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Oakland's New Gay Bar Sails In

by Jim Provenzano

The bar staff of Port Bar
The bar staff of Port Bar  (Source:Shar G Photography)

Acrobats, nautical bartenders, tasty cocktails and industrial chic marked the grand opening of Port, Oakland's new GLBT bar on Broadway.

Located next door to the iconic Paramount Theatre, and convenient to BART and other public transit, The Port welcomed guests on Saturday, July 9 after more than a week's 'soft opening.'

The 2000-square-foot space features a long bar that takes up most of the front area, a wall of multi-colored shipping container parts, various GLBT icon portraits high above, and a cozy dance floor in the back.

The Port joins Club 21 and Club BnB as the most known gay bars in the district, along with queer-friendly The New Parish.

Business and domestic partners Sean Sullivan and Richard Fuentes greeted guests at a pre-opening reception, where the new "Captain's Cocktail List" included beverages with saucy names like Sailor Boi, Raw Top and Blueballs. The bar also serves beers on tap and in bottles and cans.

The opening event also included local and San Francisco luminaries like Empress Emma Peel and Emperor Salvador Tovar, Left Magazine Publisher David Helton, Gloss Editor Frank Fanucci, and singer-hostess BeBe Sweetbriar.

Along with a few sexy dancers later in the evening, Acrobatic Musical Magic duo Nikki Borodi and Glen Saunders performed a standing acrobatic act.

The cocktails we sampled were tasty and zesty, and the crowd was diverse and enthused. And while the metal and concrete walls are stylish, the acoustic result made the music in the front room too loud for anything but shouted chat between patrons. Hopefully a varied style of events will welcome those hoping for more than the usual gay vibe.

Check out the newest LGBT bar before or after a show at The Paramount, or when you're in downtown Oakland. Congrats, Port peeps!


The Port Bar, 2023 Broadway, Oakland. www.portbaroakland.com

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