Best Gay Bar

The Bonham Exchange

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Winner: The Bonham Exchange

411 Bonham

(210) 224-9219

bonhamexchange.com

Erected 127 years ago and inaugurated as a German social and athletic club, the beloved Bonham Exchange boasts something most other nightspots in town can't compete with: history. Transformed into a gay bar in 1980 by developer/restaurateur/nightlife entrepreneur Arthur P. "Happy" Veltman Jr., the venue played host to an array of iconic acts in its golden years (the Ramones, Iggy Pop and Debbie Harry to name but a few) but is now chiefly a pleasure palace that keeps its wildly mixed crowd pumped with bargain cocktails (including $1 well drinks all night on Thursday), high-energy dance music and retro jams, drag shows and karaoke. Although much has been said about the club's specific orientation (if you're looking for trade, you'll find it more easily on the Main Strip), the truth of the matter is that the Bonham is welcoming of anyone looking for a party. That open-door policy is perhaps best exemplified during Fiesta, when the Bonham hosts a truly eclectic (and often steamy) after-party following the Battle of Flowers Parade.

2. Heat

1500 N. Main Ave

(210) 227-2600

heatsa.com

3. Sparky's

1416 N. Main Ave

(210) 320-5111

sparkyspub.com

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