For me, the old Uncle Charlies on Greenwich holds a special place in my heart. It was the first bar I'd ever set foot in back in '92 when I started grad school at NYU.
I was pretty much closeted and had never even kissed a guy, but I remember the exhilirating sense of freedom and liberation (I know...MARY!) that I felt for the first time. Addicted to that feeling, I probably went there more than I should have, but it was such an amazing experience. It's where I met the guy with whom I had my first kiss, first date and first same sex encounter. It seems so long ago, but the memories are still vivid. And it was a time before big muscles and shaving every inch of the body were in vogue. Yes, I sound old.
I also remember a place called Pieces that I went to a few times. Not sure that's still around.
Anyone else care to share their memories?
"Anyone else care to share their memories?"
That's what this site is for.
Pieces is still there. So is the Monster.
Is Julius still there? That place skeeved me out just from the outside, and I never set foot in there. I remember hearing they had great hamburgers there, but that wasn't enough motivation to get me in there.
Alex in wonderland, a little on the seedy side but what fun. Same with the Anvil!!!!
Club USA was so beautiful!
I loved the mugler room I think that's where the would play a lot
Of classic disco. Also loved going up to the roof bar in the summer
A great, great club- so much fun.
I used to like the Ninth Circle when I felt like wearing clothes, and the Mine Shaft when I didn't. I got kicked out of the Mine Shaft once for having cologne on, but I met some hot guys there. And I met the un-love of my life at the Ninth Circle.
Harry's Back East up on Third and 88th Street (?). Sweaters worn over the shoulders and tied in a knot in the front, Gucci loafers and no socks and pleated khakis pants.
In fact, you could walk up Third Avenue on the East Side from 14th Street to Harry's. Non-stop cruising. Hustlers at 52nd and 53rd Streets and married johns in cars in the 60s.
Julius is still open. I don't know it from it's heyday but it's pretty cleaned up now. Believe it or not but a monthly gay hipster party called "Mattachine" is ran there, which is how I know about this bar. It was only after someone told me about its history that I learned that it's NYC's oldest gay bar.
when did Charlies close?
Is Townhouse still open? IIRC it was the place for suit and tie happy hour in the 90's. I ended up on the west coast and never went there.
Thanks for this thread. Uncle Charlie's - Oh my Lord yes! And you couldn't dance so if anyone felt the beat of the music they would stop you. Wasn't there an Uncle Charlies on the upper east, too?
Sunday nights at Limelight with the back room up in the attic. I only went once and midblowjob felt the guy going for my wallet. And here I thought he liked me!
The Roxy, upstairs with Andy Anderson as DJ.
And I remember a huge place near FIT that was like a huge boiler room or something -- what was it called, anyone remember? I met some guy at the coat check and we had a summer long affair.
And there was a loft in the west 40's that you walked around messed around with guys in cubicles. Bumped into my married super giving head to three guys. Awkward.
Would love to know the gay bars of the 60's and 70s -- come on eldergays -- give us our history. Someone told me there was a place near the Belvedere in the west 40's called "Big Spender"
I'm still amazed that NYC has so many gay bars left.
[quote]Believe it or not but a monthly gay hipster party called "Mattachine" is ran there....
The boy bar on St. Marks Place was the 2nd gay bar I went to. The first one I mustered up the guts to go to was Boots and Saddle, which was, in 1982, totally clone. Didn't fit in there as I was kind of New Wave. Arriving at boy bar was transcendent for me.
At one point in the mid-80s there were FOUR Uncle Charlie's - Village, East Side, Upper West Side and Gramercy (I think).
I remember The Works on Columbus opp. the Planetarium. Nathan Lane was always there at the end of the bar, drunk and crying....
Which bar was the inspiration for the bar in Cruising? The Mine Shaft? I'm thinking they actually filmed there, but called the bar something else.
In Conversations with Capote, Truman talked about a gay bar called Twilight "on the East side in the Twenties."
His description was pretty surprising, especially considering the way many gay men feel about anyone over 26.
Evidently the bar was a place that was frequented, as he described, by young handsome stockbroker-types who went there to meet men the age of their fathers or even grandfathers.
R7, Harry's Back East was at about 81st Street, making it an easy commute to Charlie's Uptown, at about 74th on Lexington. The Uncle Charlie's on 37th was involved in the Bronfman kidnapping. No surprise, really; the chain belonged to Lou Katz, enforcer for Roy Cohn and alleged killer of at least one of his own boyfriends.
The Townhouse is still there, although its restaurant has closed. It is the successor to The Regent East, which was at 204 East 58th Street, an address I committed to memory well before I had the nerve to walk in. The Regent East was down a few steps, and was loaded with hunting prints, club chairs, and had a piano in the back. The lights were supplied with the pink bulbs that were typically used in funeral parlors to make the corpses look natural.
There was also Bogart's, on East 59th Street, between First and Second. The number of people walking between the two seemed as though it would justify chartering a shuttle bus.
When one graduated from the Regent East, which happened very, very late in life, one could move on to the GH Club, way over East on 53rd. Known as the Wrinkle Room, it was essentially an alcoholic assisted living facility.
Isn't Shep Smith a regular at the Townhouse?
The meat trucks over by the West Village piers is where I used to pick up all my rough trade.
