Step aside, Austin, Dallas, and Houston. San Antonio is home to Texas' fiercest gay bar.
San Antonio’s Pegasus nightclub, which opened in 1994, holds court as the 10th most popular gay bar in the U.S. and the most popular gay bar in the Lone Star State. That’s based on data collected by Gravy Analytics, a location-based marketing platform that tracks mobile data to verify attendance at places and events throughout the U.S. This list tracks patronage of gay bars from November 1, 2017 through October 31, 2018.
In its report on the Gravy Analytics list, news website NewNowNext describes Pegasus as “one of the friendliest venues in the city,” featuring drag performances, karaoke, and dancing. Despite its crowning achievement this year, Pegasus did move down two spots from the 2018 list.
Pegasus has also made other news recently — but for very different reasons.
Last year, the bar’s owner, Mauro Garza, ran as a Republican candidate for Texas’ 21st Congressional District, a spot vacated by fellow Republican Lamar Smith of San Antonio. Amid the criticism, Garza defended his record as an advocate for the LGBTQ community. Garza came in 15th place in the March 2018 Republican primary for the congressional seat, garnering less than 1 percent of the votes.
Later, in October 2018, three people were wounded in a shooting at Pegasus. Officials say the shooting was a random act of violence carried out by an angry bar customer and was not classified as a hate crime.
Overall, Texas made a strong showing in the Gravy Analytics rankings, with Pegasus and eight other bars around the state showing up in the top 50. Dallas was well-represented with three entries on the list, including long-running neighborhood bars The Mining Company (No. 11); The Round-Up Saloon (No. 32); and Hidden Door (No. 46).
Houston also scored three nods. Montrose’s Ripcord (No. 23) and Blue Bar (No. 28) returned to the list from 2018. Rich’s Houston, billed as the city’s largest dance club catering to LBGTQ clientele, made its first appearance at No. 39.
Bout Time II clocks in as Austin’s No. 1 bar on the list at No. 36. Rain on 4th, one of the fixtures of the city’s Warehouse District, lands at No. 48 — a drop of 20 spots from 2018.