Best of Atlanta: Nightlife

After two months of online balloting and tens of thousands of votes cast, we present to you your favorites in dozens of categories in our fifth annual Best of Atlanta awards. Many people like to say these awar...
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Snuffing it out: Gay bars lead the way in banning lighting up

Smoking in Atlanta's bars

UPDATED April 26: Atlanta Eagle goes smoke-free indoors beginning Monday, April 29. Burkharts is holding a one-week trial run of smoke-free indoors also beginning on April 29.

Jeff Powell, wearing his baseball cap flipped backwards, lights up a Marlboro Light in the upstairs bar of Blake’s on the Park. It’s early on a Saturday night, so the Midtown bar is not jam-packed with people. He and his friends are tossing back beers and cocktails as drag star Charlie Brown sashays past.

“I’m a very conscious smoker,” Powell said. “I’m aware of my surroundings. I want to be conscious of nonsmokers and don’t want to offend anyone.”

Blake’s allows smoking throughout the two-story bar, but in the past few months, several other gay bars have announced they are prohibiting smoking or only allowing smoking in a designated area. Powell said he has no problem with that.

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[Photos] MSR brings some ‘bad girls’ to the club – and others who just like to dance

My Sister's Room

DJ M, My Sister's Room and Twee threw down Aug. 16 with its "We Love Biggie" edition of Dance Fever at the lesbian bar in East Atlanta. Women (and some guys) packed the dance floor to the beats of the 80s, 90s, disco Top 40 as well as hip hop.

The GA Voice arrived too late on Aug. 17 to witness any action, but word was from party organizers and witnesses that "Bad Girls Club" filmed a scene at MSR. And a fight broke out. Apparently the reality TV show that takes a bunch of bad girls, puts them in a house and records the hilarity and violence and, well, embarrassing situations arise is now filming in the ATL and will also be filming at the Pure Heat festival in Piedmont Park on Sept. 2 during Black Pride over Labor Day weekend.

Are girl fights really that popular still? Anyone see any "Bad Girls Club" filming going on anywhere?

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Best of Atlanta: Nightlife

My Sister's Room

Best Place to Meet Women
My Sister’s Room

Every night is Ladies’ Night at My Sister’s Room (, which reclaimed its top spot as the Best Place to Meet Women. The long-time lesbian bar has been reinvigorated with new energy, and continuously proves its commitment to showing lesbians can party with the best. Second place went to Mary’s ( and LeBuzz ( finished in third.

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Why can’t Atlanta sustain lesbian bars?

Is it something about the particular women’s bars that have opened here, or is there something inherently different about the way lesbians approach nightlife? Either way, Atlanta is back to having just one lesbian bar, despite about two dozen bars targeted to gay men.

This week, Bellissima, the lesbian bar located at Amsterdam Walk in Midtown, announced its closure after a contract to sell the bar encountered problems.

That means there is just one specifically lesbian bar left in the city: My Sister’s Room, which reopened last weekend with renovations and new owners, and debuts a new sports bar menu this weekend.

This is down from a heyday of a whopping three lesbian bars in the Atlanta area in 2010, when Paris Decatur closed.

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My Sister’s Room changes owners, to become sports bar and grill

My Sister's Room to become lesbian sports bar

Lesbian bar My Sister's Room will transform into a new venue soon after the new year as owner Susan Musselwhite sells her bar of 15 years to business and life partners Jami Siden and Jennifer Maguire.

Maguire, known to many in the nightlife scene as promoter and emcee Chase Daniels, and Siden, who has been working as MSR's marketing person, along with Musselwhite and her wife, Patryce Yeiser, made the announcement at the East Atlanta bar on Saturday.

"We decided we wanted to do something like the bar scene in 'A League of Their Own' — a place to honor strong women in history and sports," said Maguire. The 1992 film "A League of Their Own" starred Madonna, Rosie O'Donnell and Tom Hanks and was a fictionalized account of the first women's professional baseball league.