You may be a little surprised to find one of the largest, most consistently popular, and most impressive gay bars in Florida in the relatively small inland city of Gainesville
, but the University Club
(18 E. University Ave., 352-378-6814) is a bona fide nightlife star in this part of the world. The two-story gay complex is right in the heart of Gainesville's steadily gentrifying and hip downtown, withing walking distance of several excellent restaurants and a short drive or moderate walk east of University of Florida campus. Amenities include a large dance floor, an impressive sound-and-light system, multiple bars on two main levels (plus there's a midway mezzanine), and music spun by some very talented DJs.
Although the bar is along University Avenue (as pictured here), the actual entrance is behind the building, off Northeast 1st Avenue. Gainesville has one other gay bar in town, Wild Angels-Spikes, which is a few miles north of downtown and attracts more of an older, locals crowd. University Club is mostly the domain of students and younger types (under 40, for the most part), although the vibe is quite welcoming toward everybody, gay and straight.