BOI’S LIFE Sometimes we forget how hard things were for previous generations of the GLBT community. That’s why I value my friends from previous generations, you learn so much. In putting our Bars & Clubs issue together I asked them how things were in the past. Younger readers may not realize that not so long ago, if you were in a strange city and wanted to find a gay bar or club, your options were somewhat limited. I have a friend who tells me that when he was in college and went on family trips, he’d sneak back to the hotel room while everyone was down at the pool, and check out any listings under “gay” in the local telephone directory. If you were an adult, things could be a little easier. You could pick up one of the few “gay travel guides” that were published, or try to find a gay or “alternative” newspaper for that city. Barring that, if you were bold enough, in most cities you could get in a cab and ask the cab driver to take you to a gay bar. A much older friend told me that when he used to travel for business in the early 1960s he would look in the local telephone book under “taverns”. “There were clues,” he said. “If there was a bar with a color and a bird, such as the ‘The Green Parrot’ or ‘The Blue Finch’ in the name, there was a good chance it was gay. Of course, if it said “The Pink Flamingo’ there was no doubt. “Another good clue was if it had a name like ‘Our Place’ or ‘The Outsiders’ those were good clues. Another trick was to call the place someplace that sounded like a legitimate business. My home town (Rockford) had a bar named ‘The Office’. It was wonderful; because you could say things in public like “Did you see him at the Office the other day? He was a mess,’ and nobody would have a clue, except those in the know.” Of course now things are much easier. Someone planning a visit to another city could simply Google the phrase “gay bars” and get 1,380,000 results. Being more city-specific is just as informative. Google “gay bars”+Chicago and 74,100 results pop up. Even someplace as remote as Rapid City South Dakota will get you nearly 1,600 listings. If even one forth of those is valid, you’re light years ahead of where someone would be even 20 years ago. For the gay community, gay bars are more than just places to socialize. It’s a place to find community, friendship and a place to belong. I’d like to close this column with a quote by Homer, “I like my beers cold and my homosexuals flaming.” All right, it’s Homer Simpson, but its still a good quote.
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Boys at Roscoe’s fashion Then and now dining out dining out (contd) Sidetrack the bar that could A large cocktail, Please Bar Boi Cards stage and screen in the know, on the go Dine and Drink deals BARS & CLUBS DIRECTORY
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he French have a saying, “plus ça change, plus c’est la meme” which translates as, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Getting ready for our “Bars & Clubs” issue I decided to look up what bars and clubs were advertising in the old gay rags. I went through issues of the city’s first gay paper, GayLife from the 1970s through 1980 and Gay Chicago Magazine from 1980 through 1983. Surprisingly, many popular hangouts are still thriving; the Baton, Manhandler Little Jim’s and the Closet, while others may have closed and been replaced by other bars and clubs, sometimes numerous times. Here’s a list of addresses and the bars that occupied them in the 1970s though early 1980s.
