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Your guide to NYC’s best lesbian bars & events

Robyn Exton

May 16, 2023

Your guide to NYC’s best lesbian bars & events

Ah, lesbian bars! Sacred spaces where you can have fun with your friends, meet new people and perhaps a special someone 😉; or simply show off your new fit.

Whether you’re new to the scene or looking for inspiration on where to go to celebrate Pride, we’ve got you covered!

At HER we LOVE helping queer women, trans and non-binary people connect online, but we also LOVE  a gay night out. So, without further ado, here is our list of the best lesbian bars and events in NY.

Soak up the decades-long queerstory of Henrietta Hudson

Manhattan – Bar

Don’t be fooled by its trendy, newly-refurbished look. Hen’s been around for 31 years! The “queer human space built by lesbians” is the longest standing lesbian bar in the country.

This iconic lesbian bar, Henrietta Hudson, in NYC opens Wednesday through Sunday until 2 am (4 am on Fri and Sat).

Make new pals at Brooklyn’s G-Spot: Ginger’s

Ginger’s once was the only remaining lesbian bar in Brooklyn: a proud dive bar featuring an unpretentious vibe, a pool table and an outdoor patio. 

Brooklyn – Bar

You will often find the bar is filled with regulars, creating a neighbourly atmosphere. This is the perfect place to socialise with strangers, have an intimate date, or spend a quiet evening with friends. 

Ginger’s is open until 1 am on Mondays and 2 am all other days, and can be found at 363 5th Ave.

Cubbyhole, your friendly neighbourhood queer hangout

Manhattan – Bar

Featuring a jukebox and kitschy decor, Cubbyhole resides at 281 West 12th St. This cool neighbourhood hangout is a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community to dance along to fun music until the early hours of the morning.

 The bar is open until 4 am Tuesdays through Saturdays, and until midnight on Sundays and Mondays.

The Bush is Bushwick’s newest “dyke bar for queers”

Nikke Alleyne and Justine LaViolette, a dynamic duo of dreamers, whipped up the Bush, a deliciously queer haven for women who love women, nestled in the heart of New York. Sans any hospitality experience, they leaned on their fabulously knowledgeable friends, proving that you don’t need a million bucks to birth a bar, darling.

Bask in the glow of their hard-earned labor, as you step into a space dripping with DIY charm, from swirly pearly epoxy bartops to disco balls shimmering from the ceiling. Let the tunes of their carefully curated DJ lineup tickle your eardrums as you mingle with fellow queer women.

Raise a glass and sip on their signature cocktails, from the sassily ‘bitter and balanced’ Pillow Prince to the ‘sweet and aromatic’ Island They. Can’t handle the spirits? No worries, babe, they’ve got mocktails to die for, like the refreshing ILYSFM, a tantalizing mix of lychee juice, fresh mint, and elderflower syrup. And if you’re peckish, they’ve got Caribbean patties for a quick nibble.

At the Bush, it’s always open season for lesbians and every lovely soul in between. But don’t worry, this isn’t another cis gay men’s playground. No, darling, this is a sanctuary for the sapphic community. Open from 5 p.m. to 4 a.m. most days, the Bush offers specials like discounted “Slutty Punch” and perhaps future sober nights, among other enticing events.

In the words of LaViolette, “We want people to come in here and experience comfort, pleasure, and joy. We deserve options and I’m so glad that we finally have them. We’d love to see more.” So, why not come out and play, sweetheart?

Good Judy’s will put you in a good moody

In the heart of Park Slope, a queer haven has emerged, offering a tantalizing array of late-night delights. Good Judy, a vibrant queer bar, is the brainchild of the brilliant minds behind C’mon Everybody. Ever since it swung open its doors in July 2020, the nightlife scene in this Brooklyn neighborhood has never been the same.

Housed in the former Excelsior bar space, the oldest gay bar in south Brooklyn, Good Judy honors its roots, celebrating the rich legacy of queer identity in the borough. This buzzing, two-story nightlife hotspot features an inviting blend of booths, banquettes, and high-top tables, the perfect backdrop for a night of high-pitched giggles, jello shots, and unforgettable memories with your crew.

