LGBTQ-Owned Minneapolis Businesses to Support During Pride—and the Rest of the Year
Every summer, the attention of the Minneapolis LGBTQ+ community and allies alike turns to the rainbow-decked celebrations of Pride Twin Cities, where you’ll find LGBTQ-owned businesses popping up at Loring Park alongside live music and fun galore. The bad news? The official festivities only last a weekend. The great news? There are so many LGBTQ businesses to support in Minneapolis throughout the year!
Founded in 1970, Downtown Danceria First Avenue put Minnesota’s music scene on the map and remains one of the longest-running independently owned and operated clubs in the US. One of the largest LGBTQ+ owned businesses in the Twin Cities, the legendary nightclub and music venue is owned by Dayna Frank, who has proudly and publicly promoted the company’s stance on marriage equality and Pride since she took the helm from her father, Byron Frank, in 2009.
When it comes to LGBTQ businesses to support, you can’t go wrong with any Flip Phone event, whether it’s a Pride dance party, Black Girl magic drag show, or a themed Drag Brunch (hosted every weekend at Crave American Kitchen & Sushi Bar). Want a preview of the Drag Brunch vibe? Flip Phone’s Instagram is a goldmine of clips that will get you pumped.
Heading the only nonprofit professional theater in the Twin Cities that exclusively produces musical theater, Latté Da's co-founder and artistic director Peter Rothstein has featured over 76 mainstage productions at venues around town since the theater’s inception in 1998. Now permanently located in the historic Ritz Theater in Northeast Minneapolis, Latté Da’s past productions include queer stories like Hedwig and the Angry Inch, To Let Go And Fall, and A Man of No Importance.
A mainstay of LGBTQ+ midwest theatre, Gadfly affirms queerness and feminism at every level of their work. Dedicated to producing plays by trans, non-binary, queer POC, and queer female playwrights, brought to life by truly gender-diverse casts, the troupe has showcased post-apocalyptic, dystopian, and sci-fi plays at their annual One-Act Geek Festival at Rosedale Center.
Self described as “the cornerstone of downtown Minneapolis nightlife and gayife,” The Saloon has been an LGBTQ community hub since 1977. Sheparded by owners John Moore and Jim (Andy) Anderson, the Saloon now features dance parties, drag shows, open stage talent nights, karaoke, and The Saloon Pride Block Party.
This Loring Park neighborhood gay bar owned by Gary Hallberg has a rich history. Built by the architects behind the historic Foshay Tower in downtown Minneapolis in 1922, the building housed a speakeasy during Prohibition and became Minneapolis’ first gay bar in 1952. In modern times, the bar has grown into a mainstay during Pride and throughout the year.
This gay nightclub’s flashy flame-hued signage lights up Hennepin long into the night, acting as a beacon for anyone looking for a place to dance, cheer on drag shows, and sing it out at karaoke. With an all-ages Drag Brunch every first Sunday and several nights per week offering access to anyone 18+, it’s also a great spot for younger LGBTQ and allies to dance the night away.
Formerly known as Minneapolis Eagle and The Bolt, this gay bar specialzes in bar nosh and brunch. Closed during Covid, the bar has recently reopened as a restaurant only—no dancing, entertainment, or pool tables—but hopes to return to its jovial nightclub reputation soon.
Have a passion for fashion from the 1950s-1990s? This queer-owned, one-woman vintage shop is sure to have something that sparks joy. While Tandem is searching for a brick-and-mortar space to call home, you can find founder Amanda Baumann’s colorful, curated discoveries at pop-up shops, vintage market events, as well as on Instagram and online.
This luxe North Loop boutique owned by Greg Walsh and Dana Swindler is a one-stop shop for the fashionable. Part apothecary, part bespoke suit tailor, part fine jewelry and watch shop, part home and decor gallery, this 22,000 square foot space is truly an upscale marvel. Services go beyond well-chosen goods—MartinPatrick3 is also a hub for interior design, personal shopping, and even a barbershop.
