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Gabriel's, Mobile, Alabama

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Gabriel's, Mobile, Alabama
photo by Andrew Collins
The oldest gay bar in Alabama and the most consistently popular one in Mobile, Gabriel's (55 S. Joachim St., 251-432-4900) opened in 1992 in the downtown historic district, just a couple of blocks off of leafy Bienville Square, steps from several notable restaurants and major hotels, and steps from the busy Government Street corridor. It's on the same block as two of the city's other gay hangouts, B-Bob's and Bacchus (there's one other gay bar in Mobile, the Midtown Pub, which though quite popular lies about 3 miles west of downtown). The small downtown gay quarter is easy to navigate on foot and quite safe, giving the Mobile a particularly inviting GLBT nightlife scene, especially for a relatively small city in a conservative part of the country.

Gabriel's occupies a historic building with exposed-brick walls and several spots to mingle and chat with fellow patrons - there's a pool table in one section. Off the bar, Gabriel's Outback is a lushly landscaped deck with tables and chairs that's open Saturday nights and for special events. It's a friendly, neighborhood-driven bar - a quiet enough spot to carry on a conversation, and there's karaoke a couple of nights a week.

Bonus points for the bar having two very cute mascots, a couple of little cats (Gabriel and Tillie Ann) that were rescued by the staff.

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