Every few months, there is a new thread or new postings, asking what's available for gay nightlife, on the island. Here is an update.
Jimmy's Place, downtown.
Windstraat 32, next to La Granja. (All locals know where that is.)
With the cozy appearance of a Dutch café but top DJ's spinning for dancing, Jimmy's has been at the forefront of gay nightlife for years. This is their new location (as of March 2010), which is about 3 blocks from the old location. Thursdays, an excellent DJ remixes 80's classics for dancing. Fridays and Saturdays, the night starts with house music, but more Latin dance music creeps in, as it gets later. Best time to go: between midnight and 3am on Friday/Saturday. Run by an older gay couple, Jimmy's is popular with locals, straight and gay alike. People staying at the Renaissance Hotel or Talk of the Town might well be directed there, if they are asking where the good dance music is, downtown. Closed Mondays.
Zeus, Paseo Herencia, High rise area
The newcomer to the scene, Zeus is a large, round room, with a "light fountain" in the center. Trendier in appearance than Jimmy's, also featuring a mix of house and Latin music. Most popular on the weekend, when they are open until 4am. Finding the entrance is the trick here... you'll need to walk up the flight of stairs in the adjoining parking garage, then look for the brown door into the club. Above Moby Dick's restaurant. When the hotel concierges and desk staff find out that this place is here, it will probably become a huge hit with tourists. But, at this time, as they do not appear to be advertising yet, the crowd was almost entirely Aruban locals.
One word of warning: In both clubs, nothing you have ever seen on "So You Think You Can Dance" or "Dancing With The Stars" has prepared you for the amazement of how well these customers merengue! In the wee hours, the customers dancing is a show in itself.
Certain local performers have a well-deserved gay following (these are not "gay shows"), and can be found at a variety of bars/restaurants/clubs. Jairo Boekhoudt (Acoustic Soul and other bands) and Marisela (Aquarius Band, She: Confidential and other bands) are wildy talented. Whether they are at Café Chaos, Bugaloe, Café Rembrandt, Hard Rock, PamPam or elsewhere, if you see their names, go!
Many also start their night at the Sopranos Piano Bar, before heading to the dance clubs. Busiest early in the night (8pm onward on weeknights, 9pm onward on the weekends). The featured monthly entertainer is onstage every night except Sunday, when they feature a Latin duo. Also a great spot for a nightcap, before walking back to the hotel.
The beach where local gays tend to go is Arashi Beach, near California Lighthouse. However, it is a bit of a trade-off, giving up more beautiful beaches and powdery sand for privacy and more GLBT people.