When Out Traveler named Oak Lawn the “best gayborhood in the U.S.,” it said “Oak Lawn is a shining star in a city soaked with money and privilege.” The magazine also noted that Oak Lawn is “packed with nightlife and eateries,” and praised its proximity to downtown and the Design District.
But just what is it that really makes a gayborhood successful and keeps it vibrant?
According to Dallas Tavern Guild Executive Director Michael Doughman, it takes a good mix of retail and restaurants with a concentration of bars in the area. Hospitality, stability, engagement with the surrounding neighborhood, a great hotel and new development that’s integrated into the gayborhood all play into making Oak Lawn an enduring draw for the LGBT community, he said.
Doughman said other gayborhoods he’s visited don’t have the mix of stores, restaurants and bars that Oak Lawn has. He said the publisher of Sparticus, the international gay guide, told him that in many cities, he replaces a majority of the listings each year. In Dallas, there are usually just a few updates.
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