Best of Atlanta: Nightlife


Best Overall Bar
Best Niche Bar
Best Neighborhood Bar
Best Best Place to Meet Men
Best Karaoke


Hey, Mary’s! People like you, they really like you! This self-proclaimed gay dive bar practically swept every category it was nominated in and for good reason — it’s been voted tops by the Logo channel and Out magazine and now by GA Voice readers.

Tucked into the busy corner of the ultra hip East Atlanta Village, Mary’s (www.marysatlanta) is the favorite for men who enjoy cruising men as they squeeze next to each other to reach the bar. Many Mary’s men (and women) are firm believers in the hanky code so there’s plenty to know up front when talking to the guy upstairs at the Boozy Cougar. With popular parties ranging from the Boys of Summer swimsuit competition to Bastille Day where gender bending revolutionaries show up to celebrate, Mary’s is also still tops for karaoke — aka Mary-oke — where inner divas sing their hearts out.

Best Bar Overall: Amsterdam ( placed second while The New LeBuzz ( placed third.

Best Niche Bar: Atlanta Eagle came in second ( and Woofs ( placed third.

Best Neighborhood Bar: Burkhart’s Pub placed second ( and Friends on Ponce ( placed third.

Best Place to Meet Men: Second place finisher was Blake’s on the Park ( Burkhart’s Pub placed third.

Best Karaoke: In the Karaoke category, Burkhart’s Pub placed second with Gilberts Café  ( taking third.

Best Place to Meet Women

Bellissima ( attracts the most beautiful women in Atlanta to its Sapphic and spacious venue on Amsterdam Walk by holding live concerts, fun theme parties and DJs playing the beats that make you want to get close on the dance floor. Don’t be shy. Go up to the woman you spotted at the pool table and buy her a drink. This is the place to do just that, and your guy friends are always welcome too. My Sister’s Room ( placed second and, lo and behold, Mary’s (www.marysatlanta) finished third.

Best Dance Floor
Atlanta Eagle

There’s not a better place to get hot and sweaty than on the dance floor at the Atlanta Eagle ( With strobe lights and the beats of house DJ Pat Scott, men like to shed their shirts and show off their best assets as they grind shoulder to shoulder with other hot guys at one of the city’s oldest gay bars. Jungle ( placed second and the Heretic ( placed third.

Best Bartender
Bernadette Patterson

Bernadette Patterson at Mary’s is Atlanta’s Best Bartender, according to our readers. With a no-frills attitude and impressive tattoo sleeves, Patterson is more than just “one of the guys” — she is part of the family and can serve a cold PBR as quick as she can toss out an unruly customer. Cheers, grrl. Have the guys buy you a round. Placing second was Richard Marshall from Jungle ( and in third place is Cherie Oliver from The New LeBuzz (

Best Drag Show
The Armorettes

The Armorettes (look them up on Facebook!), the camp drag queens of the South, take home the title of best Drag Show not only for their hilarious and entertaining numbers but also for their dedication to raising nearly $2 million for HIV and AIDS agencies since the troupe was born some 30 years ago. Dragnique at Jungle ( placed second and the Court of Kings at The New LeBuzz ( finished third.

Best OTP Bar
The New LeBuzz

The New LeBuzz ( just moved to a new 4,000 square-foot space. The club hosted Marietta’s first Gay Pride last year, and will host the suburb’s second gay pride at the end of July. With a Ladies Night, its Divas Cabaret and soon-to-come Latin Night, this OTP bar puts the gay in bedroom community. Club One ( in Savannah placed second and Club Argos (look it up on Facebook!) in Augusta placed third.

Best Theme Night
The Manshaft

If you are looking for a quarterly men’s party that offers up the Military “Private” Edition or a Lumberjack Edition with hard rocking beats from DJ Diablo Rojo, The Manshaft ( is the place to be. Dubbed a “Hot Sticky Party for Men,” the theme night often features vintage “men’s films” and a “rough and tumble crowd” that loves leather men, bears, otters and those with facial hair. Grrr. “Glee” Night at Amsterdam ( placed second and Showtunes at Oscar’s  ( placed third.


Top photo: Mary’s in East Atlanta won several awards in our 2011 Best of Atlanta survey (by Dyana Bagby)