Post-Gayborhoods: Silver Lake Is LA’s Original Gay Neighborhood
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.
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LA’s original gay neighborhood became more mixed in the late 20th century as the scene migrated to West Hollywood. Still, this hilly, picturesque enclave east of Hollywood, south of beautiful Griffith Park, and northwest of downtown has always had at least a handful of gay bars. But the scene has changed, and the neighborhood has become more integrated — a popular spot for edgy boutiques and craft cocktail bars, but still with some terrific longstanding taquerias and retro diners that gays have been heading to for decades.
You’ll notice that the few remaining gay bars in Silver Lake fall into two categories: hip mixed venues like laid-back and arty Akbar, Latin-flavored Los Globos, and the live-music club Silverlake Lounge; and old-school cruise-y and male-oriented, such as the Eagle and Faultline Bar (there are a couple of gay bathhouses in the vicinity, too).
The newer, hipster-approved face of Silver Lake is found primarily along Sunset Boulevard, southeast from Fountain down to about Silver Lake Boulevard, and then also Hyperion Avenue for several blocks south of Rowena Avenue. You’ll nearly always spy some gay guys and lesbians at urbane cafes like LAMILL Coffee and the Sunset Boulevard branch of Intelligentsia.
The Black Cat, a former gay bar that’s now a mixed and quite inviting gastropub, is fun for people-watching and late-night dining, as are Barbrix wine bar on Hyperion, historic and very gay-popular Casita del Campo Mexican restaurant, and Black Hogg, a wildly eclectic place serving delicious international breakfast and dinner fare, from carnitas poutine to fried-chicken confit.
This article is one in a series about post-gayborhoods.
(Featured image via The Futuristics/Flickr)