Proudly queer-owned and queer-friendly, Scout is owned by “two dads” John Migala and Ben Thompson, who curate delightfully outdoorsy apparel, accessories and gifts in St Paul and Edina. The boutique selection features a focus on sustainable materials, inclusive makers, and ethical production.
Owner Lacey Prpić Hedtke’s multi-functional space plays host to a shop filled with crystals, gender-neutral makeup, apparel, accessories, and everything you need for your home altar—as well as artist residencies and a non-circulating library of books, zines, artists’ books, and historical texts on witchcraft, healing, art, and the occult. Fun fact: Prince’s costumes were made in The Future’s space in the 80’s!
Jennifer Pritchett’s sex-positive, inclusive, and shame-free shop empowers and equipts all kinds of consensual sex for LGBTQ and straight folks alike with ethically produced, non-toxic, and body friendly toys and supplies on Lyndale Ave in Uptown.
This Black-owned, women-owned, queer-owned bookstore is out to radicallize your bookshelf by offering a thoughtfully curated selection of Adult and YA contemporary literature by BIPOC authors. You can shop the selection online, at regular pop-ups, and coming soon, it's brick-and-mortar location in St. Paul.
Scott Endres’s endlessly Instagrammable nursery and boutique plant sanctuary is a dream destination for plant lovers and gardeners. If you work up an appetite drawing up a wishlist of plants and accessories, pop across the street to Wise Acre Eatery (also owned by Endres) to grab a deli meal or browse the farm market for fresh produce, mushrooms, eggs, meat and dairy from Endres’s farm in Plato, MN and other local makers and growers.
Fashion maven and household cleaning pro Patric Richardson—best known as the Laundry Evangelist spreading the laundry gospel via his book “Laundry Love” and popular HGTV/discovery+ show The Laundry Guy—offers environmentally friendly laundry products and household goods at his Mall of America store.
Michael Pickart’s Uptown boutique offers upscale, high-fashion apparel and home goods with a passion for design, craft, culture, and the surrounding neighborhood. Think hand-knit sweaters, Italian cashmere, luxe Australian designers, and a whole host of curated treasures from men’s jewelry to locally crafted backpacks and ceramics.
This queer-owned plant shop offers a sweet selection of houseplants, garden supplies, planters, plant stands, and everything you need to keep your plants (and you) happy, from soil and fertilizers to garden-centric gifts.
Owned by chef and master chocolatier Steven Howard and his husband Joe Skifter, Dancing Bear is a must-try for locally made artisan chocolates, confections, and pastries. Delightfully located in a former dentist office in the Victory neighborhood of North Minneapolis, Dancing Bear Chocolate offers hand-dipped truffles, intricate tarts and cakes, and housemade gelato.
The first woman-owned microbrewery in Minnesota, St Paul’s Urban Growler Brewing Company opened in 2014 with a mission to create an inclusive community for beer drinkers and the people who make beer possible. From farmer features showcasing the growers of beer’s fundamental ingredients to an inviting beer garden that makes you want to stay a while and make some friends, Master Brewer Deb Loch and co-head honcho Jill Pavlak have done just that.
Tucked away in Minneapolis' picturesque Bryn Mawr neighborhood, Robert Gillem’s Cuppa Java is a quintessential local coffee shop—the kind that makes you want to linger with a notebook, swap stories with a friend, or meet a first date. With a full menu of hot and cold sandwiches, beer and wine, and enough coffee options to keep you away for days, you’ll never need to leave.
This nostalgia duo of eat-and-drinkeries owned by Sam and Dion Turner serves up classic dinner food (think all-day hash browns, steak & eggs, open-faced hot turkey sandwiches, and a bounty of burgers), fresh baked pastries and pies, plus dessert drinks loaded with soda shop vibes—hand-spun malted chocolate milkshakes, anyone? Best of all, the diner never closes (ever) and the cafe slings espresso, smoothies and snacks everyday until 1 am.