced by even more monolithically buff men dressed in baseball caps and blue jeans, apparently hell-bent on disproving the myth of an inborn queer fashion sense. Still, on Tuesday nights Monte Hillman is working his brand of house for a small but appreciative crowd, and even if the rest of the week's music is sometimes saccharine enough to outdo KDWB, the crowd is always enthusiastic, if occasionally reeking of desperation. And unlike Club Metro, the St. Paul lesbian club, the Saloon is in the middle of a downtown, thus offering avenues of retreat to antsy drama queens who are convinced the party is better some place else. Though it probably isn't.