The Quintessential Gay Bars NYC Guide


Gay Bars NYC

If there is one place that is known to be the Gay capital of the USA, (move over San Francisco) it’s New York City. Frank Sinatra called this place home; Broadway powerhouses like Patti Lapone and Barbra Streisand made this hometown their hot spot. Hit television shows like Will and Grace and Gossip Girl were filmed here, both featuring influential gay characters. With Broadway, high end fashion, the Met Gala and more events like these, New York City has taken over the gay industry. wants nothing more than for you to enjoy our gay bars nyc guide. Grab your dancing shoes because we're going to have fun tonight. If you can make it here, well you can make it anywhere. So, let’s take a walk through the city that never sleeps and find out where you can spend some time in NYC Gay Bars.

The History of Gay Bars NYC

New York has been a pillar in the gay community. With their open and understanding values, they have accepted the LGBT community from the start. Between 1890-1930s Rockland Palace was the host to many very elaborate drag balls. In 1966, the Mattachine Society, one of the few gay rights groups in the country, organized a "sip in". It’s like a "sit in", but instead of sitting around, these men drank. They did it to protest regulations prohibiting bars and restaurants from serving the LGBT community. Between the years of 1968-1977 one of the first bathhouses in New York City opened up in the basement of the Ansonia. Liberated gay men came out to hang out with each other and splash around a bit and, of course, semi-public sex. Bette Midler and Barry Manilow have both performed there.

By the 1980s, gay bars were popping up everywhere. Boy Bar and Pyramid Club were some of the biggest venue establishments for East Village New Wavers. In 1990, The Roxy was controlling the scene and gave birth to the Chelsea Boy. A Chelsea Boy is defined by his muscles and clean cut attire. In 1993, the term Lesbian Chic was born, and we can give this thanks to the fashionable gay women. The first bar with windows that faced a very popular street opened up in 1997. This was the G Lounge. Up until this point gay bars were closed off, dark, and windowless. This was a huge turning point in the gay community. The biggest part of Gay Bars NYC was Studio 54. Anyone who is anyone was there. If you were lucky enough to be there, you know what it was like. Boy George, Naomi Campbell, Alexander McQueen to name a few were regular patrons. They had a no camera policy in place, so anything and everything happened there.

Now Gay Bars NYC is thriving in the community. They shifted their gay center from Chelsea to Hell’s Kitchen because of its ever growing popularity, but the scene hasn’t changed. More and more gay bars and gay clubs are opening up all the time. New York has always been supportive of the gay community. Now they have so many gay bars and clubs its hard to imagine NYC without thinking about them. With all this amazing history, we gotta keep it going. NYC Gay Bars are thriving and we want to keep them alive for future generations of the gay community. Visit The Official Guide for more information.

Gay Bars NYC: Directory

New York City is home to some of the most influential bars, restaurants, and nightclubs. Celebrities flock here just to be a part of something huge. With bars all over the place it is hard to choose just one or two to hit. So we compiled a list of a few of the hot spots.

Nowhere - East VIllage

Type: Easy going LGBT bar
Space: Large space, full bar, dance floor, seating areas.
Crowd: Middle aged, mature
Address: 322 E 14th St, New York, 1003
Any Notes: No smoking area, wheelchair accessible, coat check, billiards.

Brief Description: A regular hot spot for East Village trendsetters. With cheap drinks and plenty of billiards tables you are sure to have a great night. They will also give you a $1 off each drink if you "Yelp check in" while you are there. While every night at Nowhere is a great night to go, if we had to narrow down the list we would say that Thursdays at 9:30pm would be the best night to be there. They feature $2 Bud Lights or $4 Whiskey and a live DJ spinning the hits of psych, garage, and funk 45s for their epic happy hour selection. So, this Thursday when someone asks you where are you going? Just smile, wink and say... Nowhere.

The Boiler Room

Type: Gay Bar
Space: Smaller venue, with a large full bar and seating area
Crowd: College to middle aged
Address: 86 E 4th, New York, NY 10003
Any Notes: Does not accept credit cards, no coat check, wheelchair accessible

Brief Description: This little hole in the wall bar leaves us wanting more each time we go there. While they may be a smaller location, they make up for it with a big sound and amazing drink deals. Pin ball machines, jukeboxes, and pool tables invite you to play. While every night they have $4 well drinks from 10pm until 4am, you can not go wrong with any day of the week. We would recommend going on Thursday, Friday or Saturday, around 10pm when the drinks are still cheap but the boys are out on the town for a night of partying. You never know, you may just meet someone hot at the Boiler Room.