430 N. Clark 2950 N. Lincoln 3726 N. Broadway 642 W. Diversey 3019 N. Clark 420 N. Dearborn 3231 N. Clark 3132 N. Broadway 2570 N. Clark 3320 N. Halsted 1355 N. Wells 8710 W. Golf, Niles 744 N. Clark 2546 N. Clark 2730 N. Clark 3458 N. Halsted 5320 N. Sheridan 1343 N. Wells 501 N. Clark 944 W. Addison 745 N. Rush 2936 N. Clark 3445 N. Halsted 46 E. Oak 432 N. Clark 3257 N. Sheffield 1137 W. Granville 111 W. Hubbard 420 N. Clark 3400 N. Clark 3153 N. Broadway 3700 N. Broadway 112 W. Hubbard 674 W. Diversey 7 E. Chestnut 959 W. Belmont 2825 N. Lincoln 3935 N. Broadway 3613 N. Halsted
Annex 2 Boombala C.K. & Augie’s Big Red’s Big Red’s The Bistro B.J.’s Broadway Limited Bughaus Bushes Carol’s Speakeasy Charlie’s Angels Chatterbox Checkmate II Cheeks Christopher Street Coconuts Glory Hole Gold Coast His ‘n’ Hers Kitty Sheon’s Knight Out Lady Bug Loading Zone Marilyn Medusa’s Mike’s Terrace My Brother’s Place New Flight Normandy The Other Side Orbit Room Ozone Piggen’s Pub Punchinello’s Showcase One Touché Two way Inn Vortex
Starbucks Underwater Safaris Charlie’s Day’s Inn Hotel U.S. Cellular Condo development Orange (restaurant) Wilde’s (restaurant) STA Travel Scarlet vacant City of Joy Royalle Condos Toro Sushi Smart Optical Hydrate Metropolitan Condo Sara Jane Clothing North Bank Addison CTA stop office/condo bldg. Artful Framer Studio Arco de Cuchilleros D. Yurman Salon office building office building The Granville Anvil Swirl Wine Bar Boss Bar Fly Me to the Moon Universal Gear 7-11 Epic Restaurant Matisse Restaurant parking lot Milios Hair Studio Patsy’s Place Quizno’s The Dakota condos boi 15
AMERICAN___________ Ann Sather 929 W. Belmont | 773.348.2378; 3416 N Southport | 773.404.4475; 5207 N Clark | 773.271.6627; 3411 N Broadway | 773.305.0024 These bustling hot spots, serving traditional Swedish pancake house fare, are open only for breakfast and lunch and are best known for hearty daytime offerings and their homemade cinnamon rolls. Chicago Diner 3411 N. Halsted | 773.935.6696 This world famous vegetarian restaurant offers vegan and organic offerings using the protein-based meat substitute seitan. Organic beers, wine, and spirits are also available. Crew 4804 N. Broadway | 773.784.2739 More than just a sports bar, the menu includes a variety of hamburgers, sandwiches, salads and comfort food. Deluxe Diner 6349 N Clark | 773.743.8244 Perched kitty-corner from Jackhammer and Touché, the diner’s “open 24 hours on the weekend” status is perfect after a night of dancing and partying. Featured menu items include breakfast skillets that are served anytime. Golden Nugget Family Restaurants 2720 N. Clark | 773.929.0724, 2406 W.Diversey | 773.252.8903, 1765 W. Lawrence | 773.769.6700. Established 40+ years, these places are a great place for after bar dining as they are all open 24-7, and all have free parking. The large menu is sure to please. Everything is housemade, known for fluffy buttermilk pancakes, but dinners are hearty as well. 441 N Halsted | 773.348.9696 This Boystown eatery Halsted’s Bar & Grill 3441 N Halsted | 773.348.9696 This Boystown eatery serves up a wide array of tasty appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, and popular comfort food items at very reasonable prices in a fun and inviting atmosphere. Beers on tap are aplenty and the weekend brunch draws an attractive crowd. Hamburger Mary’s 5400 N Clark | 773.784.6969 This fun and popular Andersonville restaurant features a wide array of burgers and sandwiches along with an interesting selection of tasty appetizers. Horizon Café 3805 N. Broadway | 773.883.1565 This long-time popular Lakeview family restaurant serves up big portions of creative homestyle dishes as well as healthy fare (broth-based soups and whole wheat tortilla wraps) and at affordable prices. Breakfast, including multigrain pancakes and egg white omelets, served all day long. Delivery available. 16 boi
