You're Here, You're Queer...It's Time to Drink Some Beer!
Get a stiff one with some help from our queer club guide.
By Laura Marrich
Gay bars come and go with surprising frequency in Albuquerque. Hell, even veteran scenesters have a hard time keeping track of what's available from time to time. But if you've recently come into town or out of the closet, deciding where to spend your evening can be that much more confusing (and potentially disastrous). Don't want to end up an Alice in Leatherland? Tired of beating around the bush? Find the scene that's right for you with our lineup of clubs, bars and booze-holes that help put the "queer" in Albuquerque.
Albuquerque Mining Co
7209 Central NE
One of Burque's oldest gay bars also attracts somewhat of an "older crowd" (read: thirties and up), but for good reason; the guys who hung out there when it first opened liked it enough to stick around. AMC gets big scores for their friendly staff and general lack of pretentiousness, but the smoky air might drive you away. When it's not too crowded, the wide open dance floor is great for kicking up your heels.
6132 4th NW
Burque's newest female-fueled club also attracts...well, lesbians. You might remember this place for its two former tenants, the Aussie Cantina and Renea's. Rest assured that the same great patio, big dance floor and upstairs pool tables have persevered. Now Exhale's lineup of DJs, live music acts, and whipped cream wrestling are just a sampling of the new treats you'll enjoy in the company women. Speaking of treats, they've got a sizeable bar menu; check it out at www.exhaleabq.com. p
8521 Central NE
Also popularly known "Foxes Booze n' Cruise," nothing' says "dive bar" like wrap-around fake wood paneling. They've got DJs, live music and the occasional (not to be missed) drag show; and despite the lack of a kitchen, they do offer free chicken dinners on Sundays (don't ask us how). Your experience may range from uncomfortably surreal to riotously campy, depending on how many drinks you had before you got there.
211 Gold SW
To be fair, O PM is not a gay bar; but the ultra-lounge decor, swank drinks and cool DJs do bring in hotties of all persuasions. Keep your eyes peeled for Fire Womyn, an all-female dance party they sometimes host (log onto www.firewomyn.com). Other pluses include little bowls of wasabe-pea Asian snack mix (yeah, the good stuff), sparkling bathrooms and Friday happy hours catered by Tucanos Brazilian Grill. Find out more at www.o-pm.com/abq.
4100 Central Se
Pulse is a sweaty, thumping, smoky club with sweaty, thumping, smoking go-go dancers. Every night's different, so call ahead for the theme and dress appropriately. Blu, on the other hand, is a low-key little side lounge that's bathed in—you guessed it—ambient blue lighting. Kick back with your Mr. or Ms. Right or Right now for an audible conversation, or belt out some ’80s classics on karoake night. Sneak a peak at www.pulsenightclub.com.
8900 Central SE
At the Ranch, country and western go hand-in-hand like faded leather chaps and a cold bud light—and believe us, you'll find plenty of both there. The Ranch holds its own as the city's biggest (and to our knowledge, only) gay cowboy bar. Cuffs is a little side bar with lots of muscle, dirty movies and even dirtier floors. Go for the super-friendly bartenders and line dancing. Leave when the smoke obscures your vision completely.