Best Gay Bar

IBT's

616 N. Fourth Ave.

READERS' PICK: About 20 years ago, this inconspicuous Fourth Avenue nightclub went by its given name, "It's 'Bout Time," because it was about time somebody took up the torch to bring some much-needed gay male energy to the local bar and club scene. But for as long as we can remember, this hip little club has simply been called IBT's, and has thrown open its doors to anyone--male, female, gay or straight--who wants to shake off their inhibitions to boogie down and have a good time. Everything about this space is intimate, and it's always crowded, from dance floor to bar room to outdoor patio, making hetero-watching one of the guilty pleasures of clubbing here.

READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: Starrs, 536 N. Fourth Ave. Last summer, the folks at Wingspan took their mission to create community one step further with Starrs, a candlelit piano bar just around the corner from the Wingspan community center. The idea was to engender a classy, smoke-free alternative to the usual bar scene. While they have yet to blast off, a certain loyal following is clearly in orbit, earning the scrappy establishment our readers' vote for the second year running. In addition to the live music rotation, there's also a jukebox, modest dance floor and a pair of TVs which, knock on wood, have never yet hosted a sporting event.

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