Anyone else remember The Works? All those preppy boys from Boston in chinos that were two sizes too tight.
not very old, but Hannah's Lava Lounge (aka the Westerly) was a fun dive bar on 8th and 54th-ish, closed maybe 10 years ago. I worked at a nearby theatre and we would often go there between shows on matinee days. I remember they had gay bingo on Sundays, I think.
LOVED The Works, R23. Is The Candle still up there?
What about the bars in Queens, NY? I know there a bunch now in Jackson Heights/Astoria, but what about the ones that used to be in Forest Hills & Kew Gardens? Hatfields, Sunset Boulevard,...what were the others...?
I went to Stella's a few times in its last days. Lots of cute black and latino dancers/trade to flirt with. I ran into two guys from my gym who danced there: one a personal trainer and the other a really cute Brazilian guy I'd had a crush on. Fun just to be a voyeur and watch the trade interacting with potential customers.
Spike, Anvil, Mineshaft, Eagle (original0, the Lure Yum.
Uncle Charlies on Greenwich and on Christopher and on E38 & 3rd Ave.
Okay, what's with getting kicked out for wearing cologne?
Anyone know the bar used in one of the opening shots of Boys in the Band? Was it Stonewall? It's the scene where Hank goes to grab Larry and sees him flirting with some other guys. That was definitely shot on location. Just wondering which bar.
It was Julius.
The burgers at Julius rule.
OP, you sound uptight.
Kellers- on West Street, was fun on Sunday afternoons saw Mapplethorpe hang out in a corner, and met a guy I saw in the documentary Word is Out.
Rounds - E. 50-something and 3rd, where a friend and I used to go to try to get johns. the two room basement bar was way over-air conditioned, a super hot bartender named Chris competed in some 'Mr. Gay' contest, and a chanteuse warbled at the piano. antsy rent boys used to circle the bar like sharks, among the tire kicking looky-lou johns. my friend, standing with an over priced drink in his hand once drifted off to sleep and fell to the floor
The Lure - meatpacking district, the strict dress code prevented me from going in with my sneakers, but I was meeting someone there so I waited outside.
all their 'loaner' boots were being used, so I sat on a platform and scanned guys feet, looking for a pair of sneakers coming out of the bar, which would signal a pair of loaner boots had just become available.
before I knew it I was really liking just watching men's feet, and didn't even look up to see who they were attached to.
Wasn't Marcia Johnson an angel? She once told me she had been in Rikers for a while and I told that was a shame and I felt bad for her. She looked me in the eye and said "Don't you worry about me honey-Rikers is where men are men".
I first remember going to Uncle Charlies in '79 (It was the same year I got sober so I was probably was there before that, but with all my blackouts I just can't remember). They had two men's rooms. There was a ladies' room door but it was actually an exit door that led to the street.
The first bar I recall was in the '60's somewhere near or on East 53 where I saw two men kiss and I burst out laughing out of embarrassment because I had never seen anything like that anywhere (I had had sex before that time whrn I was in H.S.,but kissing never occured to us.)
Private Eyes!!!! The best music and hottest men!
Before Uncle Charlie's on Greenwich Avenue, it known as The Steak Joint. Now it's Fiddlesticks
The Yukon on East 53rd was replaced by an office tower. Jerry Fitzpatrick was the handsome, hot, hairy muscular bartender.
He moved on to The Coven, Hudson near Charles. Later it became Ruby Fruit. Now Swine, a restaurant specialzing in pork.
R28, the Mine Shaft and its poseurs were Damned Serious about Their Leather. Anything that didn't fit into that little way of looking at things was forbidden, including cologne, and a hell of a lot of clothing that wasn't black, navy, or dark.
You could sometimes get away with wearing Polo, I have been told, but I wore Eau Sauvage.
Sally's Hideaway, a drag/TG/male strip club on West 43rd. Originally between 7th and 8th Avenues but later moved down the street to the notorious Hotel Carter. Dorian Corey used to emcee there, and the opening and closing scenes of [italic]Paris Is Burning[/italic] were shot outside the original location.
The greatest hustler bar ever - Cowboys and Cowgirls. Rounds, the Phoenix - Puerto Rican hustlers near 14th and 9th Ave. The Sewer, The East Four Seven (with Houston Allred on the piano), Mona's Royal Roast (strictly Cherry Grove queens), The Toilet (for the golden shower set), Christopher's End (indeed), Kellers (better leather scene than the Eagle's Nest), Nickel Bar (hot black men looking at each other). Those were the days, my friend...
Anyone remember this sleezy dive called Red that was, I think, on 55th and 2nd a few years back that had twinky latino dancers?
I used to love Ox on 11th, and Mangrope that was somewhere in Murray Hill. But my fave was the basement bar under Shelly's Wine Table, which at one time was called Lester's Glamour and then just changed to the Rock Hole.
A distinct memory of going to the 9th Circle when I was about 20 on a Friday night in June. I had seen a report that evening on WCBS about a gay cancer. I asked an older friend about it. I couldn't pronounce the name (karposi sarcoma). He said I was nuts.
Guys started dying soon after.
There are not many gay guys my age in NYC (52), at least not nearly as many as there should be.
Uncle Charlie's on Greenwich was always my favorite.
It was a fun place to go and especially for the comedy stand up clips they'd show on the big screen. It made the experience more fun than just hanging out in a gay bar. It was the first time I ever saw Roseanne (shows how long ago it was).