IHOP 3760 N Halsted | 773.296.0048 More than a pancake house, this 24-hour Boystown institution serves up affordably priced appetizers, sandwiches, and entrees that are sure to satisfy varying after-bar wants and needs. Joey’s Brick House 1258 W. Belmont | 773.296.1300 “Thelonious Brunch” with live jazz on Sundays features menu items such as a Cajun Scramble with andouille sausage, Crab Cakes Benedict, and the Hobo Skillet. Brunch includes 15 varieties Long Island Ice Teas. Kit Kat Lounge 3700 N. Halsted | 773.525.1111 Providing the best of diva entertainment along with a full dinner menu, they offer ½-price cocktails and Buy 1 Get 1 Free Entree on Wednesdays.. M. Henry 5707 N. Clark | 773.561.1600 This popular Andersonville outpost serves breakfast and lunch daily and features creative fare such as dulce banana rumba French toast, and pancakes with warm blackberries and vanilla mascarpone cream. Additionally there are many vegetarian dishes and traditional menu items like three-cheese omelets. Minibar Café 3341 N. Halsted This attractive and sophisticated space serves gourmet bruschettas, cheeses, paninis, and entrees as well as an impressive selection of wines by the glass from around the world. The Sunday brunch is tasty and impressive. Nookies Tree 3334 N. Halsted | 773.248.9888 A regular haunt for the locals of Boystown and popular with hangover recoverers, this upscale diner serves made-to-order omelets, pancakes, waffles and crepes and other brunch fare all day. And it’s open 24 hours on weekends. Melrose Restaurant 3233 N Broadway | 773.327.2060 This Lakeview institution has been catering to the after-bar crowds for decades, serving breakfast anytime along with typical diner fare. Open 24 hours, Orange 3231 N. Clark | 773.549.4400 This homey restaurant specializes in breakfast on a daily basis and hosts a full house on weekends for brunch. Unique menu items include green eggs and ham (eggs scrambled with basil pesto and pancetta), jelly donut pancakes, Chai tea-infused French toast, and panseared grit cakes. Queens Tavern & Bistro 750 W. Cornelia | 773.248.8333 Occupying the old Cornelia’s space, this charming new eatery is warm and inviting and
features a value menu filled with both bar food and entrée items as well as daily specials. Stella’s Diner 3042 N. Broadway | 773.472,9040 Fine diner dining features fresh salads, a large selection of wraps, sandwiches, hearty entrees, pastas, and homemade deserts. Tweet 5020 N. Sheridan | 773.728.5576 This Uptown favorite uses organic ingredients when possible to create brunch items such as buckwheat pancakes, Danish beignets, Belgian waffles, and an impressive assortment of breakfast burritos and egg Benedict dishes. Wilde Bar & Restaurant 3130 N Broadway | 773.244.0404 This cozy upscale Irish pub offers a laid back and warm atmosphere and a wide ranging menu that is sure to please. Expect updated versions of pub favorites like chicken pot pie, meatloaf dinner, fish & chips, burgers and salads. ASIAN_______________ Jitlada Thai House 3715 N Halsted | 773.388.9988 This quaint family-owned eatery features Asian favorites such as pad Thai, pineapple fried rice, crab ragoon, pot stickers, tempura and nine spice curry items. Delivery available.
and Mufalatta sandwiches, almond-crusted stuffed French Toast, and the free flow of Champagne Mimosas. Brunch here is loud, raucous and FUN! Great for dinner, as well. Panino’s Pizzeria 3702 N Broadway 773.472.6200 Panino’s has established itself as a Boystown favorite with its varied menu selections, including gyros and burgers, pasta entrees, and of course pizza. Delivery available. MEDITERRANEAN____ Andies 1467 W Montrose | 773.348.0654; 5253 N Clark | 773.784.8616 Specializing in Mediterranean and vegetarian cuisine, specialties of the house include steak kabobs, gyros, and poultry dishes such as Greek Chicken and Lebanese Style Chicken Kefta Kabob. And as befits the cuisine, desserts include a very tasty baklava. Istanbul 3613 N Broadway | 773.525.0500 Specializing in Turkish and Mediterranean cuisines, this recent addition to the lakeview dining scene has been attracting patrons with a varied menu, generous portions, and affordable prices. MEXICAN___________
Pingpong 3322 N. Broadway | 773.281.7575 This popular Lakeview restaurant features high-quality Pan-Asian cuisine in a hip and modern atmosphere as well as top-notch people-watching both those in the restaurant as well as any number of hotties walking by outside. Delivery available.
