The sector's informal boundaries are Grace Street to the north, Lake Michigan to the east, Diversey Parkway to the south, and Clark Street to the west. Boystown lies just south of the Wrigleyville area, another district within the Lakeview neighborhood. Boystown has carved a niche all its own within the urban fabric of Chicago proper. The Center on Halsted, an LGBT community center, is also located on Halsted Street.
Boystown is known for its colorful nightlife and inviting atmosphere. Bars in Boystown close at 3am weekdays and many are open until 5am on weekends. Boystown also consists of trendy fashion outlets, Chicago's "Off-Loop" theater district, historic architecture, wine boutiques, specialty restaurants, and shops, many of these businesses lying on Halsted, Belmont, Clark, and Broadway. The city's annual Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade runs from Belmont and Halsted north on Halsted Street, then south along Broadway down to Diversey, and then finally east on Diversey to Lincoln Park, along the lakefront.
Public transportation is provided by the Belmont and Addison stations on the Red Line, and by Brown Line as well as numerous bus routes and taxicabs.
Caribou Coffee Shop
The Center on Halsted
North Halsted Street is the main street of this bustling district. It sports Chicago's highest concentration of LGBT-friendly establishments—-an eclectic mix of bars, coffeehouses, and restaurants in accord with the equally eclectic population of local hipsters and open-minded progressives. City planners have designated North Halsted an official pedestrian and bike route following a 1998 community project that resulted in the erection of 11 pairs of rainbow-colored abstract Art Deco pylons along the strip. Coupled with the ever-present rainbow flag that is posted upon nearly every business entrance on the Halsted strip, these pillars also denote the many respectable gay-owned and operated venues that have become hotspots for residents and visitors to Boystown. (Picture: Century Theater)
The Kit Kat Lounge
City politicians are generally accepting of the community's identity. Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley's agreed to endorse and host the 2006 Gay Games in Chicago. Chicago's openly gay alderman—Thomas M. Tunney—represents the 44th Ward area on the Chicago City Council.
Land of the Lost
In Chicago, Boystown covers a very large area. Its "main street" is of course, Halsted street from the corner of Halsted and Belmont north. There are innumerable bars lining both sides of the street, intermixed with gyms, shops, and stores catering to the gay community. There are bars appealing to the entire spectrum of tastes. Perhaps one of the most typical "gay bar" type is Roscoe's, on the corner of Roscoe and Hasted, and one of the largest and most popular (several different bars and a roof patio) is SideKicks. The Center on Halsted, the city's new, sprawling Gay Community Service Center, is on Halsted just past Addison.
On Broadway, also north of Belmont is Unabridged Books, which is a flagship independent bookstore serving the gay community for I don't know how many years, and kitty-corner from it is the Caribou Coffee Shop on the corner of Aldine and Halsted.
Boystown restaurants popular with the community include Ann Sathers, the Melrose, and Stella's.
Among popular restaurants in Boystown, the Chicago Diner, a landmark vegetarian restaurant on Halsted near Roscoe. A must-visit for vegetarians.
The Century Theater, at the corner of Clark and Diversey, regularly feature independent gay films.
There is a lot to see and do in Chicago's Boystown, with something for everyone. –Dorien Grey
Pride Parade, Boystown
His Name Is John (Elliott Smith Mystery, No. 1) by Dorien Grey
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Zumaya Boundless (June 10, 2008)
Amazon: His Name Is John (Elliott Smith Mystery, No. 1)
Elliott Smith wakes up in the hospital with a head injury...and an invisible companion. At first, he's convinced "John" is just a figment of a damaged brain, but when he's fully recovered John is still around; and desperate to find out who he is. Reluctantly, Elliott agrees to help, and discovers Chicago PD has a John Doe on their hands with six bullets in him—who died in the ER at the same time Elliott was there.
As Elliott digs deeper into the mystery of John, he stumbles on a body hidden behind a wall for 80 years, meets a sexy artist who could become more than just a one-night stand, and uncovers a deadly secret that has haunted a nun for two decades.
Boystown: Three Nick Nowak Mysteries by Marshall Thornton
Paperback: 212 pages
Publisher: Torquere Press (June 8, 2011)
Amazon: Boystown: Three Nick Nowak Mysteries
A former police officer turned private investigator, Nick Nowak is haunted by his abrupt departure from the department, as well as the traumatic end of his relationship with librarian Daniel Laverty. In these three stories set in Chicago during the early eighties, Nick locates a missing young man for a mysterious client, solves a case of arson at a popular nightspot, and goes undercover to prove a dramatic suicide was actually murder. When he isn't detecting, and sometimes when he is, Nick moves through a series of casual relationships. But his long suppressed romantic side surfaces when he meets Detective Bert Harker. Will he give love another chance? Or, will he continue to bury himself in the arms of strangers? Stories include Little Boy Found, Little Boy Burned, and Little Boy Fallen. Marshall Thornton is an award-winning author, playwright and screenwriter living in Long Beach, California. Author of the Boystown detective series, he holds an MFA in screenwriting from UCLA. While there he received the Carl David Memorial Fellowship and was recognized in the Samuel Goldwyn Writing awards.