Bar Guide 2014: Crush Bar

Gay bars are passé these days. The queer bar of today wears so many labels it's an LGBTIQQA blur. Crush lays it out in its logo: three pairs of restroom figures—two men, two women, and a man and a woman—which it stamps everywhere from the front door to the menus. "Right when they walk through the door," owner Woody Clarke told me at a monthly event here called Bi Bar, which is pretty much what it sounds like, "I want people to know they're going to be exposed to all different kinds of people doing all different kind of things."

The patrons, though, mostly just chill at the bar. The atmosphere is loungey, with bottle art and mood lighting, but unpretentious. It doubles as a full-menu restaurant, with a solid happy hour. Try the signature Orange Crush ($6), a vodka cocktail that tastes like a less sweet version of the soda, but pass on the Jack Mormon Rootbeer—it tastes like an herbal AMF (college punch-bowl speak for "Adios, motherfucker!") On weekends, if you walk to the back (toward the gender-neutral restrooms—with a coed sink area and private stalls), you can probably catch a glimpse of a burlesque show, or get there early with cash to grab a chair and watch.

But Crush rarely creates the momentum for a DJ dance party. The beloved Maricón party moved here last year, but it hasn't created the same momentum it had at the Matador, where gays moved in guerrilla style to the confusion of regular patrons. Crush is less divey, needless to say, but its vibe is still more casual. Plus, to this clientele, gays are nothing to get excited about.

  1. Happy hour: 3 pm-midnight Tuesday, 3-7 pm Wednesday-Sunday. $1.50 PBRs, $3.35 micro brews, $3 well drinks, $4 martinis.
  2. Entertainment: Dancing, burlesque shows.
GO: Crush Bar, 1400 SE Morrison St., 235-8150, noon-2 am Tuesday-Saturday, noon-1 am Sunday.

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