Best Gay Bar

It's About Time (IBT's)
616 N. Fourth Ave.

READERS' PICK: Nobody ever complains the scene's a drag at IBT's. Sometimes in drag, but never a drag, this long-standing readers' favorite is a great place to dance, converse or just stop in for a cold one. Inside the atmosphere is always festive, the music always hip (these guys were doing the Macarena long before it conquered the mainstream bars); and outside is one of the best bar patios in Tucson, with heat lamps in winter that one patron says "ensure you're always near a hot flame." Unlike many bars around town, you don't have to have the inside track to have a good time at IBT's. Best of all, there's never a cover charge.

READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: The Plug (formerly Club 2520), 2520 N. Oracle Road.

STAFF PICK: If you're tired of wimpy gay bars full of clean-cut posers and homo-wannabe's, head to The Graduate, 37 W. University Blvd., where a pre-stonewall atmosphere and a foaming mug o' beer await. The drag queens here are wearing sequins and lace because they like to, not because it looks good on them, and the butch guys could out-smoke the Marlboro Man, out-drink Charles Bukowski, and pass out in their own vomit with style. While the rare cute college boy is treated well here, the appeal is to the working class, regular-guy type. If you've never made love to a real man (no, a real man), The Graduate may introduce you to a whole new ball game.

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