Networking Event with the Most Intelligent People: Mack Mixer
MACK coined the term “Gay Owned, Straight Friendly” by launching their first business networking groups for the South Florida business community in March 2005 – the Power Lunch and Mack Mixer. Five years later, MACK continues to be a trusted name for the gay and lesbian business community and its supporters. With monthly sold-out lunch events and fun – yet professional, cocktail socials in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Boca/Delray Beach – there’s no doubt MACK continues to redesign how business people create new relationships and establish friendships – regardless of sexuality.
Most Entertaining Happy Hour: Alibi (Wilton Manors)and Alibi (St. Pete)
The two Alibis in Florida share this distinctive honor. It’s obvious that careful planning of both locations have made them both winners in this category. So, whether you live in the St. Pete or Ft. Lauderdale area, Alibi is a must for happy hour. In both locations, Alibi is one of the most popular gay nightclubs (actually, more of a destination) and they’re always busy. Happy hours often include karaoke and drag shows. Comedy clips from shows like Will and Grace often play on the video monitors, and the VJ’s spin current Top 40 with some blockbuster and oldies thrown in.
Sexiest Lounge: Mova
Mova Lounge is a very unique, contemporary boutique lounge situated on Michigan Avenue and Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, featuring a completely smoke-free environment, plush comfortable seating, state-of-the-art lighting and video walls. Mova features a variety of events nightly including Drag BINGO and World House Music on Tuesdays, College Night Wednesdays, Ladies Night on Thursdays and the best pop/dance grooves on Friday and Saturday.
Best Place to Hook Up: Ramrod
Ramrod is a Levi, leather and uniform cruise bar with a significant difference. The DJ’s are incredible, which attract South Florida’s finest cruising hunks. Friday and Saturday nights the house is packed. Ramrod’s monthly Pig Dance is very popular as the packed bar spills into the parking lot. There’s usually a line to get in the door on weekends, but don’t let that sway you. The wait is well worth it.
Best Place to Get Your Drink On: Matty’s on the Drive
Long-time resident Matty Auslander opened his bar on Wilton Drive right across from Rosie’s Bar and Grill and next door to Carol Moran’s New Moon in the summer of 2009. Matty’s on the Drive was a quick hit with locals and visitors alike. It became such a hit that he doubled the size of his bar and is getting ready to make it 50 percent larger in the coming months.
Best Music Hype: Fridays (Miami) and Pulse (Orlando)
Edison Farrow’s South Beach Social Club hosts weekly events and occasional parties that are a favorite way for South Florida’s gay and lesbian artists, professionals and jet set to meet and network in relaxed settings that vary from ultra-chic to ultra-urban. His Hype Fridays at Bar 721 is a well-attended favorite of locals with a few fresh faces (out-of-towners) every week.
Pulse Nightclub provides the greater Orlando area with a high-end establishment for the LGBT community. The club consists of three connected rooms: The Adonis Room, the Jewel Box and the Ultra Lounge. The Adonis Room is a darkly lit area with an industrial feel. This room houses the biggest bar, complete with male dancers towering over patrons. The Jewel Box is the main dance floor, which blasts current hip-hop and dance hits and also has a stage. The Ultra Lounge is a colorfully lit room where the main theme is white. This provides for an upscale environment, and the lights can change the room’s color and atmosphere throughout the night.
Best LGBT Place to Bring Your Straight Friends: New Moon
More laid-back than many of its male bar equivalents, New Moon is a lesbian addition to the Wilton Manors nightlife scene and has a more urban flavor. While most of the bars and clubs in Wilton Manors are directed at gay guys and welcome lesbians, New Moon caters to lesbians and welcomes gay guys. This large bar fills a niche long missing from the main strip in Wilton Manors.
Best Drag Show: Palace (Miami Beach) and Parliament House (Orlando)
Those that love drag performances love The Palace on Miami Beach, which features drag entertainment almost every night of the week. At The Palace on South Beach, you’re right in the middle of one of the most fun parts of Miami Beach’s famed Ocean Drive. If you’re into celebrity-watching, keep your eyes open because you never know who will walk through the doors as the performances keep getting better and better. Every queen needs her palace, and that palace is on South Beach.
The Parliament House Resort is an internationally known landmark that houses the Footlight Theater, which in turn houses some of the best drag performers and performances in the Southeast United States. Some of the shows, though more “adult” than what you will find in the nearby Magic Kingdom, are equal to or more fun.
Club You’re Most Likely to Run into a Celebrity: Living Room (Fort Lauderdale) and Score (Miami)
The concept of Living Room came from the idea of a house party – a place where you are an invited guest, a place you feel at home. Living Room is a venue where people can truly escape from life’s daily stresses. It has been influenced by nightclubs all over the world while bringing the best of them to Fort Lauderdale. Living Room can be described as innovative, contemporary, sexy, comfortable, warm, zen, inspiring, powerful, electric and spectacular.
Score is located in the heart of South Beach, in the thriving and famous promenade, Lincoln Road. For more than a decade, Score remains the quintessential, gay nightclub experience for both locals and visitors. No other club offers so many variables. People watch on their outdoor terrace while trying their potent frozen drinks or lounge in Score’s ultra-chic, modern lounge and chat with friends. Enthusiastic club revelers experience state-of-the-art lights and sound as some of the world’s most renowned DJ’s visit and draw hundreds to the dance floor. Muscle boys, trendy fashionistas, Latinos and even polo-clad boys find their own niche among the other beautiful people.
Best Dance Club: Discotekka (Miami) and GBar (Ybor City)
Discotekka in downtown Miami is terrifically decorated, nicely lit and huge with a friendly staff — and that’s not always easy to find anymore. The patrons are generally young, attractive and not at all formal. The music is Latin house, classic house and hip house and the drinks are fantastic. If you’ve never heard of a Blue Long Island Iced Tea, try one at Discotekka. This place is gay clubbing at its best.
