Current Status on Vallarta's LGBT+ Bar and Nightclub Reopenings
Alexis Velasco - Out & About Puerto Vallarta
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July 30, 2020

It’s been a few weeks now, since certain iconic, local LBGT+ bars and nightclubs have reopened in Puerto Vallarta’s Romantic Zone, allowing tourists and locals to have a little fun after several months deprived of music and the festive ambiance of these establishments. Businesses have had to adapt to the regulations of the State Government to continue operating, ensuring the safety of their clients in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thus, on the one hand, we have good news: it is now possible to enjoy the gay district. On the other hand, you have to consider that the experience is very different from what it used to be. As a matter of fact, the ambiance is more like that of a restaurant-bar. The dance floor has been replaced by some tables and food consumption is mandatory so you can order your favorite cocktail or drink. Therefore, we recommend you to arrive on an empty stomach. Also, at the moment, live entertainment is restricted: no drag shows and gogo dancers. As you can imagine, under these circumstances the party ends earlier. In fact, venues start closing around midnight. It is important to have your face mask ready in order to access since its use is mandatory.

Are all the sanitary rules being followed?

The answer is yes. Or at least this is what Out & About PV found while stopping by some of the main nightclubs in colonia Emiliano Zapata. Indeed, there are temperature checks at the entrance and all clients receive a dose of hand sanitizer gel. There are also sanitizing mats, the staff uses face masks all the time, tables and seats keep a safe distance from others, and food consumption is mandatory with each drink.

According to David Villaseñor, barman at Anónimo Bar, most customers have embraced and respected these measures, but some of them get upset about being forced to order food. Regarding the influx of people, he mentions: “Right now, very few people are coming, but still under these circumstances, we get some gain and can survive, we understand that it is important to respect the protocols 100%.”

Despite the restrictions and rules implemented, it seems that tourists appreciate the efforts made by these establishments and manage to enjoy the evening even when the ambiance is calmer than in the past. Travis Carrillo, a visitor from Austin, Texas, mentioned: “It is true that the experience is very different, but I also don’t want to be selfish and put other people at risk. We can socialize in this way in the meantime. I understand that we cannot be packed in a bar or club dancing.”

Ryan, his husband, added, “We have to think about what is gonna be the new normal. Maybe before when there’s one hundred people on the dancefloor, maybe that will never be because of the pandemic. ” Within the last month, this is the second time that the couple visits Puerto Vallarta and they admitted feeling safer here than in the United States. They both work for an airline, have a YouTube channel focused on travel (The World Unlock), and are convinced that it is possible to travel and enjoy vacations as long as you are looking out for yourself and other people around you.

Likewise, Trevor Turner from Jersey City, New Jersey, said he felt safe visiting these venues: “I see a lot of people wearing masks, wearing gloves, taking temperature checks. They don’t do that in a lot of areas so personally I feel very safe here and I hope that other people come. They should be ok coming, I have no issue recommending going out. So far, I am enjoying my stay. There’s always a risk whether you are in Mexico, United States, or across the world but the fact that they are doing temperature checks and additional checks that other countries are not doing, I would say is actually safer here than somewhere else.”

Read the list of Establishments that have been reopened with latest updates at Out & About Puerto Vallarta.

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