Cesar’s 2924 N. Broadway | 773.296.9097; 3166 N Clark | 773.248.2835 This family-owned operation offers an enticing menu full of delicious Mexican recipes, popular house specialties, irresistible desserts, and their signature “Killer Margaritas.”
Young’s Chinese Restaurant 3949 N Ashland | 773.248.7998 While Chinese takeout is sometimes a bad and poorly tasting stereotype, this well-regarded outpost has earned a stellar reputation for great tasting food and delivery so quick you’ll swear there must be a wok in the car.
Fiesta Mexicana 2423 N. Lincoln | 773.348.4144 and 4806 N. Broadway | 773.769.4244. Not your typical late-night taco joints, these neighborhood favorites serve up traditional Mexican dishes and seafood specialties. Open until 2am (3am on Saturdays)
Mayan Palace 2703 N. Halsted Known to be one of the very best Mexican restaurants in the city, the focus is on using fresh, high-quality ingredients Anna Maria Pasteria 4400 N Clark | 773.506.2662 for its “south of the border” cuisine. Portions are Owned by sisters who hail from the Basilicata region generous and the cool Margaritas dubbed “The of southern Italy, this neighborhood gem creates homemade modern and traditional Italian dishes that World’s Best!” are authentic, delicious, and best of all: inexpensive. Angelina Ristorante 3561 N Broadway | 773.935.5933 Hosting the coolest and hippest Sunday brunch crowd in Lakeview, the menu includes Eggs Benedict, Fritattas, Croque Monsiuer ITALIAN_____________
hen it opened in 1982 many folks thought that Sidetrack’s concept was a foolish one. A video bar? Who’ll want to go to a bar to watch television? Sidetrack was one of the first video bars in the country, certainly the first gay video bar in Chicago. The folks behind Sidetrack were true pioneers. Keep in mind that MTV and other music video stations were in their infancy at that time. With a less than stellar selection of videos available at the time, Pepe and the other VJs often created their own, which eventually developed into Sidetrack’s signature style. Over the years, Sidetrack has grown from one room with less than 1000 square feet to a collection of spaces spanning more than eight storefronts and multiple levels and can now host more than 1000 people at a time. Sidetrack was recently named one of the best gay bars in the world by Out.com. Here’s how they did it:
Sidetrack opens in a single storefront, without a sign. Beer cases do double duty as bottle storage and as seating. A “giant” screen hangs over the entrance.
The bar expands to include the next storefront to the north, doubling in size. A white tile façade is installed, still without an exterior sign.
The first version of the BackBar opens, it is a three season space, with pulldown garage doors as walls.
Sidetrack expands another storefront north. The new addition, dubbed “CherryBar” because of the predominate wood used for décor, overlooks the main bar. A small sign and a window on Halsted opens up the space for the first time.
The BackBar is remodeled and insulated for year-round use.
The property expands another storefront space, this time to the south. Replacing the Gallimaufrey Gallery (which moved to Lincoln Square), the new space is dubbed GlassBar” for the wall of windows facing a courtyard, which becomes the bar’s main entrance. A stainless steel kiosk with the bar’s name is featured.
Expanding another storefront to the north, replacing a laundromat, allows for the expansion of CherryBar with CherryLounge. Behind the scenes, a new video production facility, expanded storage and offices are added.
Two sets of stairs and an elevator provide access to the new UpperBar
CherryLounge is expanded even further.
Expanding another storefront to the south allows for the installation of a larger coat check, an expanded video production center and the cozy SideBar, which features access to courtyard. Over the years Sidetrack has hosted a variety of events that have become local traditions. Among these are; “Night of 100 drag Queens”, Mardi Gras, a chili cook-off and wine tasting parties, in addition to the monthly “First Friday” cocktail party to benefit Equality Illinois. There probably isn’t a not-for-profit associated with our community that hasn’t held a benefit at Sidetrack, which accounts, in some part, for its extreme customer loyalty. Finally, if you want to avoid looking like a rube, remember there is no “S” at the end of the bar’s name. It’s not “Sidetracks”; it is Sidetrack, plain and simple. And successful boi 21
bar’s music to flow from room to room or be site specific.
