Two Gay Girls Singing in a Cafe

LGBTQ Cafe: Lessons on Coffee and Tea

When Harry Met Sally: Diner Scene

Most Popular LGBTQ Bars in US

Five Easy Pieces: Diner Scene

Gay Family Refused Service in a Cafe

Cheers: Too Ugly to Be Gay

Long Live the Queer Cafe

Friends Hanging Out at Central Perk



Welcome to the Queer Cafe


Pull up a chair. Get comfortable. Relax. Make yourself at home. You are among friends. This is the neighborhood cafe. It is a casual intimate setting, a cozy little nook with a warm and friendly atmosphere. It is filled with cheerful and energetic voices. The cafe is a place to have a chat with friends while sipping a cup of coffee, a cup of tea, or a glass of wine.

You'll notice the diverse clientele. People in the cafe are from various parts of town, from all layers of society, and from all walks of life. Many of the patrons seem to know each other and exchange greetings. But it is also a place that is welcoming of newcomers. It is an accepting and affirming place where people come for the atmosphere that bonds them together and gives them the opportunity to meet new friends.


The cafe fosters a sense of community and belongingness. Some folks regard the cafe as a refuge away from the frenzy of their work day and the worries of their everyday life. Some consider it a sanctuary or safe haven where they can get away from judgment and oppression and just be themselves. It is a sacred space.


Diner Girl

Big Lebowski: Enjoying My Coffee

The Avengers in a Schwarma Restaurant

LGBTQ Cafe in Dominican Republic

Cup of Tea: Bringing People Together

Casablanca: Rick's Cafe Americain

Lesbian Waitress Hassled by Customers

Gay Scandinavian Cafe in Puerto Vallarta

Over Confident Gay Guy in a Fast Food Restaurant

Queer Brunching: LGBTQ Roundtable Chat 1

Gay Soldier Berated in Restaurant

Pulp Fiction Cafe Scene



Let's Meet at the Cafe


"Meet me at the coffee shop so we can dance like Iggy pop"

-Red Hot Chili Peppers

"I know a place where the music is fine

And the lights are always low
I know a place where we can go
At the door there's a man who will greet you
Then you go downstairs to some tables and chairs
Soon I'm sure you'll be tappin' your feet
Because the beat is the greatest there
All around there are girls and boys
It's a swingin' place, a cellar full of noise
It's got an atmosphere of its own somehow

-Petula Clark


"I am sitting in the morning at the diner on the corner
I am waiting at the counter for the man to pour the coffee
He is looking out the window at somebody coming in
It is always nice to see you, says the man behind the counter"
-Suzanne Vega


"We can meet anytime you want at our Italian restaurant"

-Billy Joel


"I remember the times we spent inside the Sad Cafe
Oh it seemed like a holy place protected by amazing grace
And we would sing right out loud the things we could not say
We thought we could change this world with words like love and freedom
We were part of the lonely crowd inside the Sad Cafe"




Best LGBTQ Bars in New York City

Family Gay Bashed in Texas Cafe

Scene from Diner Film: Sinatra or Mathis

LGBTQ Cafe in New Delhi, India

Best LGBTQ Bars in Los Angeles

Conversation About Reality: My Dinner With Andre

Gay Couple Gets Kicked Out of Cafe for PDA

Tour of Castro District in San Francisco

Queer Brunching: LGBTQ Roundtable Chat 2

La Chica De La Barra

Tom's Diner by Suzanne Vega

Brunch with Chris Hemsworth in Drag


Perfect Social Setting


So, what is a cafe? And what does it symbolize? Cafes really are more than just places to eat a meal. Restaurants and dining establishments of all types (cafe, coffee shop, bistro, lounge, club, eatery, diner, bar, pub, tavern, saloon, hangout, dive) seek to not only serve delicious food and drink, but to offer a positive social experience.

Cafés have been established as staples of society in industrialized nations throughout the world. Cafés offer a pick-me-up before work, a reward after a long day, a stimulating environment for creativity and thought, or simply a place to relax and spend time with friends.

Cafes and coffee shops provide the perfect informal setting for social interactions, conversations, meetings, mingling, and hanging out. These venues lend themselves to gathering places, meet ups, study halls, surrogate offices, chess games, reading rooms, intellectual salons, discussion groups, book groups, and social centers.