I used to find The Saint too intense or something like that. Creepy, maybe.
There was another place on Varick St (nr. Carmine) that I liked. It was more of a dance place than a gay bar. Can't remember the name.
In fact I can't remember the names of anywhere else, just roughly where they were.
The bOy Bar was fun. I had friends who used to perform there.
There was a place on Ave A (nr 7th St) that wasn't gay but a lot of gays went, where there were performances and fat ugly women on the bar doing go-go dancing. Anyone who lived in NY in the 80s would remember it. I can't believe I've forgotten its name. I used to love it ...I remember now...Pyramid.
It pretty much depopulated the Village, didn't it, R44?
Yes. Christopher on a Friday and Saturday was like a big party, just jammed with men.
It got really empty and sad for a long time. It was one of the reasons Chelsea took off. The guys who were left couldn't take it anymore.
God, what I wouldn't give to have been in my prime in NYC in the 70s! It sounds like so much fun, and so deliciously seedy.
[quote]It was one of the reasons Chelsea took off. The guys who were left couldn't take it anymore.
So they moved twenty blocks?
I moved to fucking London (& I'm still here).
R48, one of the best parts of my life is that I was able to live in NY during the '70s. LA, too.
Thanks for doing so, R49.
The Nickel Bar on West 72 street between Columbus & Amsterdar. Hot black men indeed!
UWS: The Wildwood (a.k.a The Wedgwood) Jasper's/Main Main on Columbus. Boot Hill on Amsterdam.
I remember just about all of these places, and spent way too much time in many of them. Quite literally fresh off the farm, I walked into Julius' one summer night in the mid-seventies and spent the next decade sampling whatever New York had to offer. I would come in from the suburbs after work on a Friday afternoon, and with the kindness of strangers, stay through the weekend.
Having been told qrowing up that I was dumb and ugly, I was a quick learner. I adopted the preppie clone look - tight chinos, polos in every color, and penny loafers. Got me everywhere, except the Mine Shaft, where I was unceremoniously evicted one night. From the mid-seventies to the mid-eighties, with hundreds of "tricks" and a few short-lived relationships, I have lots of great stories and no regrets. I think that my innocence saved my life since I never really got into what later became known as unsafe sex.
I still stop off at Julius' a few times a year. The crud and cobwebs are gone, pretty much, but the burgers are still great.
I loved the piano bars - Marie's Crisis, the Duplex, Brandy's, etc. My favorite was The Five Oaks with Miss Marie Blake at the piano.
...Down in the depths
On the ninetieth floor!
[quote]There are not many gay guys my age in NYC (52), at least not nearly as many as there should be.
They're there, they're just avoiding you. You're obviously nasty.
wonder bar was great!
r52 was the Nickle bar nick named 'Nairobi Lounge?' I'm not being a smartass, that's the nickname of some bar I had gone to up in that area back in the 80's.
also, what was the scary/sad hustler looking bar on West Street above Christopher Street? for some reason Sneakers comes to mind
The Cell Block on 11th near West. Named for the former prison on the corner that became co-ops.
Is anyone going to explain the cologne?
R38 did explain the cologne, R59. It's not that unheard of, most leather bar used to have a pretty strict dress code (no sneakers, no khaki pants, etc...) that often would extend to wearing cologne, perceived as unmasculine and too "precious".
R59, please read R38
[quote] the Mine Shaft and its poseurs were Damned Serious about Their Leather.
How is that being a poseur that they didn't want perfume ruining all that nice leather?
R62, is it incorrect to call people who literally stand around posing "poseurs"? It may be. It may only mean "pretenders." I struggled with it before pushing "save post," but decided to go with it.
Because I never saw such posing, *literal posing*, in my life as I saw at the Mine Shaft. It was like being in a bad play or a static photo shoot on the set of "Cruising."
I found it difficult at times not to laugh out loud at some of these Mine Shaft queens. This one guy in wet leather and Levis (piss?), with his dick and balls hanging out, leaning on a post, offering a faceful of Serious Leather Attitude, really cracked me up one night. He tried to have me thrown out for laughing at him. Thankfully, I was with someone else, and I said I was laughing at something my friend said, and the bouncer let me stay.
Laughing was obviously verboten at the Mine Shaft. But oh, the posing.
King. I spent a good chunk of the mid 90's hanging out there...
There was also a great dive bar in the east village called Dick's or Dickies?? It's gone now.
I got deadly drunk with my then lover at Uncle Charlies back in the early 80s and then somehow got home to New Jersey late New Year's Eve.
No one has mentioned The Gilded Grape on 8th Avenue. God, that place was fun.
Does any one else remember Dean Johnson's Pubic Hair Club for men? It wasn't a club but one night a week at a west side hwy location.
I loved uncle Charlie's. the works. Monster. Roxy. Townhouse. Rounds. Bogarts. Always a fun night out in the city. The bars of Chelsea on 8 th ave were lots of fun. Ramrod. Billy's.
r63: I once heard the Mineshaft referred to as the ultimate S&M Bar - "Stand and Model".
Is View Bar on 8th Ave still around? When Chelsea was the IT place to live about 10 years ago, I'd go there once in a while, sit near the opening, and watching the 8th Ave parade of hot guys.