Not content to rest on its design laurels, Cocktail is expanding into the space formerly occupied by the quirky pizza palace, Pie Hole. This intimate space will feature a second bar, and black crystal chandeliers, gold leafed ceiling and a fireplace. The name of the back room remains a mystery at this point, but it will be able to be reserved for private parties and has a separate sound system allowing for the
Those tables will come in handy as the aptly named Erin Baker takes over food management. The menu will be small, but formidable. Among the offerings will be a trio of sandwiches and salads, as well as house made ice cream. A garden Party brunch will be held each weekend staring at 11:00. All or most of these changes should be in place by the time this issue of boi hits the streets.
ocktail, is one of the most inviting, playful bars in Lakeview, appealing to a broad-based clientele that is short on attitude and long on fun. Not too log ago, the bar was remodeled. The front room, with window seats that provide a panoramic view of Halsted, features black crystal chandeliers, an onyx-lit bar imported from Greece. Away from the windows, the scene gets a bit more lively, thanks in large part to a stage area that hosts the “Spank Go-Go Boys” five nights a week and a DJ.
In addition to the interior expansion, there is an addition to the exterior as well. The sidewalk along the side of the bar facing Roscoe will be flanked by an outdoor patio, aka, “The Garden.” English box hedges will establish an urban oasis featuring modern furniture for a lounge area that will include table seating.
By Gregg Shapiro
On the concert stage
The newly revived Lilith Fair, which has had to cancel several dates due to lackluster sales, rolls into the First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre, 19100 S. Ridgeland in Tinley Park, on July 17. In addition to out local artist Katie Todd, the 2010 line-up includes Lilith leader Sarah McLachlan (whose newly released “Laws of Illusion” deals with the dissolution of her marriage), hot UK dance act LaRoux, women-inSarah McLachlan rock legends Heart, soul diva Mary J. Blige, modern country duo Courtyard Hounds (2/3 of Dixie Chicks), Kate Nash and newcomers including Meaghan Smith, Vedera and Vita Chambers.
On the theatrical stage
The Tony and Drama Desk Award-winning “Shrek the Musical” launched its national tour on July 13 in at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, the limited engagement is set to run through September 5. In response to the tight economy, individual tickets to Shrek are priced from $25 to $90. Tickets are available at all Broadway In Chicago Box Offices (24 W. Randolph, 151 W. Randolph and 18 W. Monroe; the Broadway In Chicago Ticket Line at 800.775.2000; at Ticketmaster retail; and online at BroadwayInChicago.com. Steppenwolf has announced “First Look 101” running September 25 through November 14. “First look 101” takes enrolled participants on a backstage journey through all aspects of the new play development process, from the first rehearsal to the final performance. The program is open to anyone interested in the process of creating new plays. To enroll in First Look 101, go to steppenwolf.org or call 312.335.1650.
On the big screen
“The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” (Summit Entertainment): Still obsessed with brooding vampire Edward (Robert Pattinson), graduating high school senior Bella (a slightly less sullen Kristen Stewart), accepts her true love’s marriage proposal in exchange for his promise to “change” (read “kill”) her so that they can be together eternally. Wait, let me get this straight. Mormon author Stephenie Meyer thinks it’s all right for white trash teenagers to marry vampires, but GLBT folks should be deprived of the same expression of love and commitment. Talk about “Twit-light.” Still, the third installment in the ongoing saga of the vampires, wolves and humans of Forks, Washington, eclipses its predecessors. It’s got plenty of skin, courtesy of stud (wolf ) cub Taylor Lautner (who continues to do most of his acting with his abs) as Jacob, and his pec pack. It’s got a fair amount of special effects, although the wolves’ pelts are wearing thin. There’s also an increase in the Native American
folklore aspect. The scary factor is also ratcheted up not only with the lingering presence of the ruthless Jane (Dakota Fanning) and her creepy crew, but also bent-on-revenge Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard) and her boy toy Riley (Xavier Samuel) and his army of ruthless newborn vamps. Nevertheless, TTS: E gets points for cranking up the humor. That’s right, you will most likely find yourself laughing out loud on several occasions, and that appears to be the way that screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg intended it. For not taking itself too seriously and doing it in a respectable couple of hours, “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” is recommended viewing.