Cafes and coffee houses continue to be venues where people gather to talk, write, read, entertain one another, or pass the time. Some research suggests that we use light hearted conversation to establish and maintain our connection within a group, as well as for mere information transfer. So, by providing a space for regular, but unplanned, interaction with members of the community, cafes, coffee houses, diners, and bars may play a role in creating social networks, and therefore encouraging community values.


Two Gay Girls Singing in a Cafe

LGBTQ Cafe: Lessons on Coffee and Tea

When Harry Met Sally: Cafe Scene

Most Popular LGBTQ Bars in US

Five Easy Pieces: Diner Scene

Gay Family Refused Service in a Cafe

Cheers: Too Ugly to Be Gay

Tea for Two: Two Strangers on a Blind Date

Long Live the Queer Cafe

Friends Hanging Out at Central Perk

Diner Girl



Famous Queer Cafes


Stonewall Inn - Christopher Street, Greenwich Village NYC

The Pulse Nightclub - Orlando FL

Gene Compton's Cafeteria - San Francisco CA , Tenderloin District

Twin Peaks Tavern - Castro District, San Francisco CA

Swinging Richards - Atlanta GA

Sidetrack - Chicago IL

The Abbey Food & Bar, West Hollywood, Los Angeles CA

Larry's Lounge - DuPont Circle, Washington DC

Therapy - Hell's Kitchen NYC

Hamburger Mary's, West Hollywood, Los Angeles CA

Bulldogs Bar - Atlanta GA

Bourbon Pub & Parade - Bourbon Street, New Orleans LA

Club Cafe - Boston MA

Roundup Saloon - Dallas TX

Al's on Seventh - Birmingham AL

Moby Dick - Castro District, San Francisco CA

Cubbyhole - East Village NYC

Pecs Bar - San Diego CA

Hunters - Fort Lauderdale FL

Roscoe's Tavern - Chicago IL

Pilsner Inn - Castro District, San Francisco CA

Tribe - Nashville TN

Duplex Cabaret Theatre - Christopher Street, Greenwich Village NYC

Gym Sports Bar, West Hollywood, Los Angeles CA

Rain on 4th -Austin TX

Q Bar - Castro District, San Francisco CA

Our Place - Birmingham AL


Sober Queer Spaces

Gay Bars are Losing Popularity

Queerest Little Coffee Shop in LA

We Need Alcohol-Free Queer Spaces

Queer Cafes on the Rise

Is the Gay Bar Dying?

LGBTQ Coffee Shops in Portland

Long Live the Queer Cafe

Coffee Shops: New Concept for Queer Space

Why Are So Many Gay Bars Closing?

Cuties: Queer Coffee Shop

Out of the Bars and Into the Cafes

Queer Coffee



Where Everybody Knows Your Name


Cafes and coffee shops (indeed also bars and diners) are iconic in American media, including television, film, and music...



Duffy’s Tavern – Duffy’s Tavern

Grant’s Toomb – The Corner Bar

Peach Pit - Beverly Hills 90210

Central Perk Coffee Shop - Friends

Cheers Bar  - Cheers

Monk's Diner - Seinfeld

Moe's Bar - Simpsons

Paddy's Pub - Always Sunny in Philadelphia
MacLaren's Pub  - How I Met Your Mother

Snakehole Lounge - Parks and Recreation

Bait Shop - The OC

Williamsburg Bar - Two Broke Girls





My Dinner with Andre

Pulp Fiction


Reservoir Dogs

When Harry Met Sally

Groundhog Day

Girl in the Cafe

Taxi Driver

Big Lebowski

True Romance

Soul Kitchen






Sad Cafe (Eagles)

Scenes From an Italian Restaurant (Billy Joel)

Alice's Restaurant (Arlo Guthrie)

Bruno's Place (Loudon Wainwright III)

Diner (Martin Sexton)

I Know a Place (Petula Clark)

Cafe Society (Al Stewart)

Tom's Diner (Suzanne Vega)

Mary's Place (Bruce Springsteen)

Sunset Grille (Don Henley)

The Slant/The Diner (Ani DiFranco)

Diner (Widespread Panic)


Cafe and Coffee House Culture

Function and Design of Cafes Throughout Time

Coffee Culture and Socializing

Social Dynamics of Coffee Shops

Notes on Coffee Houses

Energy Boost and Social Atmosphere

Social Dynamics of Coffee Shops



LGBTQ Safe Spaces


New York LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Chicago LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Orlando LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

San Diego LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

News Orleans LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Sydney LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Tallahassee LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Detroit LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Atlanta LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

London LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Houston LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

St. Louis LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Toronto LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Birmingham LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Harlem LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants

Tokyo LGBTQ Cafes Bars Restaurants



Salon Culture


A salon is a gathering of people in the home of an inspiring host or in a public café, held partly to amuse one another and partly to refine the taste and increase the knowledge of the participants through conversation. They feature food and drink along with deep intellectual and political discussions. For more than just socializing, they are a forum, piazza, or town hall.

