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What Are America’s Gayest Restaurant Chains?

Despite reasonable assumptions, neither Big Boy nor Hardee’s are gay restaurant chains. But these nirvanas of homos and hamburgers do exist — we just need your help in finding them. Reading about how Hamburger Mary’s, the diner that serves its checks in high heels and started in 1972 in San Francisco, has expanded to Kansas City got us thinking: What are the other gay-oriented franchises out there?

With 10 locations across the U.S., Mary’s just might be the largest, and with an always-friendly serving staff, perhaps the nicest, too. But they aren’t alone in this quest to queer America’s food. So help us: If you’re hometown — or a lovely place you’ve visited — featured a gay eatery (a definition we’re gonna play loose with), tell us about it. We wants names, locations, websites, and if you can remember, you favorite menu item.

Because while we love playing Is It A Steakhouse Or A Gay Bar?, we’ll be damned if Jann Wenner’s new Rolling Stone restaurant is going to be America’s best known gay gastro franchise.

[photo via]

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22 Comments

  • Cam

    PW’s Sportsbar in the Washington DC/Baltimore Area I think qualifies because it combines gay and restaurant.

    1. Won Best Gay Bar in Maryland chosen by Baltimore Out Loud Gay Paper.

    2. Made the list of Best Burgers in the DC/Baltimore area according to WTOP radio.

    Definitly Gay, Definitly a restaurant also. We usually head up in a group when we’ve gotta have one of their burgers.

    http://www.pwssportsbar.com

  • terrwill

    OK Queerts, now you have to ‘splain to poor Mary why there are a bunch of inbred losers standing picketing outside their restaurants………….. : p

  • Cam

    No. 2 · terrwill
    OK Queerts, now you have to ‘splain to poor Mary why there are a bunch of inbred losers standing picketing outside their restaurants………….. : p
    ___________________________

    LOL! Oh No, Poor Mary! You’re right!

  • Mike McGuire

    Thanks for the exposure! Not only for Mary’s, but for the other queer eateries out there. Much obliged!

    -Mike (MJ) McGuire
    Sous Chef, Hamburger Mary’s KC.

  • strumpetwindsock

    They have had a location in Vancouver for about 25 years now too,

  • fradiavolo

    Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse, on the corner of 17th and Corcoran, NW, in Washington, DC — about three blocks from Dupont Circle (DC’s Gay Central). Usually packed on weekend mornings.

  • dellisonly

    Hunkies in Big D serves a fantastic greaseball old style diner burger and hand made shakes in the heart of Cedar Springs

  • ben doverr

    We had (really, still have) a Mary’s in Ft. Lauderdale.

    Legend goes, when the franchising fee didn’t sit well with ownership, they broke away, changed the names of menu items, etc.

    Now known as Rosies Bar and Grill, on Wilton Drive, for those on a visit. As gay as it ever was.

  • DSNX

    Uh…every restaurant in Chelsea or Hell’s Kitchen?

  • CCGuy

    Knock in Philadelphia – more upscale dining with bar. Gay owned and operated and 80-90% gay clientele….

  • Noelley B

    The Denny’s at 7th st and Camelback rd in Phoenix, AZ. At least, it was “the gay Denny’s when I lived there …. damn, seven years ago?

  • Hyhybt

    Still looking for a way to subscribe without commenting :)

  • chris

    OLGA’S KITCHEN in Michigan.

    Olga’s is corporate with more than 30 locations in Michigan. It started in Birmingham, Mi* in the early 70s under a very ethnic greek immigrant, Olga. The food is all sandwiches with made in special olga bread (it’s texture is thicker than pita bread). It used to be only in malls*. They have JAFF bread. Just About Fat Free.* And a small majority of the servers and management staff are gay.*

    *= Why Olga’s is gay-friendly.

  • Eric

    Annie’s…gross.

  • Elvis Depressley

    It’s a shame Hamburger Mary’s is a gay operated restaurant, but their Orlando location sure ain’t gay friendly. The staff is rude, and the service is horrible. Also, can we say overpriced much?

    I would rather go to the fucking Olive Garden.

  • Alfonzo

    @ Noelley B – Yep, it still is, but since then there are three more that are at least partially owned by Tom (can’t remember his last name: Ticoz, Fez and Switch.

  • Jenna's Bush

    @fradiavolo: Not a chain, Einstein.

  • idforgotten

    CHIPOTLE. Every Chipotle I’ve ever been to staffs some of the cutest gay specimens of its regional demographics. It also always attracts a good number as patrons, too.

    CHEESECAKE FACTORY. I don’t know if I’ve ever gone to CF without locking eyes with some guy I’d like to fuck. If, you know, I had the balls to just go pick up some stranger and fuck him.

    PINKBERRY. Founded in West Hollywood, and it lives up to its name…

  • idforgotten

    And how could I forget…

    LE PAIN QUOTIDIEN. Always seems to attract a high number of gay couples, and always staffs hot guys. Who I think (hope?) are gay. Anyway, a bit too snotty for a place whose best menu item is a waffle. But I digress…

  • Ari

    From Chicago:

    I LOVE Hamburger Mary’s! It’s one of my favorite burger joints. It’s a little surprising to find out it’s part of a chain. The chicago one has never given off a vibe that a lot of chain restaurants have.

    As for other places I don’t know too many.

    Chicago Diner is smack-dab in Boys Town and a favorite of a close friend of mine. Every so often I eat at the IHOP where broadway and halsted hit, which has a nicer staff than the competing chains.

    I’m not sure about this one, but Glen’s by montrose and damen is really good. Right across is a small bar that’s a good local hangout.

  • CCGuy

    @Jenna’s Bush: Doesn’t say a chain, asshole…If you’re hometown — or a lovely place you’ve visited — featured a gay eatery (a definition we’re gonna play loose with), tell us about it. We wants names, locations, websites, and if you can remember, you favorite menu item… read before you speak bitch

  • Charlie

    @dellisonly: Hunkys now has TWO locations. One in Oak Lawn, and now a location in Oak Cliff in the Bishop Arts District, just outside Dallas. Very cool!Very gay!

Comments are closed.