BEST GAY BAR, BEST LESBIAN BAR - 2006
The Town House
1415 University Ave. W.
St. Paul, MN 55104
Could the Cities' best gay bar and best lesbian bar be the same place? Though we traditionally separate the sexes when it comes to picking the ultimate GLBT hangouts, this boy-girl bar is the perennial favorite. The long-lived Town House attracts a mixed crowd and offers the best of many worlds: a laid-back neighborhood-pub feel along the lines of Minneapolis's 19 Bar, old-world charm à la Nye's, and just a smattering of dance-party merriment. The Town House has long been a great, non-cruisy hangout that typically attracted a somewhat older crowd. About a year ago, the cost-conscious younger set discovered the St. Paul establishment and its of-another-era drink specials. The bar's Wednesday night dance party ($5 cover, $1 drinks) is especially happening, with a just-about even mix of men and women hanging out, playing pool, drinking cheap beer, and dancing to well-selected R&B, top 40, and rock on the small, active dance floor. Weekends are more lesbian-centric and feature the redoubtable cabaret singer-pianist Lori Dokken, who presides Thursdays through Saturdays in the WWII-era piano lounge. There's karaoke on Mondays and Tuesdays, drag on Thursdays and Sundays, and unpretentious good vibes nightly.