Best Gay Bar / Best Lesbian Bar (Washtenaw County)
Nestled within a nook of Ann Arbor’s Kerrytown is this year’s choice for best gay and lesbian bar in Washtenaw County: aut BAR. Since August of 1995, this cozy little dive has been a mainstay for Ann Arbor area gays and lesbians (as well as the straight friends who accompany them). aut BAR is the perfect place to get away from the loud dance music that stifles the ability to chat with friends. It’s a quaint, vibrant place to relax and enjoy the company of old chums (and possibly meet new ones) over dinner and/or a drink. And unlike the typical dance club, the jukebox upstairs offers a truly eclectic selection of classic and contemporary rock, pop and R&B. Full bars are located both upstairs and downstairs, and they serve up a mean cup of espresso for college students who need a quick caffeine buzz to get studying done in the downstairs dining area. For those who care to dine alone once in a while, aut BAR has a small library of magazines and books to read.
Lounging in this brightly-colored atmosphere is like stepping into an abstract minimalist painting (I’m thinking Mondrian here); the yellow, red and blue walls are harmoniously balanced by black-and-white Mapplethorpes hanging on them. For folks who enjoy dining outside in the summer, aut BAR features a nicely shaded patio area. And finally, there’s the menu itself — plenty to choose from, including salads, burgers, appetizers and desserts.