Louisville is without a doubt the gayest city in Kentucky (though Lexington is a very close second). Here you can find gay sports leagues, gay-owned restaurants, and so many pride flags it’s hard to tell where the true gayborhood really is. So it’s no wonder we have plenty of fabulous gay bars in Louisville as well!
Is Louisville queer-friendly because we score 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index or because we make most of the country’s disco balls? Who cares! Louisville is a great place for you and your best Judys to visit.
One highlight of Louisville’s gay scene is the nightlife. We may not have a lot of gay bars, but we make up for quantity with quality, hunny. So hop off the apps and meet some great locals in person at some of our award-winning gay bars in Louisville.
Best Gay Bars In Louisville
The gay scene in Louisville is a great balance between big city and small town. Our community is close-knit and you will find all types of folks at our bars. You may find drag queens at the bear bar or leather daddies socializing at a drag show.
We’re a community that supports one another and we push for creating inclusive spaces for everyone. It’s the reason why I love showing my friends the gay bars in Louisville. Since you can’t get a grand tour from yours truly, here are some of the best gay bars in Louisville.
Chill Bar in the Highlands neighborhood is one of the most popular gay bars in Louisville, and it was even on Yelp’s Top 100 Gay Bars in the US in 2021. The entire vibe here is, well, chill, and it’s a great place to meet up with friends or make some new ones!
Chill Bar is a renovated 2-story shotgun style home and you can still see some amazing features of this near century-year-old home like their original hardwood floors as well as fireplaces and mantel that were part of the home.
Play Dance Bar
If you’re looking for a place to celebrate a birthday or go clubbing with your friends, Play Dance Bar is the place to be. When you walk in you’re going to feel like you’re in a clean, classy club, with white floors, neon lights, and white walls decorated with portraits of their resident performers.Play is known for being a drag bar and you can find some of your favorite RuPaul’s Drag Race queens performing there during special events. They have a state-of-the-art stage and is home to some of the best drag productions in the city.
They have two shows on Wednesday-Sunday at 9pm and 11pm, and an additional show at 1am on Friday and Saturday, which features a variety of queens, and sometimes drag kings and male entertainers. When they’re not doing drag shows you may find the stage being used for various pageants and even some queer theater performances.
Big Bar is a staple in the community and has often been named the Original LGBT Bar in the Highlands and in 2021, was also named in Yelp’s Top 100 Gay Bars in the US (look mom, we have two on the list!).
If it’s your first time visiting you may not know that prior to May 2022, this bar was roughly 500 sqft. Talk about a big bar, amirite? However the bar has quadrupled in size and now, in addition to an amazing patio, has an upstairs lounge area.
This lounge area gives Willy Wonka meets 60s psychedelic vibes. The extra-long neon green couch, purple stools and background of exposed brick makes it the place to sit, chat, and maybe dance a little. I think this goes without saying but don’t lick the wallpaper. I can assure you, it doesn’t taste like snozberries.
PRIDE Bar + Lounge
Yes, I’m aware this bar is not technically in Louisville, but Pride Bar is literally right over the river and is the only gay bar in southern Indiana, which makes it a pretty special place!
This bar offers ample parking and no cover charge for their drag shows, and they bring in a variety of performers ranging in experience which makes this a great little hometown bar for anyone who wants to kick back and watch a fun little drag show. They also have a great patio with twinkling lights for folks to socialize if they need a break from all the queens!
Pride Bar has taken care of me many nights with their signature drink, Pride Punch. I honestly can’t tell you what’s all in it. But it’s sweet, strong and looks like a rainbow. Need I say more?
Outside of their Saturday night drag shows, Pride Bar has an event every third Friday called B*tches ‘N Gravy event hosted by the hillbilly harlot, Baby St. Jane and it’s truly amazing. It focuses more on burlesque performances, and may even throw in some drag kings and poi dancers for good measure.
Skip grandma’s house when you’re going over the river and check out Pride Bar instead. She’ll understand.