It’s no easy task to choose the top gay bars in New York City. In a city this large, with so many varied tastes and perspectives, the task is nearly impossible. But we here at Clubplanet never shy away from a challenge. So, after consulting a council of our finest, most club-qualified gays, we present to you Clubplanet’s list of top New York City gay bars for 2010. (Click here to check out or list of top gay bars from 2009).
Top Gay Bar in NYC: Woody’s
31 Second Avenue | Manhattan, NY 10003
After undergoing a recent refurbishing, Woody’s is back open and better than ever! Where billiard tables once cluttered space in Woody’s, that space is now wide open, sporting a much larger dance floor. Also, Woody’s transformation did not just end with the pool tables: the mini-caged stages (complete with mini-caged dancers in mini-caged shorts) have been (GASP!) removed! Although this change has caused appreciation and anguish in equal measure from Woody’s patrons, no one is complaining about all the new room the remodeling has brought, especially around the bar—a notoriously crowded area on weekend nights. The music at Woody’s is described by most party-goers as “loud” and “fantastic” with a revolving door of different and talented DJs almost every night. In addition, Woody’s does not have a cover charge at the door, but is often packed on the weekends, so show up early to get in! If you’re looking to hit up a new hot-spot for gay men and women in NYC, head to Woody’s and see what it’s all about!
Top Gay Bar in NYC: The Boiler Room
86 E 4th Street|New York, NY 10003
When you first walk into The Boiler Room, it does not strike you as anything other than another East Village dive bar. And the longer you stay there, the stronger you become in your assertion that this place is, in fact, just another great place with a relaxed atmosphere—a place accepting of all, but not necessarily catering to any one group in particular. But, alas, your initial reading on The Boiler Room was wrong: although the bar accepts people of all sexual orientations (duh, which gay bar doesn’t?) The Boiler Room is, in fact, a gay bar. But this isn’t just any gay bar—it is a post-gay, gay bar. Trendy, right? This bar differs from the gaudy, in-your-face gay bars that you might typically find in Chelsea. The Boiler Room is the complete opposite—it is discreet, complete with gay boys drinking quality beers (be wary girls, you might even mistake them for straight guys). You’ll also find sitting areas hidden off to the sides, which offer a great place to kick back and enjoy the eye-candy (especially the NYU students who pile into the bar on busy nights). The whole place is dimly lit, with deep, orange-red lighting fixtures behind the bar which point upward and illuminate faces as if you’re all sitting around a campfire—or kicking it in a boiler room. The music is often played from a jukebox, and live music is rare at The Boiler Room, but come through this dive-bar if you want a place to be yourself, whoever you are, in a relaxed atmosphere.
Top Gay Bar in NYC: Eastern Bloc
505 E 6th Street | New York, NY 10009
Stepping into Eastern Bloc, you immediately feel like you’ve entered the Red Light District. With all the streaming red lights, and the back-lounge-stripper-pole centerpieces, Eastern Bloc has the feel of a seedy, Russian-Mafia dig (as its name suggests). But, unlike its commie brother, this underworld has been transplanted in the East Village, and turned FABULOUS! Located in Alphabet City, Eastern Bloc hosts a number of different kinds of people, from prepped-out bros, to teeny queens, all of whom are jamming out to the live DJ blasting all the latest alternative rock hits! And if the eye-candy on the dance floor isn’t doing it for you, just turn your attention to the shirtless hunks working the bar (serving reasonably priced drinks too)! Eastern Bloc is completely glam-ed out, with a zebra head adorning the mantel above the bar, pithy spray-painted stencil sayings adorning the walls and chairs (for example: “SKANK,” and “Obama: Yes She Can”), and a bathroom covered, top to bottom, in hip, retro-camp magazine covers. Eastern Bloc is small, and feels especially so when the place is crowded (as it often is on weekend nights), but overall, the place has a cozy rather than claustrophobic feel. Come to Eastern Bloc, throw back some Stoli, and think of Mother Russia…or just find a cute hook-up at this East Village gem!
Top Gay Bar in NYC: Metropolitan
559 Lorimer Street | Brooklyn, NY 11211
If you’ve walked through North side Williamsburg and passed by the Metropolitan nightclub, you probably just kept walking. The upscale name doesn’t really fit the façade—a dive-bar with a weather-beaten black awning, and a nondescript, red brick exterior that gives no hint of what lies inside. When you do walk inside, you see that the name doesn’t really match the interior either. Metropolitan is as warm and inviting as any bar in the ‘burg—so for all those Chelsea-bar queens in search of glamour and gaudiness, head back toward midtown, because Metropolitan is not the place for you. With fireplaces to cozy up to on those chilly, winter nights, and a long, sleek bar serving $7 pitchers, Metropolitan is definitely a chill hangout for those dreary winter months. And with a sprawling backyard and back patio (complete with picnic tables and lawn chairs), Metropolitan is really a perfect place for any time of year—a great spot to sit back, relax in the sun, and give thanks to the beings above that the cold is gone. Most would agree that this bar seems more like a neighbor’s house than a neighborhood bar—the feel is friendly, inviting and free—and that small community feel brings out the chill vibes in everyone. Perhaps free is the best word to describe Metropolitan: for example, the bar offers free Sunday-afternoon barbecues in the summer, complete with the typical BBQ meats, as well as veggie burgers and tofu dogs to accommodate the diverse crowd. Even though this bar is relaxed, make no mistake, Metropolitan is a hip spot—don’t be fooled by the sandals, shades, and sit-back feel. Patrons of Metropolitan like their music scene underground and fresh, and the nightly DJ always abides, spinning the latest Indie rock jams. So, if you enjoy flirting with cuties in a place where everyone knows your name (or at least it seems that way), then come kick it at the Metropolitan!