The capital city of the U.S. state of Louisiana, Baton Rouge, is the political hub of the state with a location of historic importance. Set right on the Istrouma Bluff just upriver from the Mississippi River Delta, this area proved to be a spot of prime business development and a hub of culture with immigrants from both European nations and Africa. Though New Orleans, an hour and a half away, has a more extensive list of LGBT bars, Baton Rouge does have a few gems of its own.
George’s Place is a laid back gay bar that attracts mostly male clientele, though anyone and everyone is welcome. With karaoke every Wednesday and Thursday as well as drag bingo and a stage setup especially for drag shows, George’s Place has been making history in Baton Rouge since 1970. Once an underground haven for both openly gay and closeted individuals, George’s has since been renovated with the drag stage and murals that have added a certain charm to the place. In addition to the friendliest service around and a guaranteed fun time, George’s also proactive with the local Baton Rouge gay community in other ways, whether it be fundraisers for the fight against AIDS or support of the local gay Mardi Gras Krewes. George’s Place offers a cozy and welcoming atmosphere to all who enter, attracting locals, out-of-town visitors, and any other open-minded, gay-friendly patrons looking to have a good time.
Hound Dogs is a dive bar open to all with unique décor, oddball clientele, laid-back bartenders, and karaoke Thursday nights. With a pool table, jukebox, pool table, and events like drag queen bingo, Hound Dogs presents a scene that is both inclusive and diverse. Like most bars in Baton Rouge, however, be aware that Hound Dogs is a smoking environment and the closed space can get a bit stuffy. Located at the heart of historic Spanish Town, Hound Dogs is always looking to welcome new members into its little community. Overall, it’s a great place to hang out with a group or to meet new people.
Splash is a gay nightclub known for its drag nights, long evenings of DJ dancing, and other themed occasions. With two levels, the top floor is laid out like a lounge with sofas and a balcony, so you can enjoy watching those having a good time in the dance space below. Also in the lower level dance area is a stage accompanied by lighting effects to match the music, a disco ball, and the occasional fog mister that keeps the party-going crowd cool and moving. Offering multiple rooms, there is also space to hangout by the bar, a pool room, and a video bar with TVs. There is usually a cover charge, though the amount depends on the entertainment for the evening (but if you arrive before 11pm, it’s free). Splash is primarily a gay bar that mostly attracts the college-age crowd, though all are welcome—LGBT or straight. On a Saturday night, Splash is the place to be, with its non-stop dancing until 2am.
Spanish Moon is a compact, gay friendly bar with space for hosting live bands and other events like comedians and art shows. While it is not exclusively an LGBT bar, Spanish Moon attracts a crowd that is inclusive and just looking to have a good time. With a variety of music and the occasional themed nights, karaoke nights and rumors of hauntings, Spanish Moon is a unique venue with all kinds of intrigue. On first sight you might not think the brick building has much to offer, but when you walk into Spanish Moon you will be surprised at the space it occupies—two levels with a dance and sitting area on the first floor and a kind of dive bar pool hall upstairs. With old wood, new lights, and a huge bar area Spanish Moon create an ambiance perfect for all kinds of bar-goers, looking to just hangout or to tear up the dance floor..
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