I miss the Three of Clubs - a tiny little place in the basement of an old brownstone on 75th between Broadway and West End.
Sadly, no, the View closed quite some time ago. It was one of my favorites for a long time. The massage night on Sundays was my fucking favorite thing EVER.
Sunday afternoon in the late 70's and 80's was always fun. We'd either do Christopher Street Ty's and then stroll down to Badlands and lean against the building outside holding a can of beer in a certain way against the thigh that was meant to look way butch.
Or for a change go uptown to The Works for beer blast.
El Hombre in back of Port Authority. Dear sweet jesus was that hellhole something else. Low-rent (as in sub-basement) hustler bar where you were more likely to get mugged than hook up.
I read about in Interview Magazine as being a place that Jean-Paul Gaultier liked so I went. Naive little homo that i was. Not more than 10 minutes after getting there, some guy pulls a knife on me in the bathroom. Luckily the bartender - big puerto rican guy - came barreling in, knocked the shit out of the guy and threw him out. He then bought me a few drinks at the bar.
We ended up dating for a couple of months. ha. What a crazy crazy time.
I know NYC is safer now, but I really do miss how crazy, unpredictable and dangerous it could be. Sigh.
I guess no one misses Sneaker? Down on the West Side Highway. It was something out of a Jean Genet novel.
And I'm still going to Pieces!
Anyone recall the name of the bar on the south side of 73rd or 74th between Broadway and West End? IIRC, it as a few steps down.
I used to like the Works on the UWS - I can no longer remember the exact address. It was a fun place. It closed some years ago.
How long ago, R78?
I remember a motorcycle bar on the south side of W. 75th IIRC, in 1975-76. I lived on 75th, and I used to pass it the time. I never went in because I was afraid I'd get raped on the pool table.
I don't remember the name, though.
R79, the Works was on Columbus, around 80th-81st. I had an ex who lived on E. 80th. He used to take cabs to 79th and Columbus to go to the Works so the cab driver wouldn't know he was gay.
Hence the "ex" status.
R78 and R80 - see R73.
As much as I like to say how much I wish I came of age during the 70s and 80s, it's probably a great thing that I didn't as I know I probably would be dead now.
There really isn't any discernible gay area anymore in NYC. Even walking down 8th Avenue is completely different. There's more yuppie stroller mamas now than anything else.
Is Ty's still open on Christopher Street? How about Boots and Saddles? (aka "Bras and Girdles")
Save the Robots was a favorite of mine as well as Tunnel. Lots of first time experiences at those places.
Someone on another thread said that the actor who played Uncle Vic on Queer as Folk was a regular at the Works.
I was to the Mineshaft two or three times back in about '82. It was frankly a little extreme for my tastes, but at least I can say I was there, AND, interestingly, I recently went to the restaurant which is today housed in the same exact location as the Mineshaft was. It's called Sea and it's a Thai-themed place, with a club atmosphere (younger crowd of course) and a regular nightclub I think upstairs which is where part of the MineShaft also was of course. That place that used to be the Toilet now has various businesses in it but that elevator is still there at street level, today it's a little fixed-up and says 400 right on it. I think Toilet was on the 3rd floor. Nasty! The Triangle building has some yuppie type bar in the basement now, it's called 675; this basement area had been a sex club for years (they even filmed that movie Cruisin in there and dressed it up to look like the MineShaft)!!
R19: Twilight in the east 80s was NYC's Asian bar. Amateur gogo boys competition was the funnest. It was in all the european gay guides and was always packed weekends. It became Sapphire and Star Sapphire at various midtown locations in the 90s.
Ye Olde Cornholery. James Madison visited when in town in the 1820s.
I used to go to the Gold Bug on W. 3rd in the early 70s. I'd never ordered a drink before. So I ordered a 7 & 7 because I thought that sounded good. Ugh. The song playing was "Nathan Jones" by The Supremes (*minus Miss Ross). After a while, places like David's Loft (Bleecker & B'way) became fashionable among the fashionable set. One small room had 4 voice of the theater speakers in each corner. The song playing (as the sun came up) was "Here Comes the Sun" by (the late) Richie Havens. The Tenth Floor went all night long and was somewhere in the West 30s or maybe 20s. You went into a dark, industrial building with nobody around, on the street, etc., got into a freight elevator with a bored looking elevator guy and when the doors opened it was all industrial grey carpets, pin spots, palm trees, and rattan peacock chairs. The song playing was Love Train by the O'Jays. For a brief moment in time Le Jardin was the epitome of disco. It was a forerunner to Studio 54 and occupied the basement and the penthouse, which had outdoor waterbeds and a white baby grand. The song that was playing was "Doctors Orders" by Carol Jones. Anyone who is interested in this era in NYC should go to the link below.
Does anyone remember a bar called Rome, early to mid 90s?
R78 R80 the one with the backyard with fucking and sucking going on - or so I was, erm, told? It was called the Bicycle Bar. Nasty friendly fun.
R35 I see what you did there.
R73 R78 R80 R82 now why did I think it was called Bicycle? Maybe the bicycle wheel outside? Maybe just a local thing? But yes now i remember, it was called Three of Clubs. A hard hard bar.
Wondering if anyone knows or knew Tom Moulton, the "father of the disco mix." He started out at the Sandpiper on Fire Island and if you wanted a long version of a song that was immaculately produced, you hired Tom. He was also a model in the 60s.
