8 LGBTQ-owned NC businesses to support this Pride Month

8 LGBTQ-owned NC businesses to support this Pride Month

Pride Month in Raleigh, NC, in 2022. (Photo by ALLISON JOYCE/AFP via Getty Images)

By Ryan Pitkin

June 13, 2024

North Carolina is for everybody. Here are the LGBTQ-owned bars and restaurants that deserve your patronage in June and beyond.

It’s Pride Month in North Carolina, and there are so many ways to celebrate and support. It’s true that many of the state’s biggest Pride festivals don’t occur until fall thanks to the humid June weather in the Tar Heel state, but there are plenty of small towns that are still holding their annual events this month.

Heading to a festival or parade isn’t the only way to observe Pride Month, however. There’s always the power of the almighty dollar after all. There are many LGBTQ-owned businesses spread throughout the state that you can support this June and year-round. 

Here are a few bars and restaurants that you can check out, and we spread them throughout the state so you can find one near you and become a regular. 

This list isn’t comprehensive, but it is a start. Tell us your favorite LGBTQ-owned businesses.

Asheville: O. Henry’s

237 Haywood St. 

8 LGBTQ-owned NC businesses to support this Pride Month

Photo via O Henry’s in Asheville

Established in 1976, O. Henry’s bills itself as the oldest still-running gay bar in North Carolina.

With a lodge-like look and neighborhood bar vibes in the front, head to the back to reach The Underground, a dance club where you’re invited to “Total Gold Dance Your Ass Off” on the first Friday of each month. There’s also a drag show every Saturday night, karaoke on Wednesdays and Fridays, and any number of other events throughout the year including live jazz and blues, cabaret and burlesque-style shows, and goth nights. 

Charlotte: NoDa Canteen

1824 Statesville Ave., Suite 100

 

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Joey Hewell and Scott Lindsley made headlines after becoming one of the first gay couples to tie the knot following the legalization of same-sex marriage in North Carolina in 2014, then opened NoDa Company Store together in 2016. In 2022, the couple opened NoDa Company Canteen on the sprawling Camp North End campus. With a porch looking out on The Boileryard, where Friday nights are always lively at Camp North End in the summer, it’s a great spot to patronize for Pride Month. 

Winston-Salem: Euphoria

701 Trade St. NW

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With a tagline that reads “Pulse of the Party,” Euphoria cultivates a nightclub vibe in all the ways you might expect: a cocktail lounge with drink specials, tables to reserve for the night, private party rentals and a dancefloor that stays bumping. Saturday is the night for themed parties, with a DJ dance party on Fridays, cheap drinks on Thursdays, karaoke on Wednesdays. Sunday Funday parties and more. 

Greensboro: Marjae’s Wine Bar 

1107 Grecade St. 

 

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A hidden gem that specializes in serving wine, cocktails, and mocktails in an intimate, feminine space, Marjae’s is owned by J’mihyia Whitsett and her wife, Paris. The pair own a slew of other businesses in the area as well, including The Breakfast Spot, The Baby Bar, and Barber Nails & Beyond. “We pride ourselves on standing out, and recreating the typical wine bar experience,” reads the website. Check out the $10 wine tastings every Thursday night. 

Durham: Arcana Bar & Lounge

331 W. Main St.

 

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Featured by the international Lesbian Bar Project, Arcana celebrated its eight-year anniversary in December 2023. Founded in 2015 by Erin Karcher and Lindsey Andrews, Arcana offers a warm, vibrant art nouveau space — inspired by the Rider Waite tarot deck — creating a welcoming space to enjoy some cocktails, hear some music, have your tarot read, or join in on a community event. Not only is the spot queer- and women-owned, they employ an all-queer staff. 

Raleigh: The Fiction Kitchen

2409 Crabtree Blvd., Suite 100

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Having built itself into a staple of the state capitol over more than a decade in business, longtime fans of The Fiction Kitchen were concerned they would close their doors early in 2023 and hold down court as a pop-up while they prepared their new location. Have no fear, as The Fiction Kitchen has since reopened in The Gateway Plaza alongside fellow tenants Mala Pata and Peyote. Owner Carolina Morrison originally opened the vegan eatery using funds crowdsourced through Kickstarter in 2012, so a little relocation was no problem for her. Try the Southern-style pulled pork BBQ; you won’t believe it’s not piggy. 

Greenville: Pop-Up Paddock Club

The State Theatre, 110 W. 5th St. 

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The Paddock Club was a nightclub located on Dickinson Street that catered to and served as a refuge for Greenville’s LGBTQ+ scene for 30 years from 1973 to 2003, cementing a legacy that still has an impact today. In summer 2014, production wrapped on a feature-length documentary about The Paddock Club titled Dickinson Avenue, The {mostly} True Story of The Paddock Club, which is still available for purchase online. 

Though Paddock Club has not been in business for two decades, this month offers a chance to pay respects to its legacy, as the Pitt County Arts Council will unveil a new sculpture that honors the old club at Emerge Gallery on June 29. The sculpture was built out of the original steel spiral staircase from the since-demolished club that was saved by the owners and given new life by North Carolina artist Jessica Bradsher. Head to State Theatre for an afterparty that night — your last chance to party like The Paddock was still in its prime.  

Outer Banks: The Blue Point

1240 Duck Road, Duck

 

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Openly gay CIA-trained sommelier Jamie Raskin is co-owner of The Blue Point along with siblings Ryan and Leigh, having taken over ownership of the beloved restaurant in 2021. “We cook with ingredients sourced from the Outer Banks and surrounding communities and use traditional methods like curing, pickling, and smoking to create plates that delight the palate while honoring our history and surroundings,” reads the website.

Author

  • Ryan Pitkin

    Ryan Pitkin is a writer and editor based in Charlotte, where he runs an alternative weekly newspaper called Queen City Nerve. He is also editor of NoDa News, a community newsletter in the neighborhood where he has lived for 15 years.

CATEGORIES: LGBTQ
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