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August 9, 2010

Never underestimate Guerilla Gay Bar

It's been almost two years since Guerilla Gay Bar started, and it's more popular than ever. Much bigger than the management at Ryan's Daughter expected.

Have you heard of Guerilla Gay Bar? It's a gay happy hour which travels to local "straight" bars once a month. While the bar knows a couple days ahead of time, the location is kept secret for the patrons until the day before.

Last Friday, when the organizers of Guerilla Gay Bar got to Ryan's Daughter, there were only two or three bartenders on duty, according to one of my spies. Uh oh ...

The Ryan's Daughter crew thought only 35 or 40 folks were going to show up. It was more like 300 or 350, according to my source.

"Straight people don't realize the success of this," my source said.

That made getting drinks a nightmare.

"They were over-packed and overwhelmed," my source said. "It was incredibly hard to get a drink."

I did a piece on Guerilla Gay Bar shortly after it began in November 2008. Several cities, including Washington, have their own Guerilla Gay Bar events The happy hour "invasion" can come as a surprise for unsuspecting regulars.

"We don't want a ton of warning, because we don't want people to avoid that bar that night," co-founder Mark Yost said at the time. "We want good, peaceful interaction with people."

It's great to see Guerilla Gay Bar doing so well.

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:48 AM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


Apparently GGB needs to do a better job of informing the bar a few days ahead of what to expect. If getting a drink at Ryan's Daughter was tough, imagine what parking must have been like in the Belvedere Square area! It's already bad on Friday nights as it is!

I love the concept of GGB, even though I'm straight. However, they should target non-weekend days (Mon-Thurs) as the extra crowd would be a bigger plus to the target bar as opposed to backfiring and making the target bar regret the choice. I'd say the same thing if 300-350 midgets wanted to invade a bar on a Friday night.

That says it all, to me......

@RIch B -- As long as the bar is made aware of the size of the crowd and staffs enough bartenders, there shouldn't be a problem. Don't know where the chain of communication broke down here.

Jeff, GGBB always gives advance notice to the bars we go to. On a few occasions, the bars have simply not answered their phones or not returned our calls. Hopefully that continues to occur infrequently.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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