IIRC, scenes from "Cruising" were shot in the Mineshaft, and perhaps 1-2 other dives in the meatpacking district.
Now we can add Rawhide to the list. That was my long time go to bar to pick up tricks.
I remember so many of these bars mentioned. Harry's Back East when I first moved here in 1979 had so much attitude.
I also remember the Stud and Company, two very different gay bars I don't see mentioned upthread.
I will forever remember the Mineshaft and the tub room. It was like a part of Dante's Hell. Totally fascinating and sexy. Some of the most gorgeous men I have ever seen used to go there. Too bad it helped the spread of aids.
"Uncle Charlie's on Greenwich was always my favorite.
It was a fun place to go and especially for the comedy stand up clips they'd show on the big screen."
They were great. Does anyone remember who did the parody of Mary Jo Buttafuoco? It was so funny.
The Table Tops
The Big Apple
Extinct NYC gay bars? I'd head for The Townhouse. There are more extinct types there than in any other NYC bar. Some of them go back to the age of the trilobites!
Flamingo - private dance club
The Saint - the early years
Regent East - one of my real cute twink buds "worked" there...paid for BA at Columbia
Late 70s-Late 80s:
Ice Palace - 57th off, 6th Ave. Sunday Tea Dance was legendary & phenomenal. Ppl would line up to the red 9 building down the block (the Avon Bldg). Robbie Leslie DJ'd. Celebs all the time.
The Saint...beyond legendary. Anyone who ever went there will tell you that & it's not an exaggeration. Saw Grace Jones perform, NYE like 1981 or 82.
Stix on like 38th & 2nd Ave. Tuesday was their big night. Packed to the rafters.
Crisco Disco - after hours, 3 floors. 15th St West Side Hwy (before they re-did the highway). DJ was in the middle of the dance floor, in a huge Crisco can!
Escuelita on like 30th on the West side (?) Divey, but fun. All Latin. Only closed a few years ago from what I've heard.
Private Eyes (we used to calll it Private Thighs)...like 28th & Bway? Fun, sophisticated video bar with a dance floor.
Loved the Works, Harry's Back East, 12 West, Boots & Saddles, the Flamingo, the Garage.
Been to the Mineshaft & the Anvil...too much for my taste.
Did like Alex in Wonderland in the Meatpacking District. They filmed part of Cruising there - I know, I was an extra in the flick (scene where Pacino snorts the poppers & goes wild). Several of my friends are in the scene as well, but all of them died before the 80s were over.
R99: Company was a restaurant, not really a bar & definitely not a nightclub. Ate there a few times...food & service were quite good, as I recall.
The Eagle in 3,2,1.
The Boiler Room was great. Really chill, laid-back crowd.
R25: There was one in Kew Gardens where John LaFleur in drag used to hold court each week. I want to say "Colors" but I don't think that's the name. This is late 70s, early 80s.
Hatfields, Sunset Blvd & Breadstix (gay restaurant on Queens Blvd in Forest Hills).
The disco in Saturday Night Fever became a gay bar a few years later & kept the same name. It was actually pretty good, but such a far ride from Manhattan, that we only went once.
Twilo in Manhattan.
109 posts and nobody has mentioned Oscar Wilde's. I think it is just O.W. now.
Now I remember...it wasn't "Colors" in R109, it was "Flavors"...
Friend and I hung out at The Web/Club 58. It was the Asian bar of NYC after Star Saphire closed. I believe it closed down last year. Anyone know why?
I went to Uncle Charlies on my 21st birthday. The bouncer said DAMN MARY YOU DIDNT WASTE ANY TIME LOL
How about some from the NYC 'burbs?
The Playroom in Yonkers
The Talk of the Town & Stutz in White Plains.
Millenium, Cheeks, The Silver Lining, the Barracks in Long Island
Feathers in Jersey (this may still be open, anyone know for sure?)
Mid-late nineties to the early 2000s
Champs (Beer Blast)
R115: Most of those places were born before that timeframe, but all were fun.
I think Tunnel & Palladium closed in the early 90s.
I go waaayyy back...
The first gay bar I ever went to in New York City was located on West 8th St. near the corner of Sixth Avenue. A small intimate place called, of all things, "Mary's".
it was diagonally across the street from the Bon Soir, where Streisand would make her debut, almost ten years later. And right around the corner from the MacDougal Street section of the Washington Square Park "meat rack." .. Those were the days.
I'm talking 1950's, folks. I was a freshman at NYU. I still have some fond memories of that place. Anybody else go back that far??
Were you at the Stonewall riots, R117?
No, unfortunately, I was not. By the time they occured I had moved to Paris.
GG's Barnum Room
The Gilded Grape
R117: In all seriousness, please tell us about NYC gay life in the 1950s (or even earlier). Fascinating to hear...
Ask questions, R121, when you want to know something.
R117, here. Without going into detail, it was or at least seemed to be, quieter, less political and more accepting of one another. Being gay together was a comfort to most of us. . There were very few divisive personal agendas between ourselves. Remember, those were simpler times. Personally, I am happy I was young and gay back then. It seems more "complicated" now.
It wasn't a bar, but The Adonis Theater always had lots of action.
R117: What was your social life like then?
Were there many bars in NYC then?
How did gay ppl meet, for the most part?
