BEST PLACE TO MEET SINGLE MEN (GAY) - 2007
This dark, unassuming Loring Park watering hole has been around since 1953, purportedly making it the oldest gay bar in the Twin Cities. The 19, however, defies all gay stereotypes. The bleary environs boast the finest pool tables in town, dartboards, pull tabs, and a jukebox with a diva quotient only slightly higher than most around town. It also has prices that wouldn't get you a glass of water at most downtown clubs. (A mug of Blue Moon for $2.50, anyone?) In other words, it's just a damn fine neighborhood bar whose clientele happens to be men who prefer to have sex with other men. Until 2002, the 19 Bar was a lowly 3.2 joint. And so, it took work to get sufficiently drunk to go home with the nearest warm body, no matter the lack of communication skills or personal hygiene. It's taken a while for the place to erase that stigma, but in recent times it's emerged as the hipster dive bar for gay boys. "For some reason in the last four or five months it's just completely packed wall to wall every Friday and Saturday night," notes one longtime observer of the scene. The 19 Bar also has one of the finest smoking patios in the Twin Cities—on which we recently overheard this rather affectionate cell phone conversation transpire. "What's up," asks the caller. "My dick up your butt," replies our fellow 19 Bar patron. This is how love blooms.