Worcester, MA Gay Nightlife Guide

Gay-friendly bars and restaurants in this New England town

Worcester, MA at night
••• Downtown Worcester skyline at night. Getty Images/E+/DenisTangneyJr

Although it's one of New England's largest cities, the central Massachusetts city of Worcester has never been a major GLBT destination. However, you will find a couple of gay bars here as well as some great mixed bars and restaurants. One place that's become very well known over the years is MB Lounge (aka "the Male Box"), the longest-running gay hangout in the city. Home base to an eclectic bunch, from bears to college students to leather dudes, this friendly neighborhood bar mostly draws an over-30s crowd, though again with plenty of exceptions.

It's a fun spot to watch videos and sports on TV, and on Sundays, there's singing along to show tunes on the piano. Amenities include a pool table, darts, and other diversions, along with a fun jukebox.

Mainstream LGBTQ-Friendly Bars

Worcester also has some fun mainstream bars that are well-frequented by members of the LGBT community, including Nick's, which has great live music and a fun jukebox (with everybody from Edith Piaf to Mel Torme to Noel Coward). The elegant space with a German decorative look is also a restaurant, serving tasting and eclectic food, including the famed "Trailer Park", which consists of mac-and-cheese with hot dogs, served with Frank's Red Hot (order it topped with bacon). Also,well-worth checking out, especially if you're a fan of craft beer, is Armsby Abbey, an attractive downtown tavern and bar with 22 taps pouring stellar ales from around the world, plus farmhouse-inspired creative American cuisine.

This spot draws a diverse crowd of hipsters, foodies, and the like and serves a terrific weekend brunch, too.

Another good spot is the sophisticated but laid-back Citizen Wine Bar, which is part of the same group behind popular venues like The People's Kitchen and Still & Stir bar and grill. On the southwestern side of the city, about a 10-minute drive from downtown, the Country Music Ranch & Saloon serves up plenty of boot-stomping fun in the form of line-dancing and two-stepping -- it's very gay-friendly.

And Acoustic Java is a great coffeehouse with good food, too, plus live acoustic music some days.

Nearby Nightlife Options

Recent sponsors of Worcester Gay Pride, held each year in mid-September, have included Wings Over Worcester and Calabria Ristorante.​

Worcester is also within an hour's drive of Boston, Providence, and Northampton, so if you're in the area and looking for a more extensive selection of nightlife options, consider making a trip to any of these cities.