Happy Pride Month! Now that we’re coming out of lockdown, step by step, there are various NYC hotspots where you can socialize again, while keeping with the current restrictions. Each place has its own variations on the rules, but all of them provide a place to gather, raise a glass, and be proud. So get vaccinated and get out!


(2376-Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard; 917-472-7789)

The gay, black owned LGBTQ cocktail lounge is a cozy bar with some outdoor seating and a drag party on Tuesdays. They’ve been through some travails, like destruction of the rainbow flag outside and a later attack on the owner, so this place needs support more than ever. 


(98-Christopher Street; 212-929-9291)

A Village staple, this unassumingly lively place—with indoor and outdoor seating—has long brought us drag joy and queer carousing. Years ago, I fantasized moving in!


(159 W. 10th Street; 212-243-1928)

The longest running gay bar in the city, this is a friendly neighborhood place, and there’s also outdoor seating, not to mention a heart-attacky but delicious menu of burgers, onion rings and mozzarella sticks.


(115-Christopher Street)

This is one of my favorite Village haunts, and I love to hang out by the pool table and act like I know what’s going on. Wear your mask, bring your ID and enjoy the all too rare diverse crowd, with lots of gays of color.


(859-9th Avenue; 646-892-3313)

Smallish but cute, this Hell’s Kitchen boite is fine for catching up with friends, taking in some drag queens, and escaping from the real world. Proof of vaccination is required for entry.

The video in the window of Rise Bar. Photo by Michael Musto.


(260 Meserole Street, Brooklyn, New York. 718-366-3031)

A spacious Williamsburg spot to dance, watch bands and drag shows, and just plain hang out, this queer bar and performance space is well worth patronizing. After all, Manhattan long ago ceased to be the only place for nightclubbing. Show Brooklyn your love!


(1260-Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn, New York; 917-818-1738)

With a cocktail menu that’s done to an astrological theme, this place has its stars aligned for queers of all signs. It’s open from 5 PM to midnight daily, with limited indoor and outdoor seating, and my Sagittarius self is jonesing for a visit.


(93-2nd Avenue)

Reopening on June 22 for vaccinated people only, this testosterone-filled bar is a hangout where sex often lingers in the air. Perhaps bring your Febreze. 


(158 Bayview Walk; 631-597-7859; cherrysonthebay.com)

You’re not really gay if you don’t go to Fire Island at least once a summer. Cherry’s is a fun restaurant/club where there’s bingo, trivia, cabaret, and drag, drag, drag.


(59-Grove Street; 917-574-4588)

Not a gay bar per se, but the gays have always loved it because it’s a piano bar where your hosts tinkle showtunes on the ivories as everyone sings along. When I went in May, we were seated upstairs, partitioned from the other tables, and had to watch the pianist on a video screen, but we still had a gay old time. It’s like a fab house party, whether they’re singing “Suddenly Seymour” or Dear Evan Hansen.

By Michael Musto.

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