Any personal stories of repercussions if your or friends were outed?
Everything was much more low key. Not much, if any, outrageous behaviour. Remember, being gay was "against the law." That might be a hard concept for young people of today to comprehend. But for us it was a reality, around which we worked and, in many ways, thrived. There were a few exclusively gay bars, but for the most part, clientel was mixed. But we knew who we were looking for. And usually found him. We met in many different places. I met sexual partners at school, at the library, and yes, at "tea rooms" and at the baths. Discretion was the order of the day.
Marie's Crisis, Duplex, and the Townhouse are not extinct. Rose's Turnand 88s are though.
G was one of the iconic bars in its day - I live in NYC but have not been there for over a decade. What is it like today?
J's was fun. A jerk off bar. Check clothes at te door. Rolls of paper towels everywhere. I went once, walked into the center of the room and jerked off with aa crowd of people circled around me.
Oh anyone remember Cats? And Stella's?
how about the Alamo bar on the corner of 6th and 58th st up a flight of stairs i met my first lover there in 1967
Those were the days my friend.
I can recall in the late 70's and early 80's when people were openly having sex in a lot of the bars. You could walk in and see hot men in leather getting blow jobs. At the Anvil, dancers got fisted onstage or sucked each other off.
I remember trying to get a bartender's attention at a bar on West Street. He was shirtless and hot and standing still drinking a beer. Apparently, I had to wait until a patron finished giving him a blow job and he came in the guy's mouth. Then he asked me what drink could he get me.The Ramrod?
Bras & Girdles --I mean, Boots & Saddles-- is closing soon. The owners blame a steep rent increase and hope to move it to a new location.
My Uncle Charlies story that felt perfect NYC to me then: Flew in for a weekend from L.A., my first time in the city, mid 80s so still nice and dirty NYC. Went to Uncle Charlies on Friday, met a cute guy, made date for next night.
Went on date, dinner at the guy's apartment, wasn't that in to him so cut out early. Went back to Uncle Charlies, met half the cast of "Chorus Line: the Movie" there, then met amazing Dream Guy. One of those great great nights including back in the hotel.
Go back to L.A., all giddy and hoping to see him again next trip. Get a letter a few weeks later with a familiar sounding address -- the apartment where I had gone to dinner with that first guy. Turns out Dream Guy and Date #1 had met each other independently of me at, yes, Uncle Charlie's and moved in together as a couple. I meet two guys out of millions in NYC and they end up together. But not for long, I bet.
I was 19 in 1981, brand new to NYC, a freshman at NYU - and the first gay bar I ever stepped into was Ty's on Christopher Street.
I was scared to death.
Can we please get to the smokin' hot hate-fucks those hot papis were throwing down in The Ramble.
Pointless el-der-gay nostalgia from the nursing home.
R138 = likes to shit on people
Wasn't Save the Robots an after hours place? I remember going there after 4am so no liquid served then. Maybe it was a regular gay bar at other hours as well I don't know.
The four Uncle Charlie's were UES, Murray Hill, Greenwuch Avebue and off Christopjer street near the Eest Dide Highway.
There were 2 Escuelita's - both in the same place, different managements? Owners?- but the first incarnation was when they'd pat you down for weapons before they let you in.And the bar kept bottles for straight regulars that they were brought out and placed on the table every time they came. It turned gay at 11at night. Gorgeous drag queens. Rows of gays and Trans danced the electric slide. The second time around it did not have the atmosphere of the first.
Round the corner from it was Savoy's, the terminal gay bar to end all gay bars. The last place the most forlorn bereft people washed up to. Gay straight rent boys nothing mattered any more there.... Samuel Delaney was a regular there I think.
Sorry about all the typos. Was pecking away on a small screen.
But as long as I'm back, let me add that what I miss is the demimonde, the shadows, the rubbing shoulders with all classes of men, of gay NY then. It made me feel at home strangely enough, made me feel happy to be in the Big Bad Apple.
Just heard last night. Imminent extinction--"Boots & Saddles"
Vanishing NYC Gay Landmarks: Boots & Saddles On Christopher Street to Close After 40 Years
Does anyone know why The Web/Club 58 the Asian bar closed?
What is on The Village Uncle Charlie's site now?
R147, I don't know either who was/were the real owner(s) of Bartini. I remember that a few years before, there was another bar in that location called 10th Avenue Lounge, but that place was probably owned by someone else. As you pointed out, it seems like 10th Avenue is a tough location for gays bars: most of them are concentrated on 9th Avenue instead.
South Dakota on 3rd avenue near 29th street.
One of the most popular bars of the 90's, 2000's, Splash is now closed. The Break in Chelsea on 8th Ave (same owner as The Works).
Grand Central in Rockville Centre, Nassau County, LI. I believe Candle Bar is still open on the UWS in the 70's.
What is that place called on 2nd avenue in the east village on the corner? Used to go there in 88 and 89....ahh the good old days!
R149, it's now a pub named Fiddlestick's. Stupid place for baby-makers.
I was too afraid to go into a gay bar when I first came out and then discovered the Works on the UWS of Manhattan!
sorry to be the gai-ling of this thread! I loved Heaven on 6th Avenue, the original Cock on Avenue A, and a small hole in the wall bar called The Flamingo that hosted a party called Pop Rocks. When I wasn't clubbing, I was at The Big Cup in Chelsea, where the cruising was fun and constant.
