Well, I did it. After nearly 11 years living in Los Angeles I finally played bingo with a drag queen! Yes, I played “Frank & Beans” bingo where I attempted to stamp my card with numbers which created the shape of a penis. Yes, the bingo caller was a wo-man rockin’ a flashier dress and higher heels than you’ll find in my closet. And yes, it was a blast!
For the uninitiated, Hamburger Mary’s in West Hollywood offers Legendary Bingo twice a week – Wednesday and Sunday – where Bingo Boy and one in a collection of fabulous drag queens lead you through games with very little in common with your grandma’s church basement bingo. Oh sure, the numbers are the same – B-9 anyone? – but the atmosphere is oh-so WeHo.
From the get-go everyone in the packed restaurant is encouraged to engage with the bingo callers and play LOUDLY. A sheet of sassy calls backs for specific numbers – like O-68, when the crowd is encouraged to hollar: “You do me, I’ll owe you one!” – offer guidelines for newbies.
And this is the place to go if you want an extra side of ass slapping with your burger and fries. Not only do all the birthday boys and girls get a special round of butt smacking midway through the evening, but anyone who calls a false bingo gets pummeled on the tush as well. Not that legitimate winners aren’t subjected to some special treatment also. Once your win has been verified those lucky bingo players run from one end of the restaurant to the other as the losers wad up and throw their discarded bingo sheet at the winner. The winner doesn’t mind because they get to take home a prize basket of goodies, and by the end of the night the floor is covered in paper balls. And all of this comes with nightly double deals on drinks encouraging you to super size your cocktail to wash down an array of double ententres . What’s not to love?
Oh, by the way: These shenanigans are all for a good cause. Each week your $20 investment in bingo cards goes to a worthy local charity so it’s a win-win even if you don’t take home a prize – or a new gay best friend.
Let’s be honest: Hamburger Mary’s Drag Queen Bingo has been around for more than a decade. This isn’t a new activity for locals – or adventurous visitors – but remains very popular. Be sure to call for a reservation (323-654-3800), especially if you have a group and want a table up front for a good view of the action!
Accessorize: Drag queens don’t do subtlety, neither do these pieces
Christian Louboutin 20th Anniversary Isolde Sandals
Vince Sequin Crepe Dress
Subversive Jewelry Ruby Pixilated Necklace