2017 Best of GAY HRVA Reader’s Poll: Arts, Entertainment & Nightlife


Best Gay Bar
Best Neighborhood Bar
Best Happy Hour

MJ’s Tavern

MJ’s is the LGBTQ community’s meeting place. And the nightly dinner specials and happy hour cocktails are spot on.










Best Dance Club
The Wave

Foam parties and nationally recognized DJs are just part of what makes The Wave the best LGBTQ dance club in Coastal Virginia.









Best Gay-Friendly Straight Bar
Croc’s 19th Street Bistro

Laura Habr of Croc’s set out to create a night (and day) spot that welcomed all. The food and drinks help. šŸ™‚













Hottest Bar Staff
The Rainbow Cactus

Rainbow Cactus
The Rainbow Cactus has been bringing together people from all walks of life for over 20 years. Maybe part of the reason is that the bar staff is easy on the eyes?









Best Bartender
Emit Enriquez (Rainbow Cactus)

And here’s one of the Cactus Cuties now!
















Best Drag Show
Drag Yourself to Brunch at Croc’s 19th Street Bistro

Drag Yourself to Brunch
Every Sunday, Victoria Foster and her drag entourage throw down with two scandalous shows at Croc’s 19th Street Bistro.













Best Drag Performer
The Queen Mary

Now in her third year on the Hampton Roads scene, Queen Mary (Robert Malkowksi) brings a more mature cabaret style to her show. Her one-women shows at Zeider’s American Dream Theater and ensemble performances at Drag Yourself to Brunch prove that she is indeed royalty. (Photo, IAMBMW Photography)













Best Local DJ
DJ Matty

Voted last year’s Best Bartender, Matthew Elixson is now working the circuit as one of the area’s most requested disc jockeys. He’s worked The Wave, Pride 2016, Rainbow Cactus, weddings, parties, and the Pier Parties.










Best Outdoor Drinking
Ocean View Fishing Pier

Sun, surf, music, cold drinks and extraordinary views of the Chesapeake Bay. Those are about all the ingredients you need for day drinking, right?










Best Cinema
NARO Expanded Cinema

Often the first and only cinema in Coastal Virginia to show indie and art house films, the Naro Cinema has been an active supporter of the LGTBT community since 1977. The Naro Expanded Cinema next door also offers all the films you’ve never seen but wanted to, including the largest collection LGBTQ DVD rentals in the region.











Best Local Band
The Deloreans

Yeah, we miss the 80s. But The Deloreans bring it all back with their high energy show. Every member of the band gets a turn in the spotlight performing favorite 80s covers by the likes of Billy Idol, Cyndi Lauper, and Journey. And the costumes! It’s almost like an MTV video.












Best Comedy Cub
Virginia Beach Funny Bone

The Virginia Beach Funny Bone draws national stand up comedy acts to Coastal Virginia six nights a week. Many gay and LGBT-friendly acts like Wanda Sykes, Sampspn, Loni Love and Caroline Rhea haveĀ made a stop here.









Best Dance Company
Virginia Ballet Theater

virginia ballet theater
The Virginia Ballet Theatre is Hampton Roadsā€™ oldest professional ballet company and now a part of Todd Rosenlieb Dance,Ā the only full time professional dance company in Hampton Roads, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year.










Best Stage Company
Virginia Stage Company

Celebrating its 38th season his year, Virginia Stage Company is Hampton Roads’ leadingĀ professional theatre company. The Company brings to the stage world premieres, new adaptations, family traditions, and magical collaborations at the Wells Theater in Norfolk.












Best Museum
The Chrysler Museum of Art

Chrysler Museum Norfolk
In 1971, automotive heir, Walter P. Chrysler Jr. donated most of his extensive collection to theĀ then-named Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences. Today, the Chrysler Museum houses priceless permanent collections, hosts world-renowned traveling exhibits, and is one of Hampton Roads’ most valuable treasures.










Best Festival
Hampton Roads Pride

Hampton Roads Pride
Attracting thousands of visitors each June, Hampton Roads Pride has grown into Virginia’s largest pride festival, which includes the country’s only Pride Boat Parade, works-reneowned recoding artists, and Pride Eve block party.










Best Classical Music Organization
The Virginia Symphony

Virginia Symphony
Under the direction of JoAnn Falletta, the orchestra presents over 200 Classics, Pops and Family concerts in Norfolk, Newport News, Williamsburg and Virginia Beach. In addition, their educational and outreach programs touch the lives of more than 100,000 students and adults each season.










Best Live Music Venue
The Norva

With every possible musical genre performed by local up-and-coming acts up to national recording stars, where else but the Norva?