New York was sexier then and more personal then....
The Magic Touch in Queens. Go go boys Tuesdays, great drag Fridays, always boys on the bar, and theme parties!
Another bump for the Gilded Grape, first above ground club for Drags in NYC, moved/reincarnated as GG's Barnum Room. Such celebrities hinding in corners!
After 40 years on Christopher, thanks to a greedy landlord, Boots and Saddle is moving around the corner to Seventh Avenue South in the former Actors' Playhouse soace.
R160: Hindsight is 20/20, but B&S should have bought the bldg long ago, vs paying rent for 40 yrs.
r161, they tried. Longtime owner wouldn't sell. New owner recently paid $23 million. Building is 5 floors with 14 residential units.
The original Cock on Ave. A. was THE trashy gay dive in the late 90s/early 00s. Everybody used to go there at the end of the night. Fun, fun times even though the place was a filthy pit. I went there all the time w/ friends back in my twink days.
Uncle Charlie's on Seventh Avenue is now or was (haven't been down that way recently) an Irish pub called "Fiddlesticks".
That area is becoming more high rent (if that was possible) now that former Saint Vincent's Hospital campus is luxury housing.
[Oh anyone remember Cats?]
Cats might have been the raunchiest NYC bar I ever spent time in. Adorable Jersey trade dancing on the bar in g-strings and turning tricks in the bouncer monitored bathroom. At closing time, they would lock the front door and move everyone into the back bar. I remember the dancers would get really friendly for a 20 once the front door was locked!
God, the Meatpacking district is almost unrecognizable, it looked so run-down and deserted! Today, that neighborhood is nothing but designer shops and restaurants, rich people and more rich people.
My source puts Harry's Back East at 86th and Lexington.
You can search dance clubs/bars of 1970's and 1980's here:
Yes R35 I see what you did there. Yeah it was fun wasn't it?
R168 Wasn't it Talleyrand who took one look at a room, pronounced it only rich people, and left? The meat packing district is so full of dull now. Florents closing was the last straw.
R169, your source is mistaken. Harry's was on Third, near 81st.
Each time one drives down the Westside Highway cannot get over how much everything from the Meatpacking down to Battery Park City has changed. It is just one long gold coast and more is being built flood zone or not.
Ironically Keller's still stands derelict and abandoned. It sticks out like a sore thumb against all the development.
Got it! Shot a text to an elder gay friend who lives on the UES and he confirmed the location. Just looked at the link given and scrolled down the comments section and someone gave the address as 1142 Third Avenue which is between East 80th and 81st.
Those old buildings are still standing (former cold water flats above), and ironically Madonna's vast Georgian townhouse is right around the corner on East 81st near Lexington Avenue.
r20, you are KILLING me!
My late friend Richard and I used to call the GH club, the "Gay Horrors" club. We were mean awful gays in our 20s. Richard said they would cash your Social Security check at the bar if you ran a tab!
I worked at Limelight, and Club USA, and had a freaking blast.
Early 80s at Uncle Charley's on greenwich- does anybody remember the sexiest bartender EVER who worked the back bar usually? Italian and clone-y looking with an incredible smile, and a sweet, gorgeous smile. I was in love with him when I was 18!
Crowbar - 10th St between A and B.
In the early 90's, I used to go to 1984 every Friday night. Those nights were so much fun - it was like $3 to get in, cheap beer, cute boys, fun new wave dance music. And if you were lucky you could find a cutie and grope each other in the back room. Ah, good times.
So there was a dyke bar right around the corner from the Townhouse. A woman I was infatuated with invited me to meet her there. As a Brooklynite, bitch didn't know how to give directions so she just said "58th and Lex," I think. So...
I went to the Townhouse. Looked everywhere for her and saw nothing but gay male professionals. She hadn't said we were meeting at a gay FEMALE establishment so I assumed/hoped she was just a dyke fag hag like me. I didn't find her, but did run into my boss (!) who bought me a stiff double scotch before scooting me out of his playground.
Never did find that dyke bar, but later heard it was trifling.
That dyke bar near the Townhouse was called Julie's. I never went in there (guy here) but I walked by it many times. I think it closed years ago.
R178 I fucking love you!! Was going to post about Crowbar. We probably were there the same nights. Loveddd dancing there. Dance floor so packed sometimes you were literally 'carried' by movement of the crowd. Awww. God that place has tons of great memories.
Limelight, Club USA, Roxy, Palladium, Splash, other small ones I can't remember names of.
Dakotas? With pool tables?? I think that's another one.
Loving this thread.
Wigstock, early 90's anyone?
What was the bar on Columbus and 81st across from the Hayden Planetarium? It is a bike shop now IIRC.
The Works, R182?
The Haymarket on 8th Avenue at 47th Street. Eeek. Danger, Will Robinson. Danger!
The Town and Country on 9th Avenue and 46th Street. A gay neighborhood bar and just about the least prestigious gay bar in the city.
There was another bar on the east side of 9th Avenue, near 55th Street. Honest to God, I scored the best sex out of that place time and time again. If anyone remembers the name, please post it.
I miss the Dutchess on 7th Ave South at Sheridan Square, a lesbian bar. Back in the 70's there was a LOT of action downstairs in the bathrooms and under the pay phone.
