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Bars & Clubs

Best Gay Bar 

The Cinch

Before the Castro became the throbbing heart of contemporary gaydom, the Friends of Dorothy tended to congregate in Polk Gulch — the stretch of Polk Street between Geary and Union that now retains only a few marks of its long-gone days as the city's queer hub. The Cinch is probably the gayest thing going in the neighborhood these days; the interior looks like a saloon dolled up for a burlesque show, and the staff has been known to show MGM musicals during happy hour. The bar gets awfully crowded on the weekends, as it offers the best cheap entertainment available to S.F. queers and those who love them. "Charlie Horse" — a Friday-night drag show featuring regulars from the now-defunct "Trannyshack" — is miraculously free of charge and supplemented by the Cinch's standard offering of strong, cheap drinks poured by affable bartenders. A few trips here might just put you off the Castro for good.

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(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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