Indianapolis businesses that cater directly to the LGBTQ+ community provide performance opportunities for artists, such as drag performers and DJs, good food and drinks, and safe spaces to gather.

Stay updated with gay events in Indianapolis |


Gay bars and restaurants are important because, in establishments made without queer people in mind, they may feel out of place or even be harassed, said James Alexander, assistant general manager at Almost Famous and a manager at Tini. Gay bars offer LGBTQ+ community members a place to go in which they can be comfortable and treated as humans, they said.

It’s important that these spaces remain open, as a business and to the public, so people in and outside of the LGBTQ+ community can enjoy the bars and experience queer culture, said Alexander, stage name Duchess Morningstar

These are establishments in Indianapolis which cater directly to the LGBTQ+ community:

Gregs Our Place
The establishment is split into a few rooms, offering different areas for billiards, playing darts, watching performances and grabbing a drink at the bar.
This gay bar has been in business since 1980. What started out as a one-room bar named the Wawase became one of the first levi-leather — or denim and leather — bars in Indianapolis within one year of its opening, according to its website. The business has since remained a part of the gay bar scene.
Gregs Our Place routinely hosts drag performance nights, featuring artists such as Sage Summers, Heather Bea and Brooklyn Burroughs, and drag pageants. Other weekly events include screenings of “Judge Judy” and “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” queeraoke and show tune Sundays, where the TV monitors around the bar and open spaces broadcast famous songs and scenes from movie musicals.

Downtown Olly’s
Each week, Downtown Olly’s hosts karaoke, comedy, trivia, drag and more karaoke. This restaurant offers weekly events that cater toward an LGBTQ+ audience, such as "Kendra’s Karaoke Party!" hosted by drag queen Kendra Stone, in addition to serving up wings, burgers and pizzas.
The main bar area looks like a classic diner, with multiple booths and condiment stands in the middle of the tables, with a large bar and a small area reserved for performers and karaoke singers. The back patio, named The Backyard, offers another space for customers and performers.

Downtown Olly’s was named the LGBTQ Venue of the Year at the 2022 Industry Excellence Awards because of their commitment to serving the community, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an announcement of the Bar and Restaurant Expo winners.

English Ivy’s
This cozy restaurant and late-night bar, which is open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., serves up almost every meal, from brunch to dinner, and hand-crafted cocktails at night. Their daily food menu, includes items such as pizza, taco salad, honey ginger salmon and ahi tuna. Brunch items, such as biscuits and gravy, are served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Their drink specials, which vary daily, include $2 wells and domestic beers on Tuesdays and $5 margaritas on Thursdays.
The interior of this neighborhood pub is decorated with darker furniture — multiple tables, a few booths and some chairs pushed up to the bar — and multiple pride flags. It has dark ceilings, from which many illuminating light fixtures dangle, and large windows on one side of the establishment. English Ivy's co-owner Sam Scott said about 80% of the bar's clientele are regulars, calling the bar a "gay Cheers," referencing the bar in the 90s sitcom "where everybody knows your name."
The eatery located in the Saint Joseph neighborhood is not a dance club, but rather a “gay-thering” place for members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies, according to its website. It’s a place to relax and to stop by before heading downtown.

A two-story modern martini bar on Mass Ave, this business serves a wide variety of hand-crafted drinks, wine bubbles and brews. Some of their featured cocktails include the Scarlet Rot, a rum cocktail with Fassionola syrup, orange, falernum, bitters and an absinthe rinse, and Nacho Verde, made with tequila, a poblano chili liquor, lime and coconut cream.
TV screens around the space are used to project different videos, shows or movies selected by the on-duty bartender. Monday through Thursday, theme nights such as "True Crime Tuesday" dictate what genre the bartender can choose. Outside of the theme nights, the workers play music videos mainly ranging from dance music to top 40s, said manager James Alexander.
Most days, the establishment remains a classic cocktail bar. On Friday and Saturday nights, employees open the second floor, which has the third bar and dance floor, and Tini transforms into a nightclub.

Metro Nightclub and Restaurant
Floor one of Metro is a comfy restaurant with green walls, brown and blue furniture and multiple light fixtures that make the space bright and airy. Floor two of Metro has a second bar, a pool table and dark but open spaces for mingling and dancing. Out back, a tall wooden fence surrounds a large patio space with multiple tables, chairs and an awning.
These three areas of the bar make Metro a one-stop shop for any night-out vibe, ranging from beers and conversation to cocktails and dancing.
The bar and restaurant is open Wednesday through Sunday, offering up drink specials, DJ nights, queeraoke every Thursday and "Retro at the Metro," a queer dance night where participants wear outfits from different decades.

Almost Famous
This classic cocktail bar is the nighttime persona of a restaurant created by Tini owner Curtis McGaha. By day, this establishment is Crema, an espresso bar. By night it is Almost Famous, an “everyone bar,” which does not market itself as a gay bar but caters to queer people, said assistant general manager James Alexander, stage name Duchess Morningstar.
The space features light pink walls, a few green plush booths and multiple small wooden tables. In the back left corner is a small stage that is the performance site for local drag artists, comedians and musicians. Some events hosted by the bar include Emergence, a once-a-month amateur drag competition, and Dark Mass, a dance party inspired by the former Indy queer community event Low Pone.

Zonie’s Closet
Drag is the focal point of Zonie’s Closet and it has been since before the bar was purchased by co-owners and partners Lori Clubs and Denice Benefiel about 14 years ago.
For many years, Zonie’s has been one of the main places to see professional performers and one of the few gay bars to host open stage nights for amateur artists. Drag queens such as Pat Yo Weave and Silky Ganache had some of their first performances at this bar, Benefiel said.
About seven weeks ago, the bar eliminated its Wednesday open stage nights because the bar is closing Aug. 6 and the owners had to reduce hours and events. For the next few weeks, Zonie's Closet will be open Friday and Saturday for drag performances and Sunday for drag queen bingo and a male dancing show. The bar will host a final open stage competition on July 27.

Gayout Rating - from 0 ratings.
This ip address is limited.