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Some of the tea offerings from Eli Tea, a queer-friendly tea shop with locations in Birmingham and Chicago.
GB in Detroit

Where to Dine and Drink During Pride Month in Detroit

From nightclubs with Drag Bingo to slick EDM sounds, here are the LGTBQ places to be

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Some of the tea offerings from Eli Tea, a queer-friendly tea shop with locations in Birmingham and Chicago.
| GB in Detroit

The history of the LGBT community in metro Detroit spans the city’s past, but it took new shape right after World War II when gay clubs began opening mostly downtown. Like the migration patterns of many Detroiters, the scene began moving north, mostly along Woodward Avenue into neighborhoods like Palmer Park and suburban Ferndale and Royal Oak. That legacy can still be seen to this day in stalwart bars like Woodward Bar and Grill, Menjo’s, Soho in Ferndale, and Pronto in Royal Oak.

A lot has also changed since those earlier days. A growing number of queer-owned bars, restaurants, and other hospitality businesses are making it a point to be inclusive pillars in the community. Whether you’re ready to hit the nightclubs, want to support LGBTQ-owned businesses, or visiting from out of town and want to know of some of the city’s available safe spaces, here are 16 places in metro Detroit to enjoy.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Detroit Vegan Soul

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19614 Grand River Ave
Detroit, MI 48223
(313) 766-5728
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rDetroit Vegan Soul in Grandmont-Rosedale is accepting online orders for curbside pickup. The menu is filled with veggie versions of comforting soul food favorites like hush puppies, “catfish” tofu, and smothered tempeh. Many of the options are gluten-free, soy-free, and certified kosher for customers with more specific dietary needs. For folks that want to live vegan without all the cooking prep, the restaurant now offers meal subscriptions. And don’t miss Sunday brunch. The restaurant first opened in 2013 at 8029 Agnes St. in West Village. While the original location has shuttered, founders Kirsten Ussery and Erika Boyd have succeeded in bringing nutritious, plant-based cuisine into the local lexicon, and are continuing their mission at their location on Grand River.

2. Adam's Apple Bar

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18931 W Warren Ave
Detroit, MI 48228
(313) 240-8482
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This friendly bar is more of a neighborhood joint and is known for its karaoke nights on Thursdays. The spot also features a decent happy hour from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. with $2.25 beers and $3.50 well drinks, live entertainment on the patio (such as a recent sand castle-making party), and occasional cookouts.

3. Gigi's

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16920 W Warren Ave
Detroit, MI 48228
(313) 584-6525
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Gigi’s is one of the area’s longest standing drag bars, attracting huge crowds looking to be dazzled for almost 50 years. Husbands Luis and Joshua Mandujano took over the place a couple of years ago, giving it a much-needed facelift. Its popular Werq Wednesdays feature a variety of drag performers, and its happy hour takes place from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., during which service industry workers get happy hour prices all night. The couple also regularly hosts other special events.

4. Bobcat Bonnie's

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1800 Michigan Ave
Detroit, MI 48216
(313) 962-1383
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Owner Matthew Buskard has made it a point to give all six locations (spoiler, there’s a Toledo location forthcoming) big neighborhood joint vibes, but with subtle design details that hint that this growing chain of restaurants is also very much LGBTQ-friendly. Stop by for Burger Mondays from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. when a different specialty burger is featured every month. For $14, the deal comes with a burger, tots, and a beer. Brunch is also big here, with cocktail specialties like cereal shooters (which blend the flavors of sugary kids’ cereals with liquor), make-your-own bloody marys, and breakfast tacos.

5. The Royce Detroit

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76 W Adams Ave
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 481-2160
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Owner Ping Ho has curated this Grand Circus Park wine bar into a welcoming and sophisticated space where wine aficionados and novices alike can enjoy interesting vinos by the glass or bottle. The staff here is not only knowledgeable, but unpretentious, so don’t feel silly for not knowing the intimate details of every varietal. To eat, go check out one of Ho’s other properties, Marrow in West Village or Mink oyster bar in Corktown.

6. Temple Bar

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2906 Cass Ave
Detroit, MI 48201
(313) 832-2822

This come-as-you-are, LGBTQ-friendly spot has been serving drinks in Cass Corridor for decades. Drop in for a local selection of beers and music. Park in the back lot and enter through the gate to access Temple’s outdoor space.

7. La Feria

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4130 Cass Ave
Detroit, MI 48201
(313) 285-9081
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This gay-owned Spanish tapas restaurant features a lineup of traditional tapas, which are meant to be eaten in small portions while sipping on the spot’s house-made sangria or a craft cocktail. Diners are encouraged to order several of the shareable dishes from the hot or cold menus. Specialties include the always popular patatas bravas, tortilla Española, or the pulpo a la gallega — a baby octopus grilled with Spanish paprika and olive oil that comes with potatoes. For wine connoisseurs, stop by La Feria’s sister wine bar next door, Cata Vino, which features a variety of sherry, wine, and imported tinned seafood from Spain.