But what truly sets Good Judy apart is its jam-packed event calendar. Week after week, the bar hosts an array of spectacular events that are sure to entertain, from scintillating cabaret and fierce drag shows to karaoke nights that will have you belting your heart out. Can’t resist a good Drag Race episode? Good Judy has you covered with their Rupaul’s Drag Race watch parties. And if you’re feeling brave, why not strut your stuff on their dance floor?

To complement your fun-filled evening, Good Judy boasts a cozy garden, aptly named The Backyard. This tranquil oasis is an idyllic spot for sipping on delectable cocktails under the stars.

But what truly makes Good Judy shine is its heart. The staff, known for their attentiveness and friendly demeanor, cultivate a welcoming atmosphere that leaves locals and newcomers alike coming back for more. It’s this spirit of inclusivity that has locals raving about Good Judy.

So, whether you’re a queer bar-hopping enthusiast looking for your next stop or a newbie keen to explore the vibrant local scene, Good Judy promises an unforgettable night filled with laughter, camaraderie, and fabulous entertainment. Come for the drinks, stay for the good times, and leave with unforgettable memories.

Wednesday Night at the Woods: The Ultimate Queer Dance Party in Brooklyn

In the heart of Williamsburg, one event has become a weekly staple for the local queer community: Wednesday Night at the Woods. Hosted by DJ Amber Valentine, this weekly queer dance party has earned a reputation as the ultimate spot for cruisin’ and boozin’, attracting an enthusiastic crowd of cute girls and friendly faces every week.

The Woods, a spacious bar and music venue known for its affordable drinks and on-site taco restaurant, transforms every Wednesday into a high-energy dance floor. DJ Amber Valentine, along with a rotating roster of guest DJs, spin tracks from pop divas like Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, Doja Cat, Britney, Janet, Madonna, and Missy Elliot, ensuring there’s never a dull moment.

But the party isn’t just confined to the dance floor. For those seeking a brief respite from the pulsating beats, the venue’s back patio offers a charming retreat. Here, patrons can enjoy a selection of tacos, burritos, and other tasty bites from the taco stand, or simply relax at one of the picnic benches under the stars. The Woods’ drink menu is equally enticing, featuring tiki drinks like the Ginger Mai Tai and Beach Bum, along with classic cocktails like the Tito’s Moscow Mule.

Despite being a mainstream venue, The Woods has carved out a special space for the LGBTQ+ community with its Wednesday night event. It’s a vibrant celebration of queerdom, with the inclusive atmosphere and catchy tunes ensuring everyone feels welcome. However, it’s important to note that The Woods is not exclusively a lesbian/gay bar, but rather a venue that hosts a dedicated lesbian/gay night.

Wednesday Night at the Woods isn’t just a dance party—it’s an experience. Whether you’re looking to dance the night away to your favorite pop divas, mingle with like-minded individuals, or simply enjoy a night out in a welcoming environment, this weekly event is a must-visit. The Woods, with its unique blend of local charm and clubby atmosphere, promises a night of unforgettable fun and camaraderie. So mark your calendar and prepare to make some midweek memories at Wednesday Night at the Woods!

Happyfun Hideaway lives up to the name

Brooklyn – Bar

Marked by quirky tiki-themed decor, Happyfun Hideaway is located at 1211 Myrtle Ave. The Bushwick dive bar is open daily until 4 am. 

Online reviews mention affordable drinks, a fun lively atmosphere, and welcoming vibe from the staff. All in all, a great place to kick off your night.

C’mon Everybody (yes that’s what the bar is called)

In the eclectic neighborhood of Bed Stuy, Brooklyn, a shining beacon of inclusivity and creativity thrives: C’mon Everybody. This queer-owned and operated bar, music venue, and live arts space has been a cornerstone of the community since 2015. With its homegrown vibe and welcoming atmosphere, C’mon Everybody invites patrons to kick back, relax, and let the music wash over them.

The moment you step into C’mon Everybody, you’re enveloped by the spirit of the New York City of old. There’s a distinct lack of pretension here – this is a space where everyone, regardless of their identity or background, is not only welcomed but celebrated.

