The 5 best outdoor gay bars

These gay bars offer alfresco options for your summertime drinking adventures

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Gay bars in New York can be, let's face it, kind of cave-like. All those dark corners can be sexy, but in the summer, a little fresh air and some sunshine are nice for those of us who don't have the means or inclination to head to Fire Island. These LGBT bars offer action under the sun (and moon) for your seasonal-drinking pleasure.

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Photograph: Laura Gallant

Boxers HK

The shady (in a good way) roof deck at this midtown outpost of the sports-themed drinkery is a relaxed escape from the Ninth Avenue madness below—at night, you can even see stars up here. You won’t have views of the skyline (it’s only one floor up), but feel free to gawk at the scantily clad beefcake cocktail servers.

  1. 742 Ninth Ave , (at 50th St), 10019
More info
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Photograph: Luciana Golcman

Ginger’s Bar

On weekends, the cozy garden at this beloved Dyke Slope hangout is packed with friendly women (and usually a few boys). Barbecues—especially after a local intramural game—are a frequent occurrence.

  1. 363 Fifth Ave, (between 5th and 6th Sts)
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Photograph: Luciana Golcman

Metropolitan

Cute hipsters from across the LGBT spectrum flock to this Williamsburg hangout year-round, but summers are especially enticing, thanks to the bucolic back patio. Stop by every Sunday for free burgers (meat or veggie) and hot dogs, plus $8 Bud Lite pitchers and frozen drinks.

  1. 559 Lorimer St, (between Devoe St and Metropolitan Ave)
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Photograph: Luciana Golcman

The Eagle

NYC’s last-standing leather and fetish gay bar can be a bit of a cave, but its sprawling roof deck is the perfect place to come up for air. The Eagle is usually a late-night spot (and the roof is lovely in the dark), but on Sunday afternoons, beefy boys pack in under the sun for the weekly Beer Blast. While you’re there, be sure to cast your eyes up for one-of-a-kind water-tower views.

  1. 554 W 28th St, (between Tenth and Eleventh Aves)
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Photograph: Luciana Golcman

The Duplex

Okay, so this is just a sidewalk café, but people-watching doesn’t get much better than the parade of humanity bustling through Sheridan Square all day and night. Get some liquid courage while you watch the world go by, then head inside to belt out a number at the piano bar.

  1. 61 Christopher St , (at Seventh Ave South)
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