8. Avalon International Breads

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422 W Willis St
Detroit, MI 48201
(313) 832-0008
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Founded in 1997 by Ann Perrault and her partner Jackie Victor, Avalon International Breads has been a leader in providing Detroiters not only with fresh-baked breads and sweets as well as sandwiches, soups, and salads, but has also served as a beacon for its triple bottom line business model that emphasizes community, employment opportunities, and sustainability. Even aside from its locations in Detroit and Ann Arbor, folks can also pick up loaves at many local retailers.

9. Spot Lite Detroit

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2905 Beaufait St #4
Detroit, MI 48207

This relative newcomer to the city’s nightlife scene isn’t explicitly a gay bar, but it’s definitely LGBTQ-inclusive, from its management to the event programming on hand. The space features several micro-enterprises at once: a performance space, a small record store, an art gallery, the bar, and Cairo Coffee. Owned by Jesse Cory and Roula David, a former bartender, the venue allows visitors to sip on classic martinis, sangria, mojito, and pesca while listening to EDM. The bar’s signature cocktails also come with tiny pieces of art from the print shop next door that are daintily affixed to glasses so guests can take home a little memento of the evening.

10. Woodward Bar & Grill

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(313) 872-0166

Determined to be the oldest LGBTQ establishment in Detroit, The Woodward, as it’s commonly known, is a beacon for its strong nightclub vibes and attracting a large segment of the city’s Black queer community. Situated in New Center, be sure to dress to impress for Sunday night karaoke or catch a rotating cast of special DJ sets featuring old school R&B, house music, and other dance music. The spot also has a full bar and a menu of mostly finger foods.

11. Menjo's

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950 W McNichols Rd #928
Detroit, MI 48203
(313) 863-3934
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One of the oldest LGBTQ-friendly spaces in Detroit, this Palmer Park complex includes Menjo’s Bar, the Eagle Leather Bar, and the Olympus Theater. Take in happy hour at the bar from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. daily, Sunday tea and buffet, or karaoke Mondays. Fun fact: The spot also used to be one of Madonna’s old haunts back in the 80s long before she became an icon. So when hitting the dance floor, take heart that the Material Girl once frequented the place.

12. Good Cakes and Bakes

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19363 Livernois
Detroit, MI 48221

Founders April Anderson and Michelle Anderson are beloved for their delectable cakes in flavors like strawberry crunch, Southern caramel, or vegan cookie butter. They have also developed an environment that is positive, creative, educational, and friendly to both employees and the greater community. Good Cakes and Bakes is also available for nationwide delivery via Goldbelly.

13. Soho

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205 W Nine Mile Rd
Ferndale, MI 48220
(248) 542-7646
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This casual Ferndale bar offers daily happy hours until 7 p.m., featuring specialty cocktails and martinis made with vodka from nearby Valentine Distilling Co. and a refreshing summer drink menu. The staff is friendly and the patrons are always there to have a great night. It’s perfect as your main destination for the evening or as a nightcap. Look out for trivia nights, drag revue shows, and a monthly party, Frigaze, held at 215 West next door.

14. Pronto Royal Oak

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608 S Washington Ave
Royal Oak, MI 48067
(248) 544-7900
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The patio at this lounge and show bar in Royal Oak is the perfect place to go during weekend brunch hours because of its full menu, extensive cocktail and beer list, and live DJ sets. To eat, there’s a robust list of creative brunch options, including several twists on the classic Eggs Benedict, Key lime french toast, and a breakfast “Wellington” — a puff pastry stuffed with a hardboiled egg that’s wrapped in Detroit sausage, mushroom duxelles, and topped with hollandaise. At night, the spot opens up for karaoke sessions, RuPaul Drag Race viewing parties, Drag Bingo, and other LGBTQ-friendly programming. The place has been a mainstay in Royal Oak since 1991.

15. Café Muse

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418 S Washington Ave
Royal Oak, MI 48067
(248) 544-4749
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When founders David Smith and Greg Reyner opened Café Muse in 2006, they were among some of the earlier adopters of sourcing ingredients locally as much as possible. Since then, the daytime eatery has become known for its bountiful brunch offerings, including its cinnamon raisin french toast stuffed with mascarpone and topped with five-spice pear, smoked salmon scramble with gruyere and chives, and fiery bloody marys made with McClure’s bloody mary mix.

