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It's feast or famine: a quickie guide to lesbian nightlife

If you read anything about nightlife options for Boston lesbians, then you'll quickly hit upon the obligatory lament that the scene lacks a seven-night-a-week spot. Yet with a string of new one-night promotions are suddenly becoming plentiful. And, paired with the steady options, there's plenty to keep a girl happy.

Now this is of course what is called the feast or famine effect. We're at the serendipitous moment in time where a string of one-night promotions mysteriously align so that there is practically something to do on every night of the week. This is good. Because let's face it: it's not easy to sustain a dyke night - let alone a full-fledged club - for lesbians in Beantown. Lava, H2O, X, anyone? And in the past six years or so, there have been some dry spells. But teetering upon the cusp of the most offerings this town has seen in a while, today's nightlife looks downright impressive.

For instance, like clockwork, Kristen Porter's Dyke Night still happens every Thursday at the Midway in JP. Following its lead, the dance/drag/rock hangout in Chinatown called Club Hollywood has cemented its status as a Saturday mainstay. But these are hardly the only late night haunts. Instead, new spots like Delight and a T-Dance at Vertigo spar off on Sunday nights as Circuit Girl returns from renovations on Fridays. There's even talk of queer stuff happening at ZuZus in Cambridge on Sunday nights. It's an exciting time. So without further adieu, here's an updated list of clubs in the city and elsewhere along with a few cafés and queer open mic nights thrown in for the under-21 crowd. Enjoy.

Circuit Girl

Temporarily on-hold due to renovations, Circuit Girl looks to reopen its doors on Friday, October 3. Though it operates from a non-trendy spot in Somerville (the Washington Street Holiday Inn), it makes up for its inauspicious location by offering a roomy two-floor bar that sports a huge dance floor and cool balcony to scope patrons. Resident DJ Kris Kono spins soul, gospel infused vocal house. Bar sports include pool and video games. Plus, being a Holiday Inn, clubgoers enjoy ample free parking. Open Fridays, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. 30 Washington Street, Somerville.

City Girl Café

This cozy spot just got cozier as it now serves beer and wine. Owned and operated by the pair that brought you the legendary club Saints, this Inman Square eatery extends a warm and welcoming feel to those in the family. Huge menu ranges from delicious panini sandwiches to puttanesca pizzas. Cute, friendly staff too. Open from Tuesday to Sunday. 204 Hampshire St., Cambridge. (617) 864-2809.

Delight Sundays

Harnessing the triumvirate promotional skills of Melinda Ancillo (Circuit Girl), Mike Svat (Avalon Sundays) and Bobby Costello (Chaps/Vapor), Delight kicked off its grand opening in Kenmore Square on Sept. 21. Housed in the backroom of An Tua Nua, it functions as a T-Dance that rages late into the night with two DJs and special performances weekly. Happens every Sunday. Doors open at 6 p.m. At An Tua Nua, 836 Beacon Street Kenmore Square, Boston (617) 262-2121.1

Diesel Café

Nearing five years old, Diesel made instant news when Somerville mayor Dorothy Kelly Gay cut the ribbon on the now infamous Davis Square queer coffeehouse. Strong coffee remains its draw but a roomy al fresco space, swanky garage door, diner-style red booths, and two pool tables sustain a lasting laidback energy. From morning to night, people fill up the café making it an anytime hangout for folks on the fringe to nine-to-fivers grabbing their morning joe.

Kristen Porter's Dyke Night

Ah, the Old Reliable. Since 1998, it's been Boston's longest running lesbian dance club night. Operated out of the Midway, a quintessential hometown JP bar, Dyke Night's works as a no-frills place that offers the basics: affordable cover, cheap beer, and good people. Every night, host Kristen Porter makes sure you'll have a good time and support local GLBT causes while you're at it. Porter donates over 25-percent of Dyke Night proceeds to LGBT causes such as Lesbian AIDS Project of MA, The Network/La Red and the AIDS Care Project. She keeps it fun with rotating DJs, dancing, and rock bands. Happens every Thursday, from 9:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Cover $5. At Midway Café, 3496 Washington St., Jamaica Plain. Visit the Web site at http://www.dykenight.com.

Gender Crash

This is Butch Dyke Boy Production's Gunner Scott's spoken word/open mic night. It's held the second Thursday of every month, usually at Spontaneous Celebrations in Jamaica Plain. It's designed to provide a queer positive space for dykes, bisexuals, and trans people. While it's a great spot for the under-21 crowd to mingle, it's a find for anyone looking for a supportive space to test out material. Spontaneous Celebrations, 45 Danforth St., JP. Check out the schedule at www.butchdykeboy.com.

Club Hollywood

This year, Hollywood took the Best of Boston magazine honors from Dyke Night and was crowned Best Lesbian Bar. As the premier spot, it boasts a booming dance floor that fills every Saturday night with grinding youngsters. The spot also houses Glitter Switch, the drag/karaoke night hosted by Haywood Wakefield (a.k.a. Truth Serum promoter Aliza Shapiro) along with a variety of special events from art shows to theatrical performances to rock bands. Happens every Sunday from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. At 41 Essex St., Boston (on the corner of Essex St. and Harrison Ave). www.shuttavac.com/hollywood.


Fever Dance Productions' DJ Dee started these monthly Saturday dance evenings for women in the burbs who don't want to mingle while swirling in smoke. Housed in the Sons of Italy of Winchester, Dee gathers a crowd that enjoys music that ranges from swing, latin, country Top-40, Motown and House. Cover $10. Cash bar. Free parking. For more information, check out www.djdee.com.


Ex-Sister Spitter and current MFA candidate, Sara Seinberg corrals a mixed bag of talent for an all-queer, all-gendered open mic cabaret every last Thursday of the month at the Oni Gallery. In the past, the format involved national artists like author/poet Michelle Tea and Johanna Fateman from Le Tigre who headline while the last half of the evening lets locals speak their mind during an open mic. Seinberg started the night in San Francisco with her pal poet Sash Sunday. Currently, K'vetsh reigns as the longest running queer open mic in the country. At Oni Gallery, 684 Washington St. 5th floor, Boston. Doors at 7:30; show at 8 p.m. www.onigallery.org

Fran's Place

Located under the pink triangle, Fran's offers seven days a week of gayness. Though you need a car (or a pal with a car) to experience this Lynn institution, it's a no-frills friendly sports bar that opens from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. every day. At 776 Washington Street, Lynn. (781) 598-5618.

Milky Way Lounge & Lanes

There's transition afoot at the Milky Way. This summer, Truth Serum promoter Aliza Shapiro pulled out of the Sunday CandyLand, a queer mixed gender cabaret. Now the restaurant/bowling alley looks to keep the theme but work out the logistics. Since the Milky Way has always been a queer friendly spot chock full of entertainment, we have faith that it'll succeed. In the meantime, Ren Jender relocated her Amazon Slams there, so you can now get your fix of women's spoken word at the Milky Way. At 403 Centre Street, JP. (617-628-5187). www.milkywayjp.com

Truth Serum Productions

Though she's washed her hands of CandyLand, promoter Aliza Shapiro keeps herself busy by booking drag events and national rock bands at Boston clubs like T.T. the Bears and The Chopping Block. Circle November 5 for a night with rockers King Cobra and the Quails who'll play The Midway. For more info, check out http://www.truthserum.org.


Like a club spinoff, Vertigo comes to you the first Sunday of every month from the folks at Club Hollywood. The next one happens October 5 and features DJ Susan Esthera. From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. At Vertigo, 126 State Street Boston. For more information, contact http://www.shuttavac.com/hollywood/firstsunday.php

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