Type: Gay bar, lounge
Space: Medium sized, large full bar, seating available, stage
Crowd: College to middle aged adults
Address: 8 Christopher St, New York NY 10014
Any Notes:

Brief Description: Why should you go to Pieces? The answer is can be broken down into 4 reasons. 1- Live entertainment every day. Yes every day. 2- Cheapest drinks ever in Gay Bars NYC history. $3 drinks until 8pm when they become $8 drinks until close. 3- Free admission, free karaoke, free drag shows, free coat check, etc. Need we go on? 4- Some of the friendliest people on earth are here, you will not want to miss out on a fun night here. Every night here is a party so whatever night you choose (we chose Saturday) you will be guaranteed to have the best night of you life.

Marie’s Crisis

Type: Gay bars, concert hall
Space: Large space, full bar, seating areas
Crowd: College to middle aged
Address: 59 Grove St, New York, NY 10014
Website:Marie’s Crisis
Any Notes: Close to transit, Coat check, parking available

Brief Description: The number one reason to come to New York City? So you can sing show tunes, and what better place to do it than the famous Marie’s Crisis bar? It’s the place where a piano player will accompany you while you sing your heart to a hit Broadway song. Drinks range between $6-$8 every night. However it is a cash bar, so hit an ATM before you arrive. While Friday and Saturday night are the best nights to go to any bar really, Tuesday night is when things really take off here with the piano lounge. Grab some friends, get a drink and sing your heart out to something a la Better Midler. Nothing let’s go of a bad day like the spotlight.

Gay Clubs NYC: Directory

If just grabbing a drink isn’t your thing, we completely agree, sometimes you just need to go out and dance. Raise a little hell, maybe. Well we have selected some choice places to do so. Strut your stuff tonight with some of these amazing and unique places. Clubbing is not just for college kids anymore, the nightlife in Gay Clubs NYC is for everyone no matter what their age may be. There is something for you. NYC and Manplayhas been the home to many proud gay men and women, you should be one of them.


Type: Gay Club, Lounge
Space: Two level venue, full bar on both floors, seating area
Crowd: College to young adult
Address: 348 W 52nd St, New York NY 10019
Any Notes: Full menu, parking available, no smoking

Brief Description: This has to be one of the hottest clubs in Hell’s Kitchen if not the entire Tristate area. The crowds are large and the lines are long but once you are in you will not regret it. The DJ spins Hip Hop and pop music every day. Full menu featuring some of the tastiest foods you can imagine, and happy hour that can rival any bar. 2 for 1 well drinks, 2 for 12 draft beers and $2 off all other drinks between 5 pm and 8 pm every day. On Friday night this place is packed with a sophisticated crowd for the $7 red bull and vodkas. Hell’s Kitchen has never looked so good.

Iron Bar

Type: Gay club
Space: Large dance floor, full bar, stage
Crowd: Young to Middle aged adults
Address: 31-84 33rd St, Hells Kitchen, NY, 11106
Any Notes: CLose to transit, parking available, all credit cards accepted

Brief Description: Iron Bar is a gay club, lounge, gastro pub, and restaurant, as well as a live venue. While this place is more of a lounge with style and great music versus a club even though there is still some dancing, it is one of the most currently trendy places in Hell’s Kitchen to visit, hang out and meet some amazing men. Beers range from $6 - $8 and they have a rather huge selection of draught and bottles. While they are open from noon to 4am every single night we have found the best night to go is Thursday through Saturday, but get there early, the place fills up quickly and once you are in you will not want to go elsewhere. Such a hot place for so many hot people, you should be one of them. Come on out and check us out.

The Ritz

Type: Gay Club, lounge
Space: Large dance floor, full bar, minimal seating, patio, two story club, stage
Crowd: College to young adults
Address: 369 W 46th St, Hell’s Kitchen, NY 10036
Any Notes: Smoking outside only, Coat check, wheelchair accessible

Brief Description: It is time to put on the Ritz, so grab your dancing shoes and come on out for the night of your life. The downstairs level is the dance floor, spinning great music until 3 am while the upstairs is more of a lounge where you can grab a seat and enjoy a drink and good conversation. Do The Right Thing Thursdays is the most amped up night of the week. With $8 Long Island Iced Teas, music by Cazwell and a show by Peppermint, it’s a sight for sore eyes after a long week. Although if you are free Wednesday come out for Turn(t) where there are shows going on at 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm with Maddelynn Hatter featuring $5 vodka cranberries and $3 Coors light. This is the place to be for your mid week pick me up. We hope to see you there getting turned up!

Whether its show tunes, cheap drinks or a trendy atmosphere that you are looking for, we are glad you came to Manplay for your trip planning and Gay Bars NYC ideas. New York is the city that never sleeps and honestly, how could they with the nightlife that happens here? Take in a show with that someone special and grab a drink at any number of different Gay Bars NYC and have the time of your life. You are in good company. Do not miss your chance to have the best trip of your life with Gay Bars NYC. You will not be disappointed.

More Gay Bar Information

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