16. Eli Tea Bar

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108 S Old Woodward Ave
Birmingham, MI 48009
(248) 825-8064
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Owner Elias Majid started selling Eli Tea at Detroit-area farmers markets and local cafes in 2013, before opening his flagship Eli Tea Bar in Birmingham, featuring a roster of 120 different teas and tisanes. In December, he launched a second location in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood, offering the north side’s queer community sober alternative nightlife options, including Drag Bingo, Uno Night, and tarot reading events.

1. Detroit Vegan Soul

19614 Grand River Ave, Detroit, MI 48223

rDetroit Vegan Soul in Grandmont-Rosedale is accepting online orders for curbside pickup. The menu is filled with veggie versions of comforting soul food favorites like hush puppies, “catfish” tofu, and smothered tempeh. Many of the options are gluten-free, soy-free, and certified kosher for customers with more specific dietary needs. For folks that want to live vegan without all the cooking prep, the restaurant now offers meal subscriptions. And don’t miss Sunday brunch. The restaurant first opened in 2013 at 8029 Agnes St. in West Village. While the original location has shuttered, founders Kirsten Ussery and Erika Boyd have succeeded in bringing nutritious, plant-based cuisine into the local lexicon, and are continuing their mission at their location on Grand River.

19614 Grand River Ave
Detroit, MI 48223

2. Adam's Apple Bar

18931 W Warren Ave, Detroit, MI 48228

This friendly bar is more of a neighborhood joint and is known for its karaoke nights on Thursdays. The spot also features a decent happy hour from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. with $2.25 beers and $3.50 well drinks, live entertainment on the patio (such as a recent sand castle-making party), and occasional cookouts.

18931 W Warren Ave
Detroit, MI 48228

3. Gigi's

16920 W Warren Ave, Detroit, MI 48228

Gigi’s is one of the area’s longest standing drag bars, attracting huge crowds looking to be dazzled for almost 50 years. Husbands Luis and Joshua Mandujano took over the place a couple of years ago, giving it a much-needed facelift. Its popular Werq Wednesdays feature a variety of drag performers, and its happy hour takes place from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., during which service industry workers get happy hour prices all night. The couple also regularly hosts other special events.

16920 W Warren Ave
Detroit, MI 48228

4. Bobcat Bonnie's

1800 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48216

Owner Matthew Buskard has made it a point to give all six locations (spoiler, there’s a Toledo location forthcoming) big neighborhood joint vibes, but with subtle design details that hint that this growing chain of restaurants is also very much LGBTQ-friendly. Stop by for Burger Mondays from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. when a different specialty burger is featured every month. For $14, the deal comes with a burger, tots, and a beer. Brunch is also big here, with cocktail specialties like cereal shooters (which blend the flavors of sugary kids’ cereals with liquor), make-your-own bloody marys, and breakfast tacos.

1800 Michigan Ave
Detroit, MI 48216

5. The Royce Detroit

76 W Adams Ave, Detroit, MI 48226

Owner Ping Ho has curated this Grand Circus Park wine bar into a welcoming and sophisticated space where wine aficionados and novices alike can enjoy interesting vinos by the glass or bottle. The staff here is not only knowledgeable, but unpretentious, so don’t feel silly for not knowing the intimate details of every varietal. To eat, go check out one of Ho’s other properties, Marrow in West Village or Mink oyster bar in Corktown.

76 W Adams Ave
Detroit, MI 48226

6. Temple Bar

2906 Cass Ave, Detroit, MI 48201

This come-as-you-are, LGBTQ-friendly spot has been serving drinks in Cass Corridor for decades. Drop in for a local selection of beers and music. Park in the back lot and enter through the gate to access Temple’s outdoor space.

2906 Cass Ave
Detroit, MI 48201

7. La Feria

4130 Cass Ave, Detroit, MI 48201

This gay-owned Spanish tapas restaurant features a lineup of traditional tapas, which are meant to be eaten in small portions while sipping on the spot’s house-made sangria or a craft cocktail. Diners are encouraged to order several of the shareable dishes from the hot or cold menus. Specialties include the always popular patatas bravas, tortilla Española, or the pulpo a la gallega — a baby octopus grilled with Spanish paprika and olive oil that comes with potatoes. For wine connoisseurs, stop by La Feria’s sister wine bar next door, Cata Vino, which features a variety of sherry, wine, and imported tinned seafood from Spain.

4130 Cass Ave
Detroit, MI 48201

8. Avalon International Breads

422 W Willis St, Detroit, MI 48201

Founded in 1997 by Ann Perrault and her partner Jackie Victor, Avalon International Breads has been a leader in providing Detroiters not only with fresh-baked breads and sweets as well as sandwiches, soups, and salads, but has also served as a beacon for its triple bottom line business model that emphasizes community, employment opportunities, and sustainability. Even aside from its locations in Detroit and Ann Arbor, folks can also pick up loaves at many local retailers.

