Woody's and Sailor
Self-proclaimed as Toronto's hottest gay bar, Woody's has been living up to its name since springing to life in 1989. Famed for its weekly Best Chest and Best Ass contests, Woody's keeps things spicy by playing non-stop soft porn on TV sets throughout the bar.
I always get a little turned off by this part: not because I'm a prude, but because so much of the titillating wall-action is filmed in barns. Plaid shirts and bare assed rough and tumble on haystacks may seem sexy, but I've been in enough barns to know a thing or two about hay rash, and I always feel bad for the panting, pant-less actors, and their calamine days to come.
Hay rashes aside, Woody's is a fully urban phenomenon. "Located in the heart of Toronto's Boystown", Woody's is, according to General Manager Dean Odorico, a "neighbourhood spot". Think neighbourhood the way Sesame Street taught it: a mishmash of characters, both colourful and bland, from drag queens to leather guys with all sorts of straight folks, trans, bisexuals and lesbians in between. But, you know, it is called Woody's and it is in the Village, so while the entire rainbow dances here, the crowd is predominantly male.
Possibly the only gay bar in town where big jugs are a feature attraction, Woody's keeps the social lubrication flowing by serving $13 pitchers all the time. With some of the highest beer sales in the city (in the top 5, according to Odorico), that's a lot of lube. Other attractions include Sunday nights with Miss Conception, with her Broadway and Stage to Screen Show starting at 6pm. On a recent Sunday the talented and locally revered entertainer brought the house down with a timely and hilarious impression of Britain's Got Talent star Susan Boyle.
My affair with Woody's began 10 years ago, when it turned out that all my highschool crushes were gay. Woody's is the place where I first developed some sorely needed gaydar, and where me and my former flames danced and laughed and grew into fearless, fun-loving urbanites. Woody's hasn't changed at all in the last 10 years, and it doesn't need to. With enough space for 600 party people of all stripes, this Toronto hotspot has its third leg firmly planted on the path to legendary status.
Writing by Devon Scoble