Gay Bars and Nightclubs in Saskatchewan

Gay Bars and Nightclubs in Saskatchewan: Divas

Saskatchewan isn’t necessarily known as the world’s most progressive place. With our biggest exports being grain and potash, the common stereotype is that we’re akin to America’s deep south – conservative, closed-minded farmers. And it doesn’t help that a once-frustrated hometown star, Joni Mitchell, labelled the entire community of Saskatoon as bigoted.

Gay Bars & Nightclubs in Saskatchewan

That’s why it’s impressive that we have a few dedicated spaces for the LGBTQ community. While there is no “gay district”, we’ve got gay-friendly locales that you can spread out to across the province.

Since Pride Month is in full swing, I thought I’d take some time to raise awareness for the gay nightclubs and bars in Saskatchewan that you can take advantage of all year. Because homosexuality should be accepted as a norm in society and we’ve still got a long way to go.

Enjoy a cocktail and meet up with other like-minded peeps. Between Regina and Saskatoon, there are three major nightclubs that serve gay clientele:

Diva’s Nightclub in Saskatoon

Gay Bars and Nightclubs in Saskatchewan: Divas
Photo via Diva’s

Opening nearly 40 years ago, Diva’s is a historic establishment that boasts itself as “Saskatoon’s Premier Gay Bar”. Come in through the back alley on an average weekend for laser lights, live DJs, and dancing. Save the date for special events like regular Ru Paul’s Drag Race viewing parties, drag queen contests, and eye-popping live entertainment.

PiNK Lounge & Nightclub in Saskatoon

With a multi-level interior design that changes almost as quickly as a chameleon, PiNK’s operators like to keep patrons on their toes. The last time I went, they had a giant raised pole in the middle of the dance floor – who knows what they’ll have next month! Plenty of inclusive events happen here regularly.

Q Nightclub & Lounge in Regina

As one of the last community-owned gay bars in Canada, Q is a hub for Regina’s LGBTQ crowd. Feel connected and welcomed at weekly open mics, drag queen bingo, karaoke, trivia, and more! Q also hosts special events complete with go-go dancers.

Local Gay-Friendly Bars

The following Saskatoon* spots work with the LGBTQ community to create a gay-friendly space and regular themed events:

Village Guitar & Amp in Riversdale Saskatoon

Guitar shop by day, inspiring event space by night. This one-of-a-kind venue is not a regular bar, but hosts many live music shows, weddings, fundraisers, and more throughout the year.

Capitol Music Club in Downtown Saskatoon

Capitol is a downtown spot with a full-menu and massive interior space for dancing, live music, and comedy nights. For something different, go during the afternoon to enjoy the hanging indoor plants and skylight.

They have signs placed all around the bar explaining what to avoid talking about while inside, including politics and religion.

Amigos Cantina near Broadway in Saskatoon

One of Saskatoon’s biggest community-centred hubs, Amigos Cantina is a place where you’ll enjoy a wide variety of Mexican cuisine and pub classics. They host live musicians, improv comedy, karaoke, and themed dances – sometimes on the same night. Enjoy a cold cocktail on their patio after a long day.

Louis’ Pub at the University of Saskatchewan Campus

Louis’ is a casual student hang-out that partners with the USSU Pride Centre to host LGBTQ events. Along with pub fare, you can find many different reasons to check out Louis’ for live shows and sporting events.

Drift Sidewalk Cafe & Vista Lounge in Riversdale Saskatoon

Whether you’re dropping in for a late brunch, or want spectacular twilight view of the riverbank, the whimsical Drift Sidewalk Cafe & Vista Lounge has some incredible options for you. Both their space and menu is dynamic, with seasonal eats, local craft beer, and cocktails that hit the spot.

Finn’s Irish Pub

Located on the corner of Spadina and 25th Street, Finn’s Irish Pub is a nice place to stop in for a cold brew while walking along the riverbank with your honey. They offer regular free live music, paint nites, and special holiday events. Check out their large patio in the summer time.

*At publishing, I couldn’t easily track down gay-friendly nightclubs or bars in other Saskatchewan cities. If you want to be included on this listing, please send a message to info@dosask.com.

Join the Do Sask Facebook group and sign up to the weekly newsletter to find gay-friendly events and more in Saskatoon.
Featured image: Diva’s Facebook Page

Pretzel Necklace Contest: Announcing the Winner of Do Sask’s ‘$120 Top of the Hops Giveaway’

I want to send a shout out to all the new VIPs who participated in Do Sask’s pretzel necklace booth at Top of the Hops 2018. You helped make my first time at TOTHYXE a success!

And a special congratulations to Marya Bilkhu, the winner of the $120 How to Taste #1 Grand Prize! She was randomly drawn from over 80 entrants to win tickets for her and 3 friends to How to Taste #1 event with Churchill Brewing Co. on June 9 at Finn’s Irish Pub.

Click here to see your pretzel necklace on display.

Congratulations, Marya!