422 W Willis St
Detroit, MI 48201

9. Spot Lite Detroit

2905 Beaufait St #4, Detroit, MI 48207

This relative newcomer to the city’s nightlife scene isn’t explicitly a gay bar, but it’s definitely LGBTQ-inclusive, from its management to the event programming on hand. The space features several micro-enterprises at once: a performance space, a small record store, an art gallery, the bar, and Cairo Coffee. Owned by Jesse Cory and Roula David, a former bartender, the venue allows visitors to sip on classic martinis, sangria, mojito, and pesca while listening to EDM. The bar’s signature cocktails also come with tiny pieces of art from the print shop next door that are daintily affixed to glasses so guests can take home a little memento of the evening.

2905 Beaufait St #4
Detroit, MI 48207

10. Woodward Bar & Grill

Detroit, MI 48202

Determined to be the oldest LGBTQ establishment in Detroit, The Woodward, as it’s commonly known, is a beacon for its strong nightclub vibes and attracting a large segment of the city’s Black queer community. Situated in New Center, be sure to dress to impress for Sunday night karaoke or catch a rotating cast of special DJ sets featuring old school R&B, house music, and other dance music. The spot also has a full bar and a menu of mostly finger foods.

11. Menjo's

950 W McNichols Rd #928, Detroit, MI 48203

One of the oldest LGBTQ-friendly spaces in Detroit, this Palmer Park complex includes Menjo’s Bar, the Eagle Leather Bar, and the Olympus Theater. Take in happy hour at the bar from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. daily, Sunday tea and buffet, or karaoke Mondays. Fun fact: The spot also used to be one of Madonna’s old haunts back in the 80s long before she became an icon. So when hitting the dance floor, take heart that the Material Girl once frequented the place.

950 W McNichols Rd #928
Detroit, MI 48203

12. Good Cakes and Bakes

19363 Livernois, Detroit, MI 48221

Founders April Anderson and Michelle Anderson are beloved for their delectable cakes in flavors like strawberry crunch, Southern caramel, or vegan cookie butter. They have also developed an environment that is positive, creative, educational, and friendly to both employees and the greater community. Good Cakes and Bakes is also available for nationwide delivery via Goldbelly.

19363 Livernois
Detroit, MI 48221

13. Soho

205 W Nine Mile Rd, Ferndale, MI 48220

This casual Ferndale bar offers daily happy hours until 7 p.m., featuring specialty cocktails and martinis made with vodka from nearby Valentine Distilling Co. and a refreshing summer drink menu. The staff is friendly and the patrons are always there to have a great night. It’s perfect as your main destination for the evening or as a nightcap. Look out for trivia nights, drag revue shows, and a monthly party, Frigaze, held at 215 West next door.

205 W Nine Mile Rd
Ferndale, MI 48220

14. Pronto Royal Oak

608 S Washington Ave, Royal Oak, MI 48067

The patio at this lounge and show bar in Royal Oak is the perfect place to go during weekend brunch hours because of its full menu, extensive cocktail and beer list, and live DJ sets. To eat, there’s a robust list of creative brunch options, including several twists on the classic Eggs Benedict, Key lime french toast, and a breakfast “Wellington” — a puff pastry stuffed with a hardboiled egg that’s wrapped in Detroit sausage, mushroom duxelles, and topped with hollandaise. At night, the spot opens up for karaoke sessions, RuPaul Drag Race viewing parties, Drag Bingo, and other LGBTQ-friendly programming. The place has been a mainstay in Royal Oak since 1991.

608 S Washington Ave
Royal Oak, MI 48067

15. Café Muse

418 S Washington Ave, Royal Oak, MI 48067

When founders David Smith and Greg Reyner opened Café Muse in 2006, they were among some of the earlier adopters of sourcing ingredients locally as much as possible. Since then, the daytime eatery has become known for its bountiful brunch offerings, including its cinnamon raisin french toast stuffed with mascarpone and topped with five-spice pear, smoked salmon scramble with gruyere and chives, and fiery bloody marys made with McClure’s bloody mary mix.

418 S Washington Ave
Royal Oak, MI 48067

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16. Eli Tea Bar

108 S Old Woodward Ave, Birmingham, MI 48009

Owner Elias Majid started selling Eli Tea at Detroit-area farmers markets and local cafes in 2013, before opening his flagship Eli Tea Bar in Birmingham, featuring a roster of 120 different teas and tisanes. In December, he launched a second location in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood, offering the north side’s queer community sober alternative nightlife options, including Drag Bingo, Uno Night, and tarot reading events.

108 S Old Woodward Ave
Birmingham, MI 48009

Related Maps