Salons were invented in Italy in the 16th century and flourished in France in the 17th and 18th centuries. Salons in the tradition of the French literary and philosophical movements of the time were carried on until as recently as the 1940s in urban settings.

You can gain insight into these intellectual and literary salons by reading Ernest Hemingway’s book, A Moveable Feast in which he talks about time he spent at the Paris home of the premiere lesbian couple, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, who hosted regular get-togethers in the 1920s.


The Stein-Toklas salons, at 27 Rue de Fluerus in Paris, featured the "Lost Generation" of poets, writers, painters, sculptors, and political figures. Their guests included such iconic folks as Picasso, Cezanne, Matisse, Thornton Wilder, James Joyce, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Ernest Hemingway. To have a piece of your art displayed there was a validation of your place among the most relevant artists of the time. A standing invitation to attend was the equivalent of inclusion on a modern day who’s who list.

Dorothy Parker's Algonquin Round Table in New York City was another famous intellectual and literary salon. It was a group of writers, critics, actors, and wits. The members of "The Vicious Circle", as they dubbed themselves, gathered for lunch each day at the Algonquin Hotel from 1919 until 1929. At these luncheons they engaged in wisecracks, wordplay, and witticisms that, through the newspaper columns of Round Table members, were disseminated across the country. Guests included Robert Benchley, Harpo Marx, Noel Coward, Tallulah Bankhead, Franklin Pierce Adams, Marc Connelly, Heywood Broun, Ruth Hale, Harold Ross, Frank Sullivan, and others.


These multidisciplinary gatherings offer people exposure to new ideas, powerful questions, and learning outside of the confines of classroom education. They offer an opportunity to expound, opine, and debate. They address current events, important issues, and profound ideas. They inspire. They ask big questions.

For a new generation of LGBTQ people, salons might suggest the model for a new and rising notion of the queer café. Quite different from the gay bar experience, this coffee house concept offers a quieter, more subdued venue for LGBTQ folks to gather and connect at a more personal and philosophical level. Considering possible alternatives to the gay bar scene, there has been some discussion in the queer community about the growing need for inclusive and affirming places to gather for friendly interaction and deep conversation.

Salon: Intellectual Gathering

Long Live the Queer Cafe

Algonquin Round Table

Modern Intellectual and Literary Salons

Social Dynamics of Coffee Shops

Gertrude Stein's Paris Salons

Salon Culture: Network of Ideas



LGBTQ Interest Groups


LGBTQ Meet Up Social Groups Worldwide

Lesbian and Gay Meet Up Friends Groups Worldwide

Meet Up Gay Professionals Group

Meet Up Lesbian Professionals Group


The Corner Bar


The Corner Bar was a TV series that ran from 1972 to 1973 about the life and times of the patrons of Grant’s Toomb, a New York tavern owned by Harry Grant and later by Mae and Frank. Actors included Shimen Ruskin, JJ Barry, Bill Fiore, Gabriel Dell, Joe Keyes, Langhorn Scruggs, Anne Meara, Eugene Roche, and Ron Carey. It was the first American sitcom to feature a recurring gay character (Peter Panama portrayed by Vincent Schiavelli).


Cheers: Boys in the Bar


"The Boys in the Bar" is the sixteenth episode of the first season of the American situation comedy television series Cheers. It originally aired on January 27, 1983 on NBC. It is co-written by Ken Levine and David Isaacs and directed by James Burrows. This episode's narrative deals with homosexuality, coming out, and homophobia. It was inspired by the coming out story of former Los Angeles Dodgers baseball player, Glenn Burke. In this episode, Sam's former teammate, Tom (portrayed by Alan Autry) reveals his homosexuality and Sam slowly becomes supportive of him. The bar's regular customers express their disdain toward Sam's support and fear that because of Sam's support of Tom, the bar will become a place full of homosexuals.


