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The iconic Little Gay Pub in D.C. expands to Philadelphia

Owners Little Gay Pub DC opening new spot Philly LGBTQ city bar Philadelphia PA
instagram @thelittlegaypub

The owners of the popular celebrity hotspot tell The Advocate that they’re excited to bring their business to the Philly LGBTQ+ community.

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A beloved gay bar in Washington, D.C., known for its eclectic atmosphere and celebrity sightings, is expanding to Philadelphia. The owners of the Little Gay Pub, which has quickly become a hotspot for locals and tourists, are bringing their unique hospitality brand to the City of Brotherly Love.

The new location will be at the corner of 13th and Drury Street, near the historic McGillin’s Olde Ale House.

LGP founders Dito Sevilla, Dusty Martinez, and Benjamin Gander, longtime D.C. bartenders, aim to open the Philadelphia branch as soon as late December, but no later than next spring, in time for Pride Month, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The trio’s mission is to create a pub where the LGBTQ+ community “is celebrated, more than just served.” Sevilla told the Inquirer that LGP’s decor and service “harken back to an older age in the community, when the bars were nicer, a little bit more leathery and darker, and the fixtures were better.” Both the D.C. and Philly locations are designed to capitalize on natural light, fostering a welcoming daytime drinking environment in addition to the late-night scene.

One of LGP’s standout features is its ornate restrooms with perfect lighting, which have become a social media sensation. The Instagram account Royal_Fiush_LGP is dedicated to capturing selfies taken in the pub’s bathrooms. Sevilla humorously explained, “We wanted to have over-the-top bathrooms, and there was really no specific reason...we made them crazy and kitschy— and so clean and nice.”

Sevilla told The Advocate that the team is excited about the expansion. “We love Philly! We are so excited to have the opportunity to bring our unique brand of not-so-Little Gay Pub, offering a quirky, campy, glamorously gay hospitality experience to an incredibly historic and LGBTQ-friendly city like Philadelphia.”

Sevilla emphasized the team’s dedication to detail, sharing that they always want to create a space full of personality and charm. “When we built the place, we had hoped it was going to be a gathering space for everybody, but people really have come to appreciate all the love we put into it,” he previously told The Advocate. “We wanted to put details and little hidden Easter eggs all across the bar because we all had our distinct personalities, and we wanted to have a place where we all felt represented.”

The Philly location will include a mural of the late city planner Ed Bacon, overseen by a rooftop deck, highlighting the local flavor and history. According to the Inquirer, the pub’s founders are committed to becoming part of the community, sharing an apartment to ensure that at least one of them is always in town.

The paper reports that the three plan to keep their doors open to engage with the neighborhood during construction.

“We plan to keep our doors open so the neighborhood can stop by, pop in, and ask us questions,” Martinez said. “We’re just a very friendly bunch of people that have brought greatness to D.C., and we hope to do so in Philadelphia.”

The original LGP has hosted numerous celebrities, including Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat, who visited last fall and took selfies in one of the pub’s famed restrooms. Other notable guests have included actors Billy Eichner and Alan Cumming. Recently, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and the season 9 cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Starsdropped by the pub.

Additionally, LGP has formed a notable partnership with the British Embassy, culminating in the creation of the “GREAT Love is for Everyone” mural by artist Lisa Marie Thalhammer.

Sevilla shared that the partners have long enjoyed Philadelphia’s LGBTQ+ spots and are eager to join and expand the community’s offerings. “For years, we have each enjoyed many of the LGBT spots Philly has had to offer—some of them for decades—and can’t wait to join them in expanding the offerings for our people and their allies to enjoy.”

Benjamin Gander echoed this enthusiasm: “We’re beyond excited to get up there.”

Philadelphia’s LGP aims to continue this legacy of community engagement, inclusivity, and celebration. Sevilla emphasized the pub’s ethos: “The Little Gay Pub is a small space with a big heart and an old soul. We can’t wait to share it with the City of Brotherly Love, Freedom, and the cradle of Liberty.”

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Christopher Wiggins

Christopher Wiggins is a senior national reporter for The Advocate. He has a rich career in storytelling and highlighting underrepresented voices. Growing up in a bilingual household in Germany, his German mother and U.S. Army father exposed him to diverse cultures early on, influencing his appreciation for varied perspectives and communication. His work in Washington, D.C., primarily covers the nexus of public policy, politics, law, and LGBTQ+ issues. Wiggins' reporting focuses on revealing lesser-known stories within the LGBTQ+ community. Key moments in his career include traveling with Vice President Kamala Harris and interviewing her in the West Wing about LGBTQ+ support. In addition to his national and political reporting, Wiggins represents The Advocate in the White House Press Pool and is a member of several professional journalistic organizations, including the White House Correspondents’ Association, Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists, and Society of Professional Journalists. His involvement in these groups highlights his commitment to ethical journalism and excellence in the field. Follow him on X/Twitter @CWNewser (https://twitter.com/CWNewser) and Threads @CWNewserDC (https://www.threads.net/@cwnewserdc).
Christopher Wiggins is a senior national reporter for The Advocate. He has a rich career in storytelling and highlighting underrepresented voices. Growing up in a bilingual household in Germany, his German mother and U.S. Army father exposed him to diverse cultures early on, influencing his appreciation for varied perspectives and communication. His work in Washington, D.C., primarily covers the nexus of public policy, politics, law, and LGBTQ+ issues. Wiggins' reporting focuses on revealing lesser-known stories within the LGBTQ+ community. Key moments in his career include traveling with Vice President Kamala Harris and interviewing her in the West Wing about LGBTQ+ support. In addition to his national and political reporting, Wiggins represents The Advocate in the White House Press Pool and is a member of several professional journalistic organizations, including the White House Correspondents’ Association, Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists, and Society of Professional Journalists. His involvement in these groups highlights his commitment to ethical journalism and excellence in the field. Follow him on X/Twitter @CWNewser (https://twitter.com/CWNewser) and Threads @CWNewserDC (https://www.threads.net/@cwnewserdc).