Over the past decade, the gayborhood has morphed into what’s often termed a “post-gay” neighborhood. At many LGBT-owned businesses, you’re apt to bump into plenty of straight folks as well — and vice versa. And it’s a good bet that the formerly explicitly gay neighborhoods will continue to become steadily more diverse — including the influx of the dreaded “hipster”. But if you can get beyond the sometimes precious conceits of these trendy urban districts, you’ll discover some of the best businesses and restaurants in the country.
Every day for the next two weeks, we’ll be taking a look at a dozen of the most dynamic and interesting post-gay neighborhoods in the United States and Canada. These aren’t necessarily the biggest or the most popular — just a good sampling of especially notable ones.
To see all the articles in this series, click here.
Situated conveniently across I-85/75 west of Midtown, the city’s main gay hub, the Westside (also known as West Midtown) was mostly a swath of warehouses and industrial concerns — some of them vacant — until developers, restaurateurs, and artists began moving in over the past 10 to 15 years.
This large neighborhood sprawls a bit between downtown to the south and Buckhead to the north, but for the best concentration of dapper housewares shops and chichi nightspots and eateries, head for Howell Mill Road, which has plenty of diversions between Huff Road and Marietta Street; this latter thoroughfare then continues south with still more worthy places to see-and-be-seen.
Long-running Bacchanalia is a favorite gay date restaurant that’s part of the foodie-minded Star Provisions complex. Other foodie favorites include the mod-Southern restaurant Miller Union and scene-y newcomer Cooks & Soldiers, which earns raves for its stellar Basque-inspired cooking.
Octane Coffee bar serves high-quality beans and draws a mixed gay-straight crowd, while the refreshingly dive-y and old-school Northside Tavern is a fun, gay-friendly place to watch live blues and drink PBR.
This article is one in a series about post-gayborhoods.
(Featured image via Photognome/Flickr)