[Source: Wikipedia]



Cheers: Boys in the Bar

That Gay Episode: Showing Acceptance on Cheers

IMDB: Cheers Gay Episode

Frazier: Visit to a Gay Bar


Midway through its first season, Cheers did a gay episode that not only stands up well today, nearly 35 years later, but also encapsulates everything the show would do well during its subsequent decade on the air.

Titled "The Boys in the Bar," the episode is lean. There is no B plot and it unfolds in two acts that each contain one long scene. However, in these two scenes, the audience gets to see Sam Malone (Ted Danson) come around to supporting his former teammate, who has recently come out as gay. And then he decides that he supports all gay people, even the ones he doesn’t know personally and even if they decide to congregate at his bar.

What’s great about "The Boys in the Bar," aside from Sam’s growth, is that it positions Diane Chambers (Shelley Long) as an advocate for gays. Even when everyone else in the bar wants Sam to throw out some gay-seeming customers in an effort to stop Cheers from turning into a gay bar, Diane reminds them all how ridiculous they’re being and that their objections are rooted in bigotry.

Sam eventually comes to understand this too, and when Norm (George Wendt) questions what kind of bar Cheers is turning into, Sam says he doesn’t care, so long as it doesn’t became "the kind of bar I have to throw people out of." Diane’s response is great: "That was the noblest preposition you ever dangled."

Throughout this commotion, Diane has maintained that there are already gay men in the bar, and most everyone assumes it’s the new guys. One has a killer mustache, one is sporting some tight jeans, and they both ordered light beers. In the final moment, however, it’s revealed that the homosexuals are actually two of the barflies who have been in the background the entire time. They both lean in to give Norm a peck on the cheek, and while that is this episode’s corniest moment, there’s still something to be said for it: that gay people don’t always look gay. They’re not necessarily young or good-looking. They look like just anyone and everyone.

[Source: Drew Mackie, Gayest Episode Ever]



Cheers: Boys in the Bar

That Gay Episode: Showing Acceptance on Cheers

IMDB: Cheers Gay Episode

Frazier: Visit to a Gay Bar


I was watching episode sixteen of season one of Cheers: "The Boys in the Bar."  And wow. In this episode, Sam is inspired by Diane to show support for an old fellow baseball player who's recently come out. It's a nice moment undermined only by an odd moment where Sam furiously tells Diane that he thinks guys should be guys. Only, that's just the first act. The main thrust of the episode centers on the story appearing in the paper, and the bar regulars deciding that, and then struggling with the idea that, the bar is about to become a gay bar, just like an old pub they used to frequent, and they decide to abandon Cheers and go find a new bar. Sam is pushed to the verge of throwing three customers out because they're gay, although thanks to Diane being the only non-bigoted character, he doesn't, and has a nice line about not letting his bar become a place where anybody isn't welcome. The ending is also on Diane's side, with the twist that the homosexual customers were actually straight, and two of the angry mob were actually the gay customers.

But, in between those scenes, much of the episode focuses on the regulars, those lovable, friendly characters, Norm, Cliff (John Ratzenberger), Carla, unironically espousing pretty hateful views about homosexuality, demanding Sam run them out of the bar, and then taking matters into their own hands when he doesn't, and doing it themselves.

Now, the episode is supportive of homosexuality. It's pushing the message that homophobia is wrong, and I think trying to display that that sort of thing was accepted in sports bars of the like, even though the whole thing is reprehensible. But the whole thing has such an odd tone to it, the lovable characters are openly homophobic, their lines treated as fairly comical. Sam at several points in the episode is incredibly close to declaring disapproval of homophobia, or tossing homosexual customers out on their ear.

Obviously this is representative of issues the writers saw, and obviously that's the message they wanted to send. I'm not saying I wanted it spoon-fed to me. But the whole thing had such a weird feel to it, that I just... I guess maybe that was the point of it. What better way to get people to think about homophobia than to have some of the most lovable characters on TV show it off in a pretty harsh manner?

[Source: British Hobo, Reddit]


Cheers: Boys in the Bar

That Gay Episode: Showing Acceptance on Cheers

IMDB: Cheers Gay Episode

Frazier: Visit to a Gay Bar



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