One of the biggest criticisms of West Hollywood's bar scene is its lack of variety. Although the physical layouts may differ, the mood, crowd and ambiance of nearly every establishment along the Santa Monica strip are pretty interchangeable. As one drag queen once put it, “It's just the same songs in a different order.” The beauty of Gym Sportsbar, lauded as the first and only gay sports bar in Los Angeles, is that it caters to a specific niche within the LGBT community. Even in the 21st century, the realm of athletics, whether on the field or simply within the ranks of armchair quarterbacks, is often a straight boys' club. Gym provides a welcoming, queer-friendly sanctuary for gays and lesbians to scream at their favorite teams every Sunday afternoon. It also serves as the de facto clubhouse for the various gayborhood athletic leagues, from basketball and softball to post-ironic dodgeball, where they revel in their victories or drown their losses in pitchers of beer. Light beer, obviously. It's still WeHo.
Gym; Credit: Michael Ciriaco