 

DETAILS ABOUT HOW TO TASTE #1

How to Taste #1: Churchill Brewing Company

Sip your way to becoming a local craft beer cicerone.

Local brewers will guide you along a tasting journey. You’ll learn their story, their process, and how to taste what makes their beer and liquor unique, while Finn’s Irish Pub supplies tapas.

Each ticket includes food pairings with 3 of the 5 flights of beer. Food pairings have been specially developed to complement each beer. Featuring chicken wings, yorkshire pudding, and mussels.

Tickets only $27 +GST. Seating is limited.

Register here: https://howtotaste1.eventbrite.ca

9 surprising ways starting patio season early is more refreshing than new socks

Crazy Cactus rooftop patio season

Patio season will soon be here! How do I know? It’s technically spring, it hasn’t snowed in 48 hours, and any moment now the temperature will rise above zero. I just know it! Get ready to release your shorts and flips flops from retirement.

Okay, maybe I’m jumping the gun. The thermometer is currently sitting at -16 as I type. 

But I’m hoping that one of our city’s restaurant or pub managers will see this post and open up for patio season within the next few weeks. If you close your eyes, some local decks channel the quaint bistro cafe vibe of Europe. Let’s give people a reason to feel like Saskatoon really is the Paris of the Prairies.

9 surprising reasons to start patio season early:

Feel outdoorsy without getting eaten alive by mosquitos and hornets.

Last summer was really bad for bugs in the city of Saskatoon. Name any kind of annoying insect – flies, wasps, mosquitos – and my sweet nectar-filled pint glass attracted them. Get out there early to avoid the insects before they’re back in full-force.

Being the first to find a new, unknown patio is like winning a free mini-getaway with all your friends.

With one caveat: getting there before the masses find out about it.
The feeling of having an entire patio to yourself is quite liberating. You have the space to enjoy with friends… until someone says something and word spreads.

Make nice with the servers to potentially get top priority come summer.

Relationships are everything in the restaurant and bar industry. So treat your favourite patio bartenders and wait staff with the respect they deserve. They may remember you when the deck is packed this summer and it’s between you and that douche snapping their fingers.
Tips for bonding with industry peeps: ask about how their day is going and listen to the answer, give them genuine compliments when deserved, tip them a minimum 15% gratuity for a job well done, and avoid stereotypical asshole behaviour.

Start working on your tan before everyone else.

Okay, negative temperatures aren’t the best for sunbathing. But who says it won’t warm up in a fortnight? Once it gets above zero, the sleeveless tees are coming out! Make sure you bring layers to wear once the sun goes down. Remember: east-facing is better for morning brunch, and west-facing is better for sunsets.

People watch those unlucky souls who have to trudge through mud and slush.

Gif from gfycat.com

Cheers to avoiding mud puddles and potholes for an hour or two!

Rooftop patios with their own bars are lit! (When I say ‘lit’ I mean usually heated.)

Image result for crazy cactus patio saskatoon
Photo via Crazy Cactus on Yelp.ca

You won’t have to move a muscle ’cause the bartender keeps drinks flowing and the heater keeps you cozy. Sit, drink, repeat!

Day drinking begins every weekend at 11 AM!

Forget waiting around all day to head to a club at 11 PM. Seize the day and get home at a decent hour. (That’s the 30-year-old, getting-in-bed-before-10-PM, waking-up-without-a-hangover voice inside me talking.)
My favourite patio season day drinks include bulldogs, margaritas, sangrias, and gringos!

Have a sunny bunch on the patio complete with mimosas and chicken n’ waffles.

My favourite brunch at Elk Ridge Lodge.

Anyone who doesn’t love chicken n’ waffles is no friend of mine.

Horseshoe, or corn-hole games don’t need green grass.

Set up some lawn games on a patio and you’ll have plenty of fun – mower/shovel not required!

Patio season should start refreshingly early, Saskatoon. There may be snow and ice on the ground, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try and convince your neighbourhood patio to open early for the season. Tell ’em it will make you feel better than putting on a new pair of socks. They won’t say no!

Saskatoon spots to inspire you this patio season:

Boffins Public House, University
Original Joe’s, 8th Street
Somewhere Else Pub & Grill, Avalon
Yard & Flagon, Broadway
The Hose & Hydrant Brew Pub, Broadway
PiNK Lounge & Nightclub, Downtown
Crazy Cactus, Downtown
O’Shea’s Irish Pub, Downtown
Cathedral Social Hall, Downtown
Una Pizza & Wine, Broadway
Las Palapas Resort Grill, Broadway
Amigos Cantina, Broadway
Finn’s Irish Pub, Downtown
Browns Socialhouse, Stonebridge
Shoeless Joe’s Sports Grill, Stonebridge
Shift Restaurant, Downtown

So, which patios are on the top of your list in saskatoon?  JOIN THE DO SASK FACEBOOK GROUP TO HAVE YOUR SAY IN THE DISCUSSION.

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