[quote]I miss the Three of Clubs - a tiny little place in the basement of an old brownstone on 75th between Broadway and West End.
It was later called "Dave's Bike Stop", I believe? I worked at Ernie's across the street on Broadway, and we would invade the joint after work sometimes.
Btw, Private Eyes was at 12 West 21st Street between 5th and 6th Aves. Owned by the crazed and drug-addled Robert Shalom. I wonder if that horror is still alive? I worked there briefly. It later became Sound Factory Bar.
If it existed between 1981 and 2001 I went to it. I have been inside almost every bar listed on this thread. I sure know where all my youth and money went now! I am almost 52 like that other guy. I'm just thrilled to be alive!
R182, you might be thinking about Cahoots.
Thanks but R183 got it in one. Looked at the map one posted the link to up-thread and it clicked. Also passed by last night going down Columbus and remembered the sign/logo ( a water faucet)of the place.
Someone wondered about the owner of Private Eyes? Asked around today and my sources say he is still about and owns that space. It last houses some sort of Asian restaurant (sushi?) last time one passed. That area has become so residential that space/property must be worth plenty.
"Cats", damn, that place was a kick. Looked sleazy but I met a cute blonde hustler kid named Willie who was adorable and the opposite of dangerous, what a great night, even the cab ride with Madonna singing off "Ray of Light" which tells you the time frame. He was a background dancer in the video of Taylor Dayne's big hit but his career had come to a a halt after he was shot in the knee (!) in a barroom brawl. ha, gotta love New York. Celebrity hustlers! (Go look him up on the video on youtube, so damn cute).
Love to you, Willie, if you are reading this.
Hi R181, it definitely sounds like we were on that dance floor together at Crowbar. Do you remember the all-Madonna dance floor on New Year's Eve?
Early 90's Wigstock was really fun too, that was still in the Tompkins Square days.
Seems as if the owner of the Works also had The View bar in Chelsea as well. Both closed from what one can gather from financial/rent issues.
His name is Andrew Marachinski, as I recall, r191. A big hairy muscle Jew who was hot in his own way, or at least everyone seemed to think so.
Sounds like Matt Tratner! *LOL*
Wonder what AM is doing these days. A search of the Internet shows he has unclaimed property with the state/city (checks) but nothing else.
So many bar/club owners passed on but you wonder about those that might be still around.
Anybody remember The Altar ("Kneel. Worship. Obey,") in Tribeca? I think it lasted about a year. I was visiting NYC and went there once and thought it was the best gay bar I'd ever been in. When I do meet guys who went there, they all agree.
My first visit to NYC in 1989 and I went to Uncle Charlies. I think Upper Eastside. It was fun. I lived in Austin at the time and there was an Uncle Charlies there too which I loved.
If it were 1976, I'd probably be at the Ninth Circle soon, then over to Christopher Street with whichever of my friends I found at the Circle.
I'm sure it has been mentioned but RawHide in Chelsea. Anyone know whatever happened to Jay, the owner?
Twilo, with Junior Vazquez
For a few years, back in the 80s, there was the one & only gay bar in The Bronx at the time.
Visited when I went to see fam who lived in Westchester County. Pretty packed too, as I recall.
It was called BODY SNATCHERS.
Anyone ever been, or remember it?
I think it was under the El, in the Bedford Pk area, which was a nice neighborhood back then.
I remember an old documentary where Brian Williams claimed he was the one who started the historic Stonewall Riots.
This wasn't a bar, but a gay restaurant; The Tenth of Always. It was on w3rd Street by the firehouse. I went there in the summer of 1966.
I never went to many gay places, but I loved 42nd street and the Variety theatre on 3rd Avenue and 13 St. Also the Metropolitan movies on 14st.I was a "movie queen."
I used to go to the Vault with my ex. But it was the "safe sex" Vault and not much was happening.
The Manhattan I loved went sour in the 1990's. Not just gay places, but the stores and areas were yuppified.
I last fling in NYC was at the Rambles, where I never went in all my years. I was told it was dangerous! Picked up some guy half my age and made it on a park bench.
r185, The Duchess got in trouble with the State Liquor Authority for refusing to admit men.
I remember Alex in Wonderland on Tenth Avenue near 14th Street. On the same block Nearby was a bar that was gay and straight on different days. Anyone recall the name?
14 Christopher corner of Gay. Bartenders were Brian and Bunny. Closed in the late 90s. Later a dress shop, cosmetic store. Now coffee, muffins and croissants.
[quote]I remember Alex in Wonderland
Oh! Isn't that clever...
It isn't just nostalgia. It just WAS more fun back then.
Apps invite you to judge before meeting. You shared space in bars with little prior selection. And went home with strangers you did not know were top or bottom.
Miss it. Miss my youth.
R197, not sure - I see Mike out and about (really miss him - he was just the best). I'll ask him next time I see him.
@R207; MIKE! What a cuties! He was very funny and VERY quick!!! I remember sitting in the bar and some girl walked in. She said she was just looking for somebody, and without missing a beat, Mike replied; "Aren't we all..." LOL!!!
Yup - that should probably be part of his epitaph - very Mike-esque. :D One of the most professional and friendly bartenders in the city.
WHET Vinne from Boots and Saddke?
[quote]WHET Vinne from Boots and Saddke?
...and that monster dick!