Where's the party in Houston?
If an analysis of recent alcohol sales at the city's gay bars is any indication, the big gay party is at F Bar and JR's these days. The two bars have run neck and neck for the top spot among LGBT watering holes in recent months.
We averaged citywide mixed beverage sales reports from the Texas Comptroller's Office for 19 gay bars in the months of May, June and July.
When we last looked at these reports a year ago, the Montrose stalwart JR's was No. 1, followed by F Bar, which opened in 2011, and Blur Bar, the two-story dance club next door to JR's. The most recent three-month average shows F Bar inching ahead of JR's, with Blur still coming in at No. 3. A year ago, Meteor and South Beach rounded out the top five, respectively. Now, Meteor has fallen to fifth place with Crocker Bar taking over the No. 4 position.
It's important to note that some of the bars are only open a few days a week and all have different operating hours. This analysis simply looks at average sales volume over a three-month period that included June -- Pride month.
Three bars that were around a year ago -- The Usual, 611 and Venus Nightclub -- have since closed. Pearl Lounge on Washington also came under new ownership during that time and began catering to the LGBT community. And Eagle Houston, which had been located Downtown, relocated to the former 611 space in Montrose (Eagle's sales average below covers less than two months since the bar opened).
This list ranks the city's LGBT establishments by average sales tax receipts over the three-month period ending July 31. We've included the number of days each week the establishments are open for comparison purposes.
1. F Bar - 6 days a week
2. JR's - 7 days a week
3. Blur Bar - 5 days a week
4. Crocker - 7 days a week
5. Meteor - 4 days a week
6. TC's - 7 days a week
7. Tony's Corner Pocket - 7 days a week
8. Guava Lamp - 7 days a week
9. South Beach - 4 days a week
10. George Country Sports Bar - 7 days a week
11. Neon Boots Dancehall & Saloon - 5 days a week
12. Bayou City Bar & Grill - 7 days a week
13. Pearl Lounge - 7 days a week
14. Montrose Mining Co. - 5 days a week
15. Ripcord - 7 days a week
16. Michael's Outpost - 7 days a week
17. Thirteen - 7 days a week
18. Viviana's Nite Club - 3 days a week
19. Eagle Houston * - 7 days a week
* Eagle Houston was open less than two months of the three months examined