Celebrate inclusivity: Uncover 7 LGBTQ+ welcoming establishments in the Phoenix area

Celebrate inclusivity: Uncover 7 LGBTQ+ welcoming establishments in the Phoenix area

By Robert Gundran

May 19, 2024

Here are seven LGBTQ+ friendly bars and restaurants in metro Phoenix, inside and outside of the Melrose neighborhood.

Nearly 5% of Arizona’s adult population identified as LGBTQ+ in 2019, the latest data available from Gallup, and that number is likely to increase—according to a different Gallup poll, the percentage of adults who self-identify as LGBTQ+ rose to 7.6%, double what it was when Gallup first measured it in 2012. 

Despite attempts from local Republican lawmakers and anti-LGBTQ+ activists to threaten and harass queer people, other politicians and businesses serve as allies. Phoenix and surrounding towns offer safe and welcoming spaces for everyone to gather, celebrate, eat, drink, and enjoy the Valley. 

The Valley is very spread out, so there aren’t large concentrated LGBTQ+ neighborhoods like the Castro District in San Francisco or Northalsted in Chicago. What Phoenix does have is the Melrose District, a one-mile stretch of gay-friendly bars and restaurants on Seventh Avenue from Indian School Road to Camelback Road. 

Here are seven LGBTQ+ friendly bars and restaurants in metro Phoenix, inside and outside of the Melrose neighborhood.

 

Bars and clubs

Celebrate inclusivity: Uncover 7 LGBTQ+ welcoming establishments in the Phoenix area

 

Charlie’s 

727 W. Camelback Road, Phoenix

Instagram

Charlie’s has been around since 1984, when it started as a small country bar and evolved into maybe the state’s most well-known gay bar.

It won Phoenix Magazine’s “Best of the Valley” award every year from 2019 to 2022 for best gay and lesbian bar. 

Charlie’s still maintains that lively country theme and offers line-dancing lessons, drag shows, and karaoke nights.

It’s a welcoming space for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

 

Celebrate inclusivity: Uncover 7 LGBTQ+ welcoming establishments in the Phoenix area

 

Boycott Bar

4301 N. Seventh Ave., Phoenix

Instagram

Boycott Bar is a place specifically for the L in LGBTQ+. 

Like other bars and nightclubs, the lesbian bar offers drag shows, karaoke, guest DJs, line dancing, and special events on holidays. 

 

Celebrate inclusivity: Uncover 7 LGBTQ+ welcoming establishments in the Phoenix area

 

Kobalt 

3110 N. Central Ave. #175, Phoenix

Instagram

Kobalt is unashamedly Arizona—it offers beer and liquor made in Arizona alongside fresh garnishes that are in season. 

It opened in 2006 and has plenty of events, from showings of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and drag shows to karaoke and trivia nights.

This bar is nestled right in the heart of central Phoenix, in the Park Central open air mall. 

 

Restaurants and Coffee

FEZ Restaurant & Bar

105 W. Portland St., Phoenix

Instagram

FEZ opened in 2005 and is best known for its Mediterranean cuisine alongside American fare. 

“FEZ is proud to be actively involved in the Phoenix Metro community,” the restaurant’s website states. “It means we support a community that is full of diversity and create a space that is safe and celebrates that diversity.”

It’s not just talk. FEZ is involved in hosting and sponsoring Pride events. In 2022, the restaurant sold Pride shirts and donated proceeds from the sales to charity. 

 

Celebrate inclusivity: Uncover 7 LGBTQ+ welcoming establishments in the Phoenix area

 

Brick Road Coffee

4415 S. Rural Road #10, Tempe

Instagram

Brick Road Coffee is proud of how welcoming it is to the LGBTQ+ community. It doesn’t stop at serving coffee and being polite to people—they host and sponsor events specifically for the queer community.

The shop hosts drag queen story hours, queer meetups, book clubs, and even games of “Dungeons & Dragons.” 

“[Our customers are] fiercely loyal. They’re fiercely protective of us because of how we have in such a short amount of time just shown that we will stand with our community and use our voice as a business,” co-owner Gabe Hagen told The Copper Courier.

READ: How This Couple Made a Tempe Coffee Shop a Haven for LGBTQ Arizonans

 

The Coronado PHX

2245 N. 12th St., Phoenix

The Coronado PHX is a purely vegan restaurant. All of their menu is plant-based. Their menu offers up items like chia pudding, biscuits and gravy, and a beet and quinoa burger. 

If it isn’t immediately apparent that The Coronado PHX is a safe spot for the LGBTQ+ community, just check out their Instagram.

“It’s difficult to see the news and feel helpless most days,” one of the business’s captions stated. “We don’t have the answers, but we will always do our best to be a voice, a safe space, and an ally. No one should feel unsafe because of who they are. You are safe here.”

 

Celebrate inclusivity: Uncover 7 LGBTQ+ welcoming establishments in the Phoenix area

 

Original Gravity

4700 N. 12th St. #101, Phoenix

Original Gravity is a scratch kitchen and bar that specializes in their drink menu. With craft beers on draft, a curated wine selection, and signature cocktail list, there is something for everyone in search of a good drink.

The food menu features steak frites, carnitas tacos, and a mushroom poboy. 

Original Gravity has also hosted LGBTQ+ takeover happy hour events.

“We recognize the importance of celebrating Pride and creating a space that is welcoming and inclusive to everyone who enters our doors,” the restaurant said on Instagram. “That is why we are taking this moment to remind you that you are always celebrated here at Original Gravity. Happy Pride!”

 

READ MORE: Rainbow rundown: 12 Pride events happening across Arizona

 

Author

  • Robert Gundran

    Robert Gundran grew up in the Southwest, spending equal time in the Valley and Southern California throughout his life. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism in 2018 and wrote for The Arizona Republic and The Orange County Register.

CATEGORIES: LGBTQ
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