The bar and lounge area, reminiscent of Studio 54, offers an array of unconventional seasonal cocktails. Be it the sweet Diablo Guapo, a mix of tequila añejo, ginger beer, and pomegranate-beet juice, or the spicy Nile Rodgers, a pear-jalapeño margarita, there’s a drink for every palate.

But the true magic of C’mon Everybody lies beyond the bar. A music and performance space, tucked away in the back, is the heart of this venue. Complete with a disco ball, there’s ample room for dancing and immersing oneself in the energy of the performances. It’s here that you’ll find live music and DJ sets, bingo, burlesque nights, and even the occasional food pop-up, showcasing a broad spectrum of creative talent.

Born out of a desire to amplify underrepresented voices, particularly those of LGBTQ/QTPOC people and their allies, C’mon Everybody serves as a safe space for the queer community. It offers its stage to those who’ve struggled to fit into New York City’s larger live arts community, promoting inclusion and uplifting artists who’ve often been overlooked.

With its mission rooted in inclusivity and its commitment to celebrating diversity, C’mon Everybody is more than just a bar or a music venue. It’s a vibrant space where the creative spirits of Brooklyn converge, offering an unforgettable experience that embodies the soul of the city.

Sip on kinky cocktails at fetish-friendly Pink Metal

Brooklyn – Bar

Pink Metal is characterised by high femme aesthetic, a heated patio and a kink-inspired cocktail menu. As one of the best lesbian bars in NYC, they host weekly and monthly events, including burlesque shows, drag bingo, fetish figure drawing, and variety shows.

Pink Metal can be found at 253 Bushwick Ave, and is open daily ‘till 2 am.

Astrology queers, head on to Mood Ring

Brooklyn bar for astrology queers
Brooklyn – Bar

Find your big 3 on their zodiac-inspired cocktail menu and try them in the dimly-lit bar, which also features a photo booth. The music genres played at Mood Ring vary depending on what DJ is playing, ranging from techno to r&b.

Closing times vary between 2 am to 4 am, depending on the day.

Check out the sapphic mecca of Queens, Dave’s Lesbian Bar

Queens – Monthly pop-up

Having hit their fundraising target, Dave’s Lesbian bar will soon open a permanent home – the first lesbian bar in Queens. Live music & mutual aid sit at the core of every event, which can take different forms each month, from makers’ markets to block parties.

Timings and locations vary depending on the nature of the event.

QTPOC-centric Papi Juice know how to throw a party

Brooklyn – Recurring event

Previously voted ‘Party of the Year’ by Out Magazine, Papi Juice celebrates the lives of queer and trans people of color. Papi Juice lives at the intersection of art, music and nightlife and has in the past featured artists such as Princess Nokia.

Most parties are hosted at Elsewhere, 599 Johnson Ave. Check specific event listings for further details.

Get hot & sweaty at Hot Rabbit parties

lesbian event at Hot Rabbit
Various locations; Recurring event

Hot Rabbit is well-known among New Yorkers for hosting immersive weekly nightlife LGBTQ+ events. Their Hot Honey nights are women-centred but welcoming of the wider community, hosted in partnership with Honey Burlesque.

Specific event details may vary so do check out their website for upcoming events.

Spruce up your Wednesday eve at Misster, hosted at The Woods

lesbian event at The Woods
Brooklyn – Recurring event

Taking place every Wednesday at The Woods, Misster is a mixed queer dance party in Williamsburg. The venue closes at 4 am and is located at 48 South 4th St.

PAT’s the party to be on a Thursday night

PAT, created by Le Tigre’s own JD Samson, is a party hosted at Union Pool, 484 Union Ave. Closing time is 2 am. PAT is “for anyone from anywhere wearing anything and loving who they want”, attracting local queers with great vibes, cool DJs and video art.

lesbian bars at PAT
Brooklyn – Recurring event

And there you have it, folks!

To misquote Kylie Minogue, “Your local lesbian bar needs you”. Literally! So – the next time you ask yourself “am I really going out a second time this week?” – remember you’re not just doing it for yourself, but for queer venues at risk of closing down.

Robyn Exton

Robyn is the CEO & Founder of HER. Find her on Twitter.

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