Nestled comfortably on the line of downtown and “the gayborhood” (the West End) of Portland is a historical landmark. And no, I’m not talking about Video Expo or the Treasure Chest. Blackstones has been a go-to gay destination, serving up tasty drinks, a nice selection of microbrews (they officially have Pumpkinhead on draught), and no seedy pretense. Just a good time. And the good times have been going down in this location for a whopping 25 years at the end of August. If Blackstones were a band, they’d be eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I’m only 5 months older than my favorite neighborhood haunt. It really puts the dedication that owners Butch Fenton and Ralph Cusack-Fenton have into perspective. Yup, they’ve been around since the beginning, and aren’t going anywhere.
While it’s always been a gay bar, bartender Rickey Ouellette made sure that I knew that everyone is welcome. Ouellette has been tending bar at Blackstones for 6 years, and that seems to be more common than not; since I’ve been going there, it’s been the same staff sticking around season to season. Consistency has never been a problem. With a stellar billiards scene, people come from all walks of life to play in their 8-Ball (Sundays) and 9-Ball (Tuesdays) tournaments with cash prizes and great drink specials. Once a month, the pool table is converted into a stage and the truly seasoned legends of local drag, as well as some up and coming favorites put on a show for Blackstone’s loyal clientele. There are also charity bingo events to benefit such organizations as The Frannie Peabody Center sparatically. Other than that? Drinking happens. Quite a bit of it.
Such a classic pub-style bar lasting as long as they have should be celebrated! Here’s a look at what kind of festivities Blackstones has in store for their 25th Anniversary Weekend:
Friday, August 31st – Anniversary night! Free pizza from 5pm-7pm, as well as at midnight!
Saturday, September 1st – Silver Party! Drawings from the Cash Bag worth anywhere from $1-$100 all night! One lucky customer will receive the Silver Certificate, which is entitles them to a 25th Anniversary dog tag and chain, valued at $125!
Sunday, September 2nd – 25th Anniversary Show! “The Dragaret” – a night of cabaret-style performances, hosted by Miss Danielle Renee Phillips! Performers include Miss JoAnn (Ms. Blackstones 2012), Madam Sheena (Ms. Blackstones 2010), Tatoola Tess Tosterone, Taffy Pulls, Sharon Anysexyoucan, and Vanila Honey-Bush in one of her final Maine performances! Show starts at 10pm!
Monday, September 3rd – $2 draughts and $3 rail drinks ALL DAY!
6 Pine Street,
Portland, ME, 04102