Kansas City's Gay Bars: Here for the Community
May 24, 2012
by John Long
With this June issue of Camp, we are pleased to introduce the Gay Pride Bar Guide section. We plan to publish a bar guide twice a year in this format, and the next one will be for our September Show-Me State Rodeo issue.
This Gay Pride Bar Guide specifically focuses on the events planned for Pride weekend – June 1-3 -- at Bistro 303, Hamburger Mary’s, Missie B’s and OutaBounds. These four businesses came to us with the idea of promoting a great Pride weekend not only at the downtown festival, but also in the LGBT bars.
In an age when the LGBT community has become more mainstream on television and has gained ground politically, some people question why gays and straights have different bars.
Historically, gay bars were the only safe enclave where homosexuals could mix and be themselves, yet we all know that there were still police raids, like Stonewall. As recently as June 2009, there was a police raid on a gay bar in Fort Worth, Texas, known as the Rainbow Lounge. Ironically, it was on the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, when gay bar patrons fought back against police for the first time and the gay rights movement began.
Kansas City has had a legacy of many gay bars over the years. The best source for historical information about them is the archives of the GLAMA museum at UMKC, www.glama.us. One of their resources is a scanned page from the News Telegraph LGBT newspaper written in 1992 (take a look at http://library.umkc.edu/spec-col/glama/PDFs/History-Church.pdf). It describes the kind of harassment that went on in gay bars in Kansas City and explains that many of the bars had back doors to alleys where people could enter and exit without being seen. In fact, a bar called the Colony, according to the article, would display a sign on the front door on Saturday afternoons that said “Private Birthday Party” while the gay and lesbian customers held day-long tea dances inside.
The bars with events have advertised them in this special section with all the details.
Purgatory Pub Crawl
As a part of the June Pride celebrations, the bars of Kansas City are planning a unique pub crawl that you won’t want to miss. Named the “Purgatory Pub Crawl,” the participants will travel to several of our local gay bars on June 30. The bars participating are Bistro 303, Missie B’s, Sidekicks Saloon, OutaBounds, and Hamburger Mary’s. Along the way, participants choose whether they are naughty or nice, saint or sinner, headed to heaven or headed to hell -- hence the reference to purgatory. Depending on their drink choices, pub crawlers will receive prizes, tokens, gift cards and more throughout the evening at each of the bars. Participants will also be encouraged to dress the part of where they are going. So dig out your old Halloween costumes, angel wings, demon horns, priestly robes, and get ready for what is shaping up to be a massive event. Buses will shuttle participants from bar to bar, and the buses will fit the theme. Choose the luxurious heaven bus or the non-air conditioned, back-to-school living hell bus. At the end of the night, pub crawlers will gather to see who is crowned the best saint and the worst sinner. Proceeds from the event will go to Kansas City’s Heart of America Softball League.
Bar events for Pride weekend
Sunday, June 3
2nd annual “Dance Off With Your Pants Off”
This celebration for gay Pride month is a pants-optional, all you can drink, Miller Lite and Absolut vodka bust and good time. No clean underwear? That’s OK, you can enjoy the sights and booze just as much with your pants on.
Friday, June 1
Street Festival – Woman’s Power Happy Hour
KC’s leading lesbian musicians, all on one stage!
Hosted by Wonder Woman and Dirty Dorothy.
Dirty Dorothy, Daisy Buckët & the Girlie Show
A hilarious hour of comedy and fun. The girls will entertain and keep you laughing.
Mary’s Rainbow Riot
Dancing, drag, and continuous pumping music the rest of the night.
Hosted by Daisy Buckët and Dirty Dorothy.
Saturday, June 2
A tea dance benefit for KC Latino Gay Pride and Good Samaritan Project.
Hosted by DVJs Synematix.
Bear Bust: PRIDE
Fur. Muscle. Beef. Leather. Doesn’t matter. If you love guys who are guys, this is your event. Hosted by DJ Jeff-E and DJ James Torres.
Sunday, June 3
Drag Brunch Recovery!
Mary’s drag brunch, with an emphasis on hangover recovery! Don’t miss Daisy & the gals for this Pride weekend special. Hosted by Daisy Buckët.
