There’s been a shift announced in the L.A. gay bar scene. Not only is Bar10, one of West Hollywood’s casual dine-in spots and cocktail bars, moving to Downtown L.A., but in its place will soon be Hi Tops Los Angeles, the newest location of the popular San Francisco gay sports bar. (Its slogan: “Cold pitchers, hot catchers.”)
It seems WeHo’s GYM Sportsbar, which has for years touted itself as the city’s only gay sports bar, will get some unexpected competition in the form of Hi Tops Los Angeles.
The Hi Tops atmosphere is what you’d expect from a sports bar: multiple TVs playing games, occasionally shirtless bartenders and standard bar fare: pretzels, wings and burgers with a Caesar salad and an Ahi tuna burger for the health conscious.
But the bar has also distinguished itself by holding a weekly trivia night and a “gym night” where customers dressed in sexy sports gear can score a free shot. In San Francisco the bar held an event for basketball fans who wanted to attend the Golden State Warriors’ LGBTQ night at Oracle Stadium.
Hi Tops San Francisco co-owner Jesse Woodward says of his bar, “[It’s] a gay bar where you can bring your parents. It’s friendly and welcoming, not intimidating and cliquey.”
But if Hi Tops Los Angeles wants to succeed, it’ll have to contend with GYM Sportsbar (which also has locations in New York and Fort Lauderdale), the city’s only other local gay sports bar. GYM offers a weekday two-for-one happy hour, a rotating selection of drink specials and televised games and is currently the “home base” for many of the city’s gay sports leagues.
One thing Hi Tops Los Angeles will have going for it is that GYM doesn’t sell food, and in March GYM discontinued its Monday night karaoke, leaving it somewhat vulnerable for a new competitor to come in and outshine it.
It’ll be exciting to see who wins this sports competition, especially considering the two bars are merely six blocks away from one another on Santa Monica Boulevard.