In the old days, the neon flashing lights behind the bar, disco balls hanging from the ceiling, dance cages, and super sugary shots were like lady catnip, even with a weekend cover charge. Visitors here have planned a night out and are laser-focused on fun. President Obama made the bar a National Historic Landmark in , so expect to find a handful of tourists including allies at this cozy, bilevel watering hole where regulars run the show.
Weeknights are all about drag bingo, singing competitions, and variety shows. Get ready for rainbow Jell-O shots. A pre-Stonewall historic stop One of the oldest spots of its kind in New York City, Julius got its start as a grocery store in the s and evolved into a full-fledged gay bar after about a hundred years.
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Metropolitan is the place to huddle by an indoor fireplace, enjoy free Sunday barbecue, or unwind with a cheap, unpretentious beer. All-night breakfast sandwich joint Bagelsmith is across the street, should you need a BEC for the ride home. What if a gay bar, but sports? A gay male equivalent to Hooters I think? The patios are crowded on spring and summer weekends, when brunch crowds linger over draft beer and Major League Baseball. Football, basketball, and other balls are broadcast on big screens, making Boxers a unique sports-positive oasis in a sea of glittery Chelsea nightclubs.
All bodies are underpants bodies. Known as the longest-standing and oldest gay bar in Queens, Albatross was a lesbian hangout until a change in ownership circa made the space more generally LGBTQ friendly -- meaning a pivot to mostly male clients. The floors are sticky, drinks are cheap, and events are almost nightly, including Drag Race viewing parties , drag bingo, and holiday drinking events.
The Cock 93 Second Ave. This unashamedly punky, vital East Village gay bar relocated last summer, and the new address is a vast improvement. The Cock moved into the former Lit Lounge where straight people used to make out like gays , so the sexy atmosphere is already built into the walls. Rough-edged, covered in band stickers, and carved with little weird nooks and dark corners, this place is like a filthy, seductive, alluring alleyway.
The Monster 80 Grove St. This fabulously decorated flatiron-shaped bar brings in a wonderfully diverse clientele. This is where you can find tourists and PATH train commuters mingling with theater queens who belt out songs at the upstairs piano bar.
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Best of all, older men feel comfortable here, because the bar crosses generations and color lines. It also has one of the best happy hours in town serving mini-quiches, pigs in a blanket, and some kind of mystery tuna spread on Ritz crackers.
Julius W. Covered with photos and vibrating with history, this bar — which opened in — is a living, breathing gay museum.
It also has food, including an unexpectedly delicious burger and fries. Eleven th Ave. This multi-floored leather bar has seen its neighborhood transform over the past two years.