This place is everything most gay bars aren't, filled on any given night not with scrawny WeHo queens whose musical knowledge starts with Madonna and ends at Britney, but instead with big, beefy, often-tattooed dudes who look like they should be working security at punk-rock shows. Though the bar has been around since 1968 under one name or another, it has always catered to a specific kind of queer boy—the heavyset, the hairy ("bears," in gay-speak), the leather-lovers, the uniform fetishists—your average working-class, blue-collar homo. At Pistons, a no-attitude rule applies—no one will make snarky comments or roll eyes at you if you arrive donned in a well-worn pair of 501s, a T-shirt you bought from Target and a Ducks cap. Rather, it's a place where boy-next-door types would hang. But that doesn't mean it's dull—certainly not on Fetish Fridays, which brings out a happy horde modeling the latest in leather, latex, rubber, cowboy and sports-uniform gear (no Village People cracks, please). As for the bar's industrial/construction-site décor (especially on the back patio), this is a place where that "CAUTION: OPEN MANHOLE" sign on the wall has quite a different meaning. And yes, those are indeed mirrors over the horse-trough urinals in the men's room; Pistons is not a place for the pee-shy.
Although Pistons is not my type of bar, I would recommend it for the leather, bear, motorcycle and fetish crowd. There is a pool table and a large outdoor patio. New owners intend to renovate. Parking is now available next door so you no longer need to park along the street. Check Piston's online calendar for special events at http://www.pistonsbar.com/Events/calendar.html
This place is fun to come to during the day if you're in Long Beach. Fun crowd, fun bartenders and the fun continues to go once you've have some drinks running through you! We found this place by accident and we love going back!
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