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Why isn’t there a greater LGBT presence in downtown Hollywood?


Hollywood’s main thoroughfare, Hollywood Blvd., runs a few blocks between the train tracks (20th St.) and Young Circle (Federal Hwy.). There are a few streets crossing and running parallel that are characterized by brick-lined walks, unique boutiques, shops, art galleries and dozens of excellent restaurants. It’s even on the National Register of Historic Places. There is some development, but nothing like it would be if it were a gathering spot for the LGBT community. So why isn’t it hopping with LGBT life? It’s only 15 minutes south of downtown Fort Lauderdale, at most a half-hour from Wilton Manors.

The area also features plenty of FREE parking along the main drag. If Wilton Manors wants to see how to reconfigure its main drag, they need look no further than this pedestrian friendly area. There’s even a convenient trolley service running seven days a week, which not only circles the downtown area, but makes runs out to the beach and Hollywood’s other dining and entertainment district, the Boardwalk. ArtsPark at Young Circle, situated between the two areas is the perfect spot for festivals and celebrations. In fact, every Monday, food trucks from across South Florida congregate in the park for a unique dining experience.

If the LGBT community is looking to spend some of its pink dollars, they’ll have plenty of variety available in downtown Hollywood. Asian options alone include Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and Asian fusion at the following restaurants:


Go Bistro, 2035 Hollywood Blvd., 754-263-2826

Huang's Mandarin House, 2031 Hollywood Blvd., 954-923-1688,

Iron Sushi, 1805 N. Young Circle, 954-927-1735

Nakorn Thai & Sushi, 1935 Harrison St., 954-921-1200,

Pho Vi ,1933 Hollywood Blvd., 954-367-7786

Red Thai & Sushi, 1924 Hollywood Blvd., 954-921-1988,


For those craving French fare, the options range from simple bistro fare to haute cuisine:

Bistro 1902, 1902 Hollywood Blvd., 954-689-2229

Face, 2022 Hollywood Blvd., 754-263-2811

La Flambée, 2051 Hollywood Blvd., 954-613-5726

Le Comptoir  1902 Harrison St.,    954-399-9519

Monaco          2033 Harrison St.,    954-589-5744


There’s only one place serving up authentic Irish fare; Mickey Byrne's, 1921 Hollywood Blvd., 954-921-2317, But there are so many places specializing in Italian cuisine that diners can visit a different one every day of the week and still have a few to sample for lunch.


Cinquecento, 1931 Hollywood Blvd., 954-927-1815

Fascino's, 1900 Harrison St., 954-589-0200,

La Vendetta, 1909 Hollywood Blvd., 954-404-6321,

Lino's Pizza, 1817 N. Young Circle, 954-929-7575

Mama Mia, 1818 S. Young Circle, 954-923-0555,

Mauro's Pizza, 1904B Hollywood Blvd., 954-929-4001

Perrone's, 1885 Hollywood Blvd., 954-921-7009


Unlike the real Middle East, the dining establishments representing that region co-exist peacefully in Hollywood. Among them are:


A La Turca, 1848 Harrison St., 954-925-5900,

Caravan Grill, 1719 E. Young Circle, 954-246-0770

The Greek Joint, 1925 Hollywood Blvd.,  954-929-9966,

Shabo's Barbecue, 1840 Harrison St., 954-921-6667


Ginger Bay Café, 1908 Hollywood Blvd., 954-924-1844, and R.E.D. Stripe Café, 2001 Harrison St., 954-818-0885 represent the Caribbean.               

For Latin American cuisine, diners may select from a number of countries representing South and Central America, as well as Spain, the Caribbean, American Tex-Mex and Latin fusion:


Angus Bar & Grill (Argentine), 1917 Hollywood Blvd., 954-920-8118

Buleria (Spanish), 2051B Hollywood Blvd., 954-362-7026

Cabo Blanco (Peruvian/Cuban), 1936 Hollywood Blvd., 954-251-2230,

Kussifay (Argentine), 2050 Hollywood Blvd., 954-842-2396

La Huaca (Peruvian), 2000 Harrison St., 954-239-8722

Las Delicias Peruanas (Peruvian), 2023 Hollywood Blvd., 954-923-2999

Los Pinchos (Colombian), 1940 Hollywood Blvd., 954-923-0200

Runas Peruvian Cuisine (Peruvian), 219 N. 21st Avenue, 954-614-2094

Sansushito (Peruvian Sushi), 121 N. 20th Avenue, 954-703-4770   

Takitos Restaurant (Mexican), 1926 Hollywood Blvd.,  954-921-1946,

Tardes Calenas (Colombian), 2025A Hollywood Blvd., 954-391-7542          


Those looking for a sweet dessert to top off your evening may want to stop in at Atelier 3, 1901 Harrison St., 954-505-3843, La Bonne Adresse, 2003 Harrison St., 954-927-6458 or the legendary Chocolada, 1923 Hollywood Blvd., 954-920-6400.

Or if you prefer to dance off all those calories, there are a number of clubs, including:


Hollywood Vine, 2035 Harrison St., 954-922-2910,          

Mystic Water Kava Bar, 1820 S. Young Circle, 954-496-6090           

PRL Euro Café, 1904A Hollywood Blvd., 954-980-8945

Social Room 1916 Harrison St., 954-248-6950

Spice Resto-Lounge, 1934 Hollywood Blvd., 954-923-3888

Whiskey Tango, 1903 Hollywood Blvd., 954-925-2555,


This list is by no means inclusive; it doesn’t feature a number of sandwich shops and places only open for lunch. Nor does it include chains and franchises such as Pizza Rustica, Starbuck’s etc. As always, customers should call and check before visiting a specific location. Many of the places listed above don’t have a web site, but may have a Facebook page. It’s about time the LGBT community made its presence known in downtown Hollywood. Let’s spend some of those gay dollars and show them how to take the place from charming to fabulous.



The consumer survey company, Community Marketing & Insights, recently released the results of its latest survey and revealed that, no big surprise here, the LGBT community loves to dine out! Gay men tend to dine out more often than lesbians. The surprising result was that there was not much of a difference in the number of meals dined out when comparing generations. Millennials and Gen Xers dine out at about the same rates, although there was a slight decline in the numbers for those in the Baby Boomer generation (see chart below).




The amount our community spends when dining out far exceeds that of the mainstream community. recently reported that mainstream Millennials spend, on average, $43 per week dining out and that others in the community at large (the study did not offer a breakdown between Gen X and Boomers) spent only, on average, $34 a week. Compare those results with the chart below and you’ll see that gay men spend far more than that amount when dining out. Lesbians tend to match the spending habits of the population at large.