On the small screen
You could call “Pornography: A Thriller” (Wolfe Video) David Kittredge’s “Mulholland Drive.” In much the same way that the David Lynch thriller reeled us in through its story of moviemaking and some of what happens behind the scenes and in the lives of those involved, “Pornography: A Thriller” does so with gay male erotica. Unfortunately, it also falls apart in the same way that “Mulholland Drive” did. In New York in 1995, retired gay porn actor Mark Anton (Jared Grey), now clean and sober and enrolled in photography school, is offered $40k by an anonymous fan to make one more video. He shows up, is killed and his murder is videotaped. In Brooklyn, 14 years later, gay couple Michael (Matthew Montgomery) and William (Walter Delmar) find the most perfect apartment, with a view of the Manhattan skyline, at an unbelievable price. William works in the city and Michael is a writer, hard at work on a book about the “history of genre filmmaking,” a.k.a. gay male porn, and the “nature of desire.” He spends his day tracking down and trying to interview porn stars and perusing rare and vintage movies. Exploring the new apartment, Michael notices strange holes in the wall and ceiling, where cameras were mounted. He also discovers a secret wall panel that contains a video of Mark Anton being tortured and murdered. After a series of creepy events, the movie evolves into a supernatural psychological thriller, and an effective one, at that. Just as you get swept up in the action, you find out that you’re watching a movie about an L.A.-based porn star writing a “porno thriller in three acts titled, you guessed it, “The Mark Anton Story.” This is exactly where things begin to unravel. Unfortunately, by the third act, the story gets muddled and that’s too bad, because up to that point, “Pornography: A Thriller,” was living up to its name. DVD bonus features include commentary, deleted scenes, a featurette and more.
The coveted Miss Chicago Heart title will be presented at Circuit on Monday, July 19, New to the event this year is a boy to girl transformation contest. There’ll be more than $1k cash and prizes awarded. All martinis will be half-priced that night. The more you drink, the better they look, entry fee is $10. Miss Foozie hosts a moonlight cruise during Market Days on August 6. The boat boards around midnight at Navy Pier and returns to dock a little after two in the morning. There will be dancing, hors d-oeuvres and, of course, Miss Foozie doing her Shelly Winters in “Poseidon” impersonation. Tix are $35.90 per person (I think the 90 cents is for Dramamine). You must be at least 21 years old to board this ride. Go to MysticBlueCruises.com for more information All the best drag queens will be descending upon Berlin on Sunday, July 27 for “Bonanza”, a sale featuring vintage clothing and wares from some of the city’s top shops for vintage wear. Among the stores participating are; Knee Deep, Hot Temper Hot Sauce, Joules Jewels, Xza Louise, Jenstyle Vintage, Very Best Vintage, Polly Golightly, and Psychosurplus. Sip while you shop, with specials such as $2 PBR, $2.50 mimosas and $6 Absolut Bloody Marys. It all takes place between the civilized hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Golly Gidget, Look at all the Gay Guys!
That’s what one might say to Sally Field, if she still played Gidget, instead of a grandmother with osteoporosis, at Roscoe’s when it converts to Bacardi Island Beach on August 6. And, if you don’t get enough the first time, they’ll replay the entire thing August 22.
It’s Take Your Bitch to the Bar Day
Before you all start sending angry e-mails my way, read farther. The Wild Pug celebrates our four-legged friends every Saturday with “Dog Day Afternoon” where you can cruise or chat while your pup plays in air-conditioned comfort.