Bad Music Sunday
All the greatest music videos from the ’60s-’80s -- complete with bad fashion and hair -- all afternoon and evening. Hosted by DVJ Brett Dietrich.
Friday, June 1
Enjoy a special show featuring RuPaul’s Drag Race: Season 2 contestant and Drag U professor Pandora Boxx!
Saturday, June 2
Kansas City’s favorite beauty, Sunny Delight, joins the Dirty Dorothy Show for fun and mayhem!
Sunday, June 3
Close out the weekend with Dirty Dorothy and all your favorite performers.
They’re celebrating Pride all month, and in particular, they’ll be part of the Pub Crawl on June 30. In addition they are planning a “Brew Divas Poker Challenge” benefit for the Heart of America Softball League Women’s Team on June 30 with registration at 12:15 p.m. and the game beginning at 1 p.m.
And here’s more information on all of the LGBT bars in the Kansas City metro:
303 Westport Rd.
Monday-Tuesday: 3 p.m.-midnight; Wednesday-Friday: 3 p.m.-1:30 a.m.; Saturday: 11 a.m.-1:30 a.m.; Sunday: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Weekend brunches, daily lunch, dinner and cocktail specials. The Bistro is always a fashionable place to meet your friends in an elegant setting inspired by the antique store owners. There’s also a beautiful outdoor patio and a private room available for parties.
3715 Main St.
Monday-Saturday: 9 a.m.-3 a.m. Closed Sundays.
Happy hour all day and “Rush Hour” from 4-6 p.m. Darts.
101 Southwest Blvd.
Monday-Saturday: 11 a.m.-1:30 a.m.; Sunday: 11 a.m.-midnight.
Whether you party or dine in the restaurant, the Glam Bar or the fabulous open-air second-floor deck, there is always something for everyone at Hamburger Mary’s. Dinner and drink specials throughout the week. Wednesday/Thursday Bingo night benefiting local charities; Mondays are Mary-oke; Sunday Drag Brunch; and Bad Music Sundays. Darts.
805 W. 39th St.
Sunday-Saturday: noon-3 a.m.
Everyone’s favorite drag-show bar with a stage and bar downstairs and additional bar and dance floor upstairs. Outdoor patio with its own bar. Darts, pool table. Dance floor and leather shop upstairs. Happy hour, noon-8 p.m. seven days a week, and drink specials nightly. Come by for the Dirty Dorothy shows on Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday nights, AbFab Friday Show, Manic Mondays Show and karaoke three nights a week -- Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.
Monday-Saturday: noon-1:30 a.m.; Sunday: noon-midnight. Kitchen open from 4-10 p.m. Monday-Friday and noon-10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Darts, sports games on the wide-screen TVs and daily food specials.
3707 Main St.
Sunday-Saturday: 1 p.m.-3 a.m. Sunday: open at noon.
Two bars and dance floor. Darts, country western, Latino nights, and the Belle Starr show.
413 E. 33rd St.
10 a.m.-1 a.m.
A friendly neighborhood bar in Midtown, there are two bars upstairs and downstairs. Weekday happy hour and drink specials. Darts, outdoor patio.
Monday-Friday: 3 p.m.-3 a.m.; Saturday: 5 p.m. – 3 a.m.
The newest bar in the Kansas City scene, Social is located in downtown Kansas City and features a nice lounge as well as a kitchen.
The Fox Bar
7520 Shawnee Mission Parkway
Shawnee Mission, Kan.
Monday: 6 p.m.-2 a.m.; Tuesday-Saturday: 1 p.m - 2 a.m.; Sunday: noon-2 a.m. Great weekly specials, MGRA Rodeo nights, dance floor, darts and pool tables.
The View on the Hill
204 Orchard St.
Kansas City, Kan.
Tuesday-Saturday: 4 p.m.-2a.m.; Sunday: noon-2 a.m.; closed Monday.
Dinner Friday 6-8 p.m., Taco Sunday 3-7 p.m. Darts. The View is the oldest gay bar in the Kansas City metro area, having been founded in 1983. It is located in the Strawberry Hill neighborhood of Kansas City, Kan.