Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Rainbow Room

Rainbow Room exterior sign
The Rainbow Room

Location: 421 South MacDill Avenue, Tampa, Florida, USA

Opened: ?

Closed: June 25, 2011

Here's how The Rainbow Room introduced herself, which was pretty discretely:

We think of ourselves as a mix between a bar and a community center. I know, kind of strange but it works for us. We have our main indoor bar with plenty of seating and pool, darts, jukebox and bar top games. Our outdoor Tike patio is the biggest in town with a full Volleyball court with beach sand and all. Also Outside is plenty of seating for all and on special nights we hope you enjoy our live bands on the Tiki porch!

We host live (big band and acoustic), Pirate Karaoke with our own DJ Mikey, Volleyball & dodge ball tournaments, special events and fundraiser's to no end. We are not a restaurant but often do free bbq's during our outdoor events and are known to bring in some tasty wings on game day! Folks are welcome to bring in food anytime we just ask you to clean up afterwards. Just like momma would ask. We are NOT a full liquor bar but we have a full range of domestics, Imports and specialty beverages.

Honestly, this place--though somewhat closet-y in her self-presentation--sounds like a lot of old-fashioned FUN! But just what is pirate karaoke anyway? (No, as a matter of fact, I don't get out much. Thank you for inquiring.) Oh, well. Nevermind. Maybe it all makes sense after a few margaritas on the Tiki patio.

So how do we know that The Rainbow Room was a lesbian place? Other reviewers, darling. The venue description from ClubFly throws discretion right out the window. It explicitly mentions that The Rainbow Room is a LESBIAN BAR right up front. 

Type: Lesbian Bar/Lounge

In a nutshell: A mix between a bar and a community center, The Rainbow Room features pool, darts, jukebox and bar top games. The outdoor Tiki patio is the biggest in town with beach sand and all, big bands, pirate karaoke, DJ, volleyball & dodge ball tournaments and bring your own food ...

As does GayCities:

Locals lesbian bar that's welcoming to the boys too
Rainbow Room is a friendly neighborhood bar with tons of events.

Metromix goes one step further, and declares that The Rainbow Room is (gasp) a "womyn's bar"!

Rainbow Room serves up beer and wine in south Tampa's "only womyn's bar." Located right on MacDill Avenue, this bar has a reputation for serving up cheap drinks with good company. While the bar may be small, the atmosphere makes up for the size. Live music, karaoke nights, and drink specials make it a worthwhile stop on any pub crawl. The dress code is casual and the crowd ranges from singles to happily paired off couples.

Don't leave without trying their signature drink: a jello shot! At just $1 each, expect to do several rounds of these rainbow colored treats.

Then there is this description from about.com, which kind of explains the confusion. The Rainbow Room bills itself as "mixed," but in reality is a "top lesbian hangout" (wink, wink).

It may not be as flashy as the larger GLBT clubs in Ybor City, but the Rainbow Room (421 S. MacDill Ave., 813-871-2265) is a very cool, welcoming little neighborhood bar a bit west of downtown - in close proximity to a few other low-keyed gay nightspots in Tampa, including Baxter's, City Side, and Ki Ki Ki III. The Rainbow Room bills itself a mixed club, welcoming all kinds, and this is very much the case, but among gay establishments in town, it's among the top lesbian hangouts. There's a festive and quite large Tiki-inspired patio with its own beach and volleyball court (they often have live music out here), and an indoor bar with pool, darts, and games. The staff is friendly and outgoing, and the crowd consistently free of attitude. Keep in mind that Rainbow Room has beer and wine but not a full liquor license.

There's only one patron review at yelp, and that's from a Chicago gal who sounds a bit grumpy (maybe she was nursing a sunburn?). This is dated May 2010:

This place is the lesbian equivalent of a bikers bar without the bikers and it has a volley ball court.  It's tiny inside.  There is only enough room for a bar, a pool table and a juke box. But in the back there is a gazebo, plenty of seating and a volley ball court.
The Rainbow Room

It's full of regulars.  I can't say I thought my stay there was terrible, it was game night and I got suckered into playing taboo and got an awesome applause when my word was hanger and I said "If you can't have a legal abortion people use this for unwanted pregnancies".

Oh you know, just my inner liberal feminist lesbian coming out.

It's cheap, a little scuzzy not somewhere I would bring someone for a first date.... or 5th. Kind of just somewhere you just arrive to and somehow get a little caught up in their little community. The people are really nice, just not my scene.

Several websites mention that The Rainbow Room is no longer in business. One patron at ClubFly says that it closed on June 25, 2011, but there are no details.

Guess you'll have to find somewhere else to get your pirate karaoke fix.

 Photo: Rainbow Room signage,  exterior

1 comment:

  1. This bar is now going by the name of the Patio and the crowd looks a lot more mixed since I was there whenever that was (199?)

    Website http://www.patiotampa.com/


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