While we’re in Uptown, let’s talk about The Wild Pug’s sister bar, Crew. Yeah, I know it’s a sports bar, but isn’t about time they proved it? Oh, wait! They are! During the next Frat Boy Friday, July 23, they’re encouraging the bar’s patrons to show us that they’re 26 boi
athletic supporters by…oh, wait. I got that wrong. They’re encouraging the guys to show us their athletic supporters, as in jockstraps. Well that’s very different isn’t it? I hear that contest hostess Sofia Saffire likes the “Hot Jock Contest” to get a little dirty, so bring in da funk. You might win a prize and bring home $200. Sign up starts at 10 p.m., and the fun kicks into high gear at 11 p.m. If you can’t sign your name, just rub your jock on an index card and Sofia will smell you out.
Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair
Now, here’s a novel way to do your laundry. Head over to the laundromat next to Scot’s and the guys at the bar will give you detergent. Then while your unmentionables are spinning around you can sit and sip a cocktail at the bar. When it’s time to change your loads (of laundry), run over, take care of business and hop back on your stool where they’ll keep your drink cold for you. While you’re at the bar, admire the new exhibit of art by Dan Crowley.
It’s O.K. to Dribble
July 23 will be “Gay Day” when Chicago’s WNBA team, Chicago Sky, faces New York Liberty. Tickets for the event are $45 and includes your game ticket, a souvenir t-shirt and $10 donated back to an LGBT organization. Call 322.994.5980 or e-mail sanderson@ chicagosky.net. Will, somebody please explain why there is a “Gay Day” at the WNBA? I thought every game there was a gay day game.
It’s All Greek to Me
Alexi Giannoulias is not only one hot number; he is a straight man so comfortable with himself that he’s not intimidated being in the middle of a gay crowd. He also has a good track record with the GLBT community. So, it’s no wonder he, and a lot of his supporters, had a WTF moment recently. Alexi rented space at the Center on Halsted for an event and invited TPAN, an organization with whom he’s worked, to participate. The Center’s E.D., Tico, decided that he didn’t want TPAN there, no one is quite certain why. Things were being ironed out as we went to press. Maybe we’ll have more later.
Big Chicks – Buck Burger Crew – half-priced pizza & flat bread pizzas Halsted’s - $14 Miller buckets Hideaway - $3 “U Call It”, $2 off pizzas Hydrate - $1 drink specials Kit Kat – 50% off your entire bill Roscoe’s - $10 Miller Lite pitchers Scarlet - $3 tallboy PBR, $5 well Cosmos Scot’s - $3.25 domestic bottles Spin – $1 Leinenkugel draft/ $4 Skyy drinks Touché - $2.50 PBR Wild Pug – domestic pints $2
Atmosphere - $1 well & Bud Lite draft Berlin - $1 drink night Crew- $1 tacos, half-priced appetizers Halsted’s - $5.95 salad entrees Kit Kat – half-priced martinis Scarlet - $6 pitchers vodka-lemonade, $3 Miller Lite, Scot’s - $2 off all martinis Spin – $4 call cocktails Temptations - $1 kamikaze shots Wild Pug – Shock Top pints $2.75
Atmosphere - $2.50 drink specials Crew – half-priced martinis & desserts Halsted’s - $2 Miller & Bud draft pints Kit Kat – 50% off cocktails & martinis, 2 for 1 entrees Mary’s Attic - $3 well/domestic bottled beer Roscoe’s - $3 off all martinis Scarlet - $95 Classic Stoli bottle service, $5 martinis, $4 Amstel or Heineken Scot’s – $2 off Cosmos Spin – $1 house cocktails, domestic draft beer & wine Velvet Rope - $1 drinks Wild Pug – Absolut cocktails $3.50
Atmosphere – $3 well, $5 cosmos, Crew – endless chips & salsa $2.50, $3 tap Hydrate - specials on Effen cocktails Kit Kat - $5 Effen martinis & $5 mojitos Scarlet - $5 40oz Miller Light & King Cobra, 26oz Corona or mini-pitcher of Long Island Scot’s - $4 draft beers Touché - $2.50 PBR
Crew – half-priced nachos, $2 PBR Halsted’s - $12 pitchers Miller & Bud Lite Hamburger Mary’s - $4 Leininkugel bottles Hideaway $7 Smirnoff lemonade pitchers Kit Kat - $30 3-course prix fixe meal Roscoe’s – Coor’s Light pitchers Scarlet - $4 well drinks, $4 Bud Light, Wild Pug – all martinis $6
Crew - $9 pitchers Miller Lite Halsted’s - $3 mimosas & screwdrivers Hamburger Mary’s - $5 slushies Hideaway - $5 Long Islands Roscoe’s - $3 off martinis Scarlet - $95 Classic Stoli bottle service Touché – free pizza at midnight
