pittsburgh, philadelphia, lawrenceville, postgayborhoods

Post-Gayborhoods: Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville Is The Jewel Of The Rust Belt

post-gayborhoods, gayborhoods, travel, gay travelOver the past decade, the gayborhood has morphed into what’s often termed a “post-gay” neighborhood. At many LGBT-owned businesses, you’re apt to bump into plenty of straight folks as well — and vice versa. And it’s a good bet that the formerly explicitly gay neighborhoods will continue to become steadily more diverse — including the influx of the dreaded “hipster”. But if you can get beyond the sometimes precious conceits of these trendy urban districts, you’ll discover some of the best businesses and restaurants in the country.

Every day for the next two weeks, we’ll be taking a look at a dozen of the most dynamic and interesting post-gay neighborhoods in the United States and Canada. These aren’t necessarily the biggest or the most popular — just a good sampling of especially notable ones. 

To see all the articles in this series, click here.

Lawrenceville in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Lawrenceville, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Post-Gayborhood
Butler Street in Lawrenceville (Photo: Andrew Collins)

A long, narrow neighborhood that curves alongside the Allegheny River north and east of downtown, Lawrenceville is a prime example of how numerous working-class neighborhoods in Rust Belt cities throughout the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states have begun to blossom in recent years. Butler Street, lined with up-and-coming cafes, shops, bars, and restaurants bisects Lawrenceville.

Lawrenceville abounds with neatly kept — and still very affordable — brick and clapboard row houses inhabited by a mix of old and new residents, from retired factory workers to recent college graduates.

Tamari, Lawrenceville, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Post Gayborhood
The Tamari (Photo: Andrew Collins)

The city’s many gay and lesbian residents have played a big part in the neighborhood renaissance, which extends next door to increasingly trendy Bloomfield and East Liberty. Queer bars like the Blue Moon and Cattivo draw plenty of straight allies, while hipster-favored mainstream hangouts like Belvederes Ultra-Dive and Remedy pull in a number of LGBTQ folks each night.

As is true of similarly creatively reinvigorated Rust Belt neighborhoods like Ohio City in Cleveland and Bay View in Milwaukee, talented young chefs are moving to Lawrenceville in droves — must-try eateries include meat-centric Cure, Asian-Latin bistro Tamari, and arty breakfast and lunch favorite Coca Cafe.

Coca Cafe, Lawrenceville, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, post-gayborhood
The Coca Cafe in Lawrenceville

Boutique hotels have recently sprouted nearby, including the Hotel Indigo Pittsburgh East Liberty and the latest outpost of the hip Ace Hotel brand, which opened in East Liberty just last year.

This article is one in a series about post-gayborhoods.

(Featured image via James Tate/Flickr)