Tampa Bay nightclub promoter Steve Donahue opened his own full-time gay night club/video bar and named it Gbar, which is located in a turn-of-the-century factory in historic Ybor City. This 8,000 square foot venue boasts 20 foot ceilings, a state-of-the-art video system with plasma screens throughout, a huge dance hall complete with all-intelligent lighting, laser projections, and L.E.D. ambient lighting which promises to provide an experience not found anywhere else in Central Florida.
Best VIP Area: Manor Entertainment Complex (Fort Lauderdale) and Honey Pot (Ybor City)
You’d be surprised what all is inside the Manor: great dancing, great food and great people. So it’s no surprise that this hot night spot has the best VIP area you’ll find.
Honey Pot, located in the heart of the Ybor entertainment district, is your place for the best VIP area.
Take the elevator upstairs to their upscale blue room, with plush seating, intimate performance stages for their world-class male dancers, and a massive balcony overlooking all of the excitement of Ybor City’s main street.
Best Theme Party: Gasparilla (Tampa) and White Party (Miami)
The annual Gasparilla Festival is Tampa Bay’s unique pirate-themed festival, which features the Gasparilla Invasion, Invasion Brunch and Parade of Pirates, a tradition that goes back to 1904. It starts with the Invasion when the Jose Gasparilla tall ship first enters Hillsborough Bay and their band of marauding buccaneers descend on the City of Tampa. Then it’s over to the Tampa Convention Center for a hearty meal. Later in the day, there’s the Parade of Pirates and a street festival complete with dancing.
The annual White Party Week is one of the nation’s oldest and largest HIV/AIDS fundraisers with five days (and nights) of parties, music, dancing, hot men and much more. The centerpiece of the week is the official White Party at Vizcaya. This is the Crown Jewel of the week where thousands dress in white to dance under the Miami moon on 10 acres of the most breathtaking renaissance gardens in the country — featuring live performances from Cirque Dreams, sample tastings of Miami’s hottest restaurants, favorite local bars and nightclubs, silent auction and the Viva Las Divas Casino Lounge with games, prizes and live entertainment.
Sexiest Severs (tie): Cole and Grant at Alibi
Click on Thumbnails to View Fullsize
Hottest Bartender: Hugo at Alibi
Best DJ: DJ Abel (Salvation Saturdays at Score)
DJ Abel is one of the hottest DJ’s in the country. When he’s not spinning at Salvation Saturdays at Score, you can find him keeping the dance floor going at any number of circuit parties or other special events in the United States. Salvation Saturdays with DJ Abel is hosted by Hilton Wolman with performances by notorious drag diva Power Infiniti.
Best Charitable Event: Winter Party
The Winter Party is an annual fundraiser for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in which two-thirds of the proceeds are donated to other community charities. The Winter Party invites everyone to put away their sweaters and put on their swimsuits and enjoy five days of great fun. The Winter Party Festival offers something for everyone. Whether you’re dancing under the sun on Miami Beach, partying all night to the sounds of your favorite DJ or enjoying cocktails and brunch with your friends, they guarantee an experience that will keep you coming back year after year. The line-up includes: more than 10 dance parties with the best international DJ talent, cocktail receptions in some of South Beach’s hottest venues, four events designed specifically for women, a night of shopping along the famous Lincoln Road and the spectacular Winter Party Beach Party.
Best Sports Bar: Sidelines
Not many people thought that the gay and lesbian community would support a real gay sports bar. Boy, were they wrong. Four years later and going stronger than ever, Sidelines Sports Bar is the place for athletes and athletic supporters — not to mention both the soft-core and hard-core sports fanatics. Sporting events are constantly being shown on the multiple flat screen monitors and a lively crowd is always there cheering on their favorite teams. The friendly, supportive staff at Sidelines makes sure that waiting is at a minimum so you can get back to your favorite team. Sidelines also sponsors numerous gay athletic teams who have brought home several national championships.
Best Late Night Gay Venue: Torpedo (Fort Lauderdale) and Twist (Miami)
Torpedo on West Broward Boulevard is a great late-night venue, open until 4 a.m. every day, seven-days-a-week. Torpedo is a 20,000 watt dance club with go-go boys, dancing, cruising, and billiards. It’s not surprising that after partying at other bars until they close, the in-crowd always end up at Torpedo to keep the party going.
Twist is a South Beach institution where there is never a cover and always a groove. Twist is open seven-nights-a-week and features some of the hottest local DJ’s in the area. The drag shows at Twist are unequaled and the club is known for its hot customers and the go-go boys in the World Famous Cabana Bar.
Best Stripper Bar: Johnny’s
Not many people still remember the original Johnny’s Village Inn, a small stripper beer and wine club that used to be located at Riverwalk. But with the redevelopment of the area, Johnny’s moved to its current location on Broward Boulevard and is now equipped with a full-liquor license. Since those early days, Johnny’s has become a destination in its own right and is Fort Lauderdale’s, if not all of South Florida’s, longest continuing gay bar. The hot guys on stage keep the audience so hot that the ice quickly melts in their drinks. But that’s OK, because their friendly attentive staff are quick with a refill.
Best New Bar or Club: Manor Entertainment Complex
The Manor Entertainment Complex is a little tricky. From outside, it doesn’t look that large, but once you step inside you’re amazed with how rooms and different spaces it has. A person can dance in their nightclub to some of the latest acts and greatest bands. Someone could enjoy a martini in its martini bar. One can also people watch, looking down from the upstairs patio overlooking Wilton Drive. Plus, if you get hungry, they serve great food from a full menu or a quick desert from their desert station. Stop by the Manor once and you’re sure to be coming back again and again.