LuAnn Thibodeau

When going through Worcester on Route 290, you can’t help but see the huge, 15 foot by 12 foot, Pride flag prominently displayed as it flutters in the wind. I myself often wondered who put it there, and I recently got my answer. 

On a Thursday morning, I met  with Marco Guinette, the owner of The MB Lounge, located at 40 Grafton Street in Worcester. We were joined by his manager Keith Bellerose, whom Marco says is the one who keeps things on track. 

As soon as I walked in, two things immediately struck me. The first was seeing a gentleman polishing the beautiful brass rails and beer tap at the bar. That man was Marco. The second thing goes with the first, the cleanliness of the lounge was amazing…it’s something that my dearly departed mother (who had the nickname of Mrs. Clean), would rate an 11 out of 10 and give the place a thumbs up. Marco told me that he polishes the brass every day, as it’s an important part of the lounge, because not many places have that sort of thing anymore. 

The MB is the longest owned and run gay bar in Worcester, having opened in 1971. Marco bought the business from David Marshall (who had owned it since 1998) in 2006. Marco stressed that he maintains the lounge as a safe place for the area’s gay community. He doesn’t allow anyone to pick on anyone else and provides a secure place where folks can enjoy themselves. He said that it’s a sad thing that discrimination is still prevalent, and that his patrons are very appreciative of the fact that his lounge is a safe place. 

In January of this year, Marco was told about some water damage that had occurred to the building over the years, and even though there were no structural issues involved, he decided to temporarily close the business and do some preventative updates. Since reopening in late May, Marco and Keith said that the regulars as well as newcomers, are so happy that they are back. They told of concerns when they went to other establishments, some of which say they are allies, where they faced harassment, intolerance, and even violence. 

When they were closed, the interior of the lounge was redone. What is most striking is a wall mural of Worcester, done by local artists, Stacy Lord and Laura Marotta, who are the cofounders of the nonprofit Creative Hub Worcester, an artistic community center that is equity centered. The mural has scenes from Worcester, painted in fabulous colors and is surrounded by lights, giving it an added glow. In addition to that, the walls have been repainted, the bathrooms redone, and a fog machine and new lighting have been added to the dance floor. There are also pictures of the faces of prominent people who were at the forefront of the fight for gay rights at Stonewall in 1969. To commemorate that historic moment in time, the lounge will be honoring the activists from that day on the anniversary, June 28th

Also on the agenda for this summer is the Gay Block Party, scheduled for the last Saturday in July, the 27th, with another one planned for September. On those days, there will be local vendors and food trucks, as well as the lounge serving beverages. The Woo Pride Kickball League, a 10 on 10 coed kickball league who had their inaugural season in 2023, will be there as well. The league’s mission, according to their website,  is “to cultivate an inclusive and diverse environment for all members- lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, nonbinary and straight allies, and in so doing, strengthen our community, and combat stereotypes, homophobia, and xenophobia.” And on July 13th, The Trollhouse: A Drag Fantasia, will take place from 8 to 10 pm, followed by a dance party from 10 pm to close, featuring music by DJ Lary. 

In addition to those special events, there is something to do every night at MB. Wednesday is karaoke night, Thursday is trivia night, Friday and Saturday are dance parties, and Sunday is board games night. They are closed Monday and Tuesday nights, and open Wednesday through Saturday from 7 pm to 2 am, and on Sunday from 7 pm to 12 am. 

For more information about MB and scheduled events, check out their website-, on Facebook at MB Lounge, and on Instagram at mb.lounge1.