Atmosphere – $3 well, $2 Bud Lite draft, Big Chicks – Free BBQ Halsted’s - $3 mimosas & screwdrivers Kit Kat – “Divalicious Brunch” Roscoe’s - $12 pitchers of Long Islands Scarlet –“Liquid Brunch” $12 bottles of champagne, $4 bloody Marys & screwdrivers, free cereal & juice Scot’s – Free BBQ Smart Bar – Dollar Disco – drinks are $1 Spin –“Supersize Me” Absolut cocktails served in pint glasses, “Meat & Buns” free hot dogs & hamburgers Wild Pug – specials on pitchers of mimosa, Bud Light, Sweet Tea, Long Islands
n 2003 a trio of entrepreneurs created the JustUsBoys website portal. It didn’t take long for it to catch on, and became phenomenally successful, developing a very loyal following of gay men from across the globe. The site concentrated on high quality photographic content and a very popular message board which, at the time, was the largest of its kind. As an offshoot, they also created the JustUsBoys magazine, which is still the largest freely distributed gay magazine in the country focusing on the gay porn industry. In 2005 YouTube started the user-submitted video craze on the Internet. As video began to dominate the Internet, the folks at JustUsBoys began to look for something new to start that would allow them to do for video what JustUsBoys had done for photos. They began RocketTube in 2008 and it has grown into a website that gets more than two million page views every day. The United States accounts for half of the site’s traffic; the U.K., Canada, Germany and France round out the other top five countries with RocketTube fans. According to Alexa.com, an organization that tracks web site hits, RocketTube is in the top 3,000 websites visited by people in the United States. RocketTube has quickly become a favorite among web surfers and has avoided charging customers for anything, making it the largest completely free gay tube site on the Internet. It is also the largest gay-owned and operated tube site. Straight porn company conglomerates run most of the other gay videosharing sites.
RocketTube sells “clicks” to advertisers (just like YouTube, Google, Bing, and others do.) The web site sends out tens upon tens of thousands of paid clicks per day; which is more than enough to cover its expenses. Going forward, RocketTube plans to just keep improving the user experience and the speed of the site. It already has one of the most technologically advanced adult tube sites, streaming all videos so users don’t’ have to wait on downloads to start. It is also the only gay porn video sharing site completely compatible with Apple’s iPad and iphone. An on-going promotion from RocketTube offers $1k, each month to the amateur video that gets the highest rating on the site. Of course, there are rules, check out RocketTube.com for more information.
One of the aspects that has made video file sharing so popular is that anyone can be a star and anyone can have tons of fans from across the planet. Anyone can upload a video to RocketTube and share it with the world; consequently there is something to appeal to everyone. On RocketTube you’ll find your typical jocks putting up their videos, but there also plenty of videos featuring bears, daddies, chubs, and twinks, each with plenty of fans of their own. Some people actively participate by uploading their own homemade porn, but most are just on the site to check it out and get off on other peoples homemade videos. Bryce Thomason, of RocketTube says, “We really work hard to make our website easy to use. One of the biggest problems we saw with our competition was that their sites were hard to navigate. You couldn’t tell the difference between an ad and the content you were supposed to look at. When we set about designing RocketTube, we wanted to create a design that kept things organized, paid attention to white space to make every page of the site appealing, and utilized colors that avoided eyestrain. Our design principle puts sponsored links and ads in designated areas so as not to confuse consumers with what is an advertisement and what is content.” One of the most popular questions about video sharing websites is how they make money. Like other sites,