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.
Across the South Platte River and I-25 from downtown Denver, the Lower Highlands neighborhood (aka LoHi) sits on a slight rise with great views of the skyline and historic streets lined with Craftsman bungalows and Victorian homes. Like so many districts that have become popular with artists, gays, entrepreneurs and hipsters, Lower Highlands was a mostly prosaic workaday neighborhood until undergoing rapid gentrification in the ‘90s.
More recently, things are buzzing in the area much closer to downtown, reached via the modern pedestrian bridge across Commons Park West, which connects the area with newly renovated Union Station and historic LoDo (Lower Downtown). In these parts, cafes like Black Eye Coffee Shop and Eat + Drink are inviting places to relax and socialize while sipping first-rate coffee; Eat + Drink is also an artisan wine-and-cheese shop.
The biggest draw in Highlands is definitely eating — and at restaurants that are nearly all well-known for their local beers and spirits, too. Be sure to check out Linger, an offbeat yet stylish restaurant set intriguingly inside a former mortuary, Williams & Graham, a notable option for late-night dining with a bar helmed by some of the most talented mixologists in the city and Sassafras, a Southern-style breakfast and lunch place serving decadent food and luscious milkshakes.
This article is one in a series about post-gayborhoods.
(Featured image via Keshet: LGBT inclusion in the Jewish Community/Flickr)