Woody's Gay Bar, Philadelphia, PA

••• Woody's Bar & Nightclub, in downtown Philadelphia. photo by Andrew Collins

Woody's Gay Bar, Philadelphia

For more on the city's GLBT scene, check out the Philadelphia Gay Guide, which details the city's top attractions, neighborhoods, and events of interest to the Philadelphia gay community.

A venerable cruise and video bar with two floors and three distinct areas for socializing, Woody's is de rigueur for visitors to the City of Brotherly Love. The interior is looking quite dapper, having undergone regular refurbishments over the years, and you'll find every kinda guy at this place, which pulls in big crowds every night of the week.

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Pros

  • Recently completed a beautiful renovation
  • Always draws a good-size, eclectic crowd
  • Central location in heart of Philly's "Gayborhood"
  • Interesting and eclectic themes and events, from Latin to country-western

Cons

  • Dance floor is compact

Inside the Bar

  • Woody's is at the very center of Philadelphia and its "Gayborhood", at 202 S. 13th St., 215-545-1893
  • A dependable and fun video and cruise bar with a dance bar and coffeehouse as well - something for everyone
  • The crowd is about 80/20 male/female, but spanning all ages (generally younger in the dance bar, and older downstairs)
  • Many of the city's other gay bars as well as the majority of Philadelphia's major downtown hotels are within walking distance

A Review

A longtime fixture in Philadelphia's historic City Center, which is also home to that lively rectangle of GLBT life known here as the "Gayborhood," Woody's merely seems older than Independence Hall.

In fact, it opened in 1980. Granted, it's impressive for a gay bar not only to last nearly three decades but to continue to rank among the city's top gay social hangouts for so long. Part of the reason the bar has remained both popular and relevant is that ownership continues to make improvements. Woody's continues to improve its appearance.

Inside these days you'll find bright lighting (both at night and, thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows, throughout the day), sleek granite bars, polished wood flooring on the dance floor, and a cheery outdoor space that's perfect for relaxing on a warm day.

The format is a tavernesque main bar at street level, which tends to be more conducive to conversation. Younger visitors generally ascend to the upstairs, which comprises a cozy cocktail lounge as well as a festive dance bar, where you can catch anything from country-western line-dancing and two-stepping (early on Friday and Sunday evenings) to Latin tunes (especially on Thursdays) to the usual dance music. With so many rooms and the different theme nights, you can almost always find your niche at Woody's, which draws a mostly male crowd of all ages. Women are quite welcome but constitute a distinct minority. From Woody's, it's a short walk to a number of other popular gay bars in the neighborhood, plus area hotels and plenty of terrific restaurants.