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Best Place to Meet the Opposite Sex, the Same Sex, or Whatever 

Balanca's

Lori Burroughs moved Balanca's into the 18th and Grand space where Pyro was briefly aflame and set off some fireworks of her own. Other bars with large gay/lesbian clienteles welcome heterosexuals, too, but at Balanca's, there seems to be something going on that's not sidetracked by shows or dancing: People are actually talking. It's not unusual for a gay man to find himself suddenly sandwiched between a swinging straight couple interested in a threesome. Or to see a group of friends including two straight college guys, a gay guy in his early forties and a lesbian couple in their thirties, toasting their unlikely but firm friendships. With a mix of live performers, elevated seating areas and a dance floor downstairs, Balanca's epitomizes the live-and-let-live philosophy of Sally Bowles in Cabaret.

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