I don't know if it's just Sarasota, but it seems like gay bars are becoming a thing of the past. You hit any downtown bar or lounge, and all of your best gay friends are intermingled with your straight friends, just the way it ought to be.
But like Ladies' Night or Service Industry Night, it's nice to have an evening that's particularly inviting to a demographic. That's why Cream nights at Ivory Lounge have gotten so popular. So while Cream is paused and Ivory is temporarily closed for remodeling, Clasico Cafe & Bar (1341 Main St., Sarasota; 957-0700; barclasico.com) is the newest to devote a night to the gays.
Tuesday night was the maiden voyage of Crush Tuesdays. Some Facebook naysayers were poo-pooing the whole idea, saying it was a rip-off of Ivory's Cream night. Plus there was some buzz about a dust-up between Clasico management and some of Sarasota's g(A)y-list. Personally, I like to check out a spot for myself and decide my own involvement.
I grabbed a few of my girls and headed down to Clasico. Admittedly, the fact that Crush Tuesdays start at 8pm makes it much easier to swing in on a school night and not completely wreck your Wednesday. (If you'd ever see me at work on a Friday morning after a Cream Thursday night out, it's not a pleasant sight.)
Sassy bartendress Jen O'Connor worked the bar like the perfect hostess, while Clasico staff smartly trotted out the cutest male servers.
A few silver-haired gay couples sipped martinis and nibbled appetizers when we arrived, but before night's end, the younger set arrived.
We spotted Jeffrey Gissinger, Matt Yauslin, Mark Bowers, Stephen McFadden, Tom Larson, and a slew of other gays and their allies.
It wasn't bad for a maiden voyage. We'll see if future Tuesdays grow in numbers.