Gay. It’s a word whose meaning has changed a bit over the years. Having a “gay old time” just meant having a good time. Now it’s used more to describe homosexuals. It is also a last name. In the case of The Gay Bar in Gay, Michigan, all three uses could be used.
Gay, Michigan was originally named for Joseph E. Gay. It’s natural to name a business after the town it is in. There’s no question where they got the name. Now, how they play up this name to the modern meaning of gay is what makes this place quirky.
When you first arrive at the bar, it looks like a converted house. Looking at their website, that appears to be the case. The house was originally the stamp mill superintendent’s residence. It eventually became a bar after Prohibition.
You can tell the bar has been around a while. The inside feels like an old country bar. It is a cash-only operation and they even have a payphone.
Now, without its name this bar would be unassuming. They’re all over the place in the rural Midwest. They’re great places for the small communities to socialize. They’re pit stops for snowmobilers and motorcyclists. The Gay Bar has found a way to stand out. There is a little marketing genius on the owners’ part by playing up the modern meaning of gay. This has made a very unique place to visit. The first thing you notice is pink menus.
There’s some unique items on the menu such as the Hula Burger. This is a Spam and cheese sandwich with pineapple on the top. I’ve never seen a place serve Spam so I had to give it a try.
The Hula Burger was better than I thought it would be. Spam isn’t exactly the best tasting, but this actually tasted decent. Compared to other burgers, it wasn’t the greatest. Compared to other Spam I’ve eaten, this was alright. What was actually stellar was the WiFi. With my experience with internet connections in rural areas, I was expecting it to be slow. The speeds I got were pretty amazing for a bar in the middle of nowhere!
The funny thing is the password was “whatpassword.” It was funny listening to the person next to me ask the password of the WiFi several times. The bartender kept saying “whatpassword” and the person kept trying to clarify. She then explained that was the password. I see where that can mess with people, but it really adds to the quirkiness of the bar. Besides pink menus and a weird WiFi password, the bar had t-shirts also. They played up on the name.
If you’re looking to have a gay old time in Gay, Michigan, this is the place to stop. You’ll get a good laugh at things and maybe enjoy a Spam and cheese sandwich while you’re at it!