Friday, June 24, 2011



Location: 4343 North 7th Street, Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Founded: May 2004

Closed: Early 2008?

Like a lot of new bars, E-Lounge burst on to the club scene with a lot of buzz. As one breathless early reviewer announced in September 2004,  this place was "lesbian heaven." All the "lipstickers, doo-raggers and power lesbians" are getting "buck wild" at the E-Lounge!

Three guesses where the Jettster wants to lick her lips and twist her hips? The new lesbian love zone, the E-Lounge, over on Seventh Avenue just north of Indian School. Seems the four-and-a-half-month-old club has brought game to that other L-word drama palace in the PHX, Ain't Nobody's Bizness (known by the shorthand "the Biz"), and everyone in the gay community is feelin' its flava.

Brash, overachieving newcomer that she was, the E-lounge won the "Best Place to See a Drag Show" from the Phoenix Times the same year she opened:

So you've just watched The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar back to back on video and you're wondering where you go to get your drag on in this burg. Well, pull on those pantyhose, girlfriend, tuck in that crank shaft, and head on down to the Sunday night "She-Lounge" at E-Lounge. E-Lounge is the hot new lesbian club in town, and Sunday nights there are turned over to P-town's glorious gals of female impersonation, led by none other than drag diva and longtime Echo columnist Barbra Seville. Seville, who likes to lip-synch Bette Midler in her prime, once flaunted her ab-fab stuff at Wink's, but now that Wink's is no more, she uses the E-Lounge as her stomping grounds. Her co-host for the gig is the lusciously vivacious Miss Angela Dodd, who never fails to have the het boys in the audience drooling for more.

With them for the performance are the campiest cuties, the most daring divas, and the classiest queens of the PHX doing their Milli Vanilli best with torch songs, standards, and the latest tops of the pops. If you want to beat the Sunday night blues without consuming a bottle of Jack Daniel's and a handful of Zoloft at home alone, then the She-Lounge is the place to be.

And the Best Lesbian Bar award too, also in 2004:

Thankfully, you'll be hard-pressed to find a mullet here. E-Lounge draws patrons of all ages, but its largest draw is the twentysomething crowd. With ample, cushy couches, reasonably priced drinks, and hordes of hot women, E-Lounge is fast becoming the nightclub that local lesbians have wanted for years. The inside decor resembles a grotto inferno, with dark red brick walls, paintings of exotic, scantily clad women, and a spacious, sunken dance floor -- a perfect pit for exhibitionists, and a great eyeful opportunity for voyeurs. Add some of the Valley's hottest DJs (Domenica, Pete, and Laura B.) to the mix, and there's bound to be beautiful booty shakin' until last call -- and maybe more booty after that. Readers' Choice: Ain't Nobody's Bizness

She also won the Best Lesbian Bar award in 2006 (after losing out to "Ain't Nobody's Bizness" in 2005):

Thank God they ditched the pool table to make room for more people. This hot homo hub serves up some of the best eye candy in Phoenix, from big-busted women in wife-beaters to femmes in frilly skirts. There are more good-looking women here than at any other lesbian bar in town. To put it bluntly, "the e" is a meat market. But we're not saying that like it's a bad thing. The place has a spacious sunken dance floor; cheap, strong drinks; hot wax spun by DJs Adrian and Domenica; performances by gay icons like Le Tigre's JD Samson, the Albuquerque Kings Club drag king troupe, and Lila Sherman; and fun parties with themes like pajamas, the military, and the '80s. Who wouldn't want to hook up with a hottie here?

E-Lounge wasn't just a hit with the locals. The out of town reviewers liked it too, like Matt Link at

Women in Phoenix face a tough choice when it comes to picking where to go out to play. The city has an impressive number of social options. A top selection is the E Lounge in the central "Queer Corridor," as the stretch between 7th Avenue and 7th Street is sometimes called. Hip hop and jukebox favorites blare out at the friendly bar, where ladies on the stools by the bar will be sure to talk to locals or the laid back bartenders. It's an exuberant, youthful dance bar Thursday though Saturday, packed to the rafters with hot women. The staff doesn't take much persuasion to get up on the bar and demonstrate shot-pouring techniques, and the crowd gets deliciously rowdy on busy nights.

Was there nothing the E-Lounge couldn't do? Maybe walking on water while graduating at the top of her class from Harvard Law? But like a lot of overachievers, she got a little cocky, started to coast.

Then the complaints started.

The place was too smoky. It was too dirty. It had no energy.

Here's one complaint from January 2006:

When e-lounge first opened it was THE place to be.  It was hip and fun and had great crowds.  Now... well....

And another one from a few months later:

I stopped by here in October [2006], after I first moved, around 6:30, figuring I would hit the happy hour after work crowd. Uh. No. It was me, three other sporty ladies with ponytails through their baseball caps and a tattooed bartender. The place just seemed kind of tacky and not that clean for some reason.

This is from January 2007:

We got there around 10:30 and the energy was just fucking DEAD. There was a long line for the womens bathroom, and some butches were obviously chroniced out and fuckin up the flow of the line and shit. Some ladies just opted for the guys room, but I wasn't drunk yet and could still smell, so I opted out of it. There was a DJ spinning some good top 40 hip hop, and no one was on the floor. Oh, there was one chick...READING THE FUCKING PAPER! WTF?

By 11:14 pm, I was like, the bartenders are taking too long, this place is too damn smokey, no one is dancing (even though we had a crew and started some but still-had about 14 people out there-out of a full house), people are drinking WAY too much (like 4 shots at a TIME) and getting rowdy and full of drama in the parking lot.

We decided to check out e-Lounge at 1am, and there was improvement-people were on the floor, but of course people were even more fucked up, it was even smokier and not ventilated at all, and people were getting mad sloppy.

The vibe here is just off, I don't know if it was the people here both times or what, which is why I am gonna give it another try.

And from May 2007:

Most nights I came home smelling like smoke with who knows what stuck to the bottom of my shoes.

Apparently a lot of ladies didn't feel like giving the E-Lounge another try, as it finally closed for good--probably around early 2008.

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