This new queer bar in Greenpoint is far from divey

ANIMAL serves top-notch cocktails in a queer setting.

Ian Kumamoto
Written by
Ian Kumamoto
Staff Writer
silhouttes of people at a bar with red lighting
Photograph: By Christophe Tedjasukmana

When you picture a gay bar, there’s probably a very specific set of details that come to mind: cheap, strong drinks served in plastic cups, a sticky dance floor and, more likely than not, a bathroom that looks straight out of an apocalypse film. 

And, while gay dive bars are fun for a wild night out or when you’re a college student, it would also be kind of nice to get a place where we could enjoy a nice, high-quality cocktail in a classy setting around other queer people. 

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Thanks to ANIMAL, a new queer bar at 307 Meeker Avenue in Greenpoint, we finally have that. 

Opened by Jim Morrison Hevert, who co-owns The Exley in Williamsburg, and Ashton Correa, who formerly worked as the director of People and Culture at the Ace Hotel, ANIMAL has been a dream project nearly 20 years in the making. 

“We all grew up going to gay bars, many of which aren’t LGBTQ+ owned, which served the lowest quality drinks and lacked a queer aesthetic,” Correa tells Time Out. "As we’ve gotten older, our standards are higher, and we want to offer our community something we didn’t have before."

Along with their close friend and collaborator Nick Eskelinen, Morrison and Correa hope that ANIMAL will become a go-to place for queer people who want to enjoy specialty and classic cocktails.

On the menu you’ll find classics like the Negroni, Cosmo and Old Fashioned, as well as specialty concoctions like the Animal Spritz (St. Agrestis Paradiso, sparkling wine, soda) and the Animal Mezcal Marg (Mal Bien espadín, house orange liqueur, lime). A wide selection of beers, wines and non-alcoholic cocktails and ales is also on offer.

But it’s not just about the drinks: the ANIMAL team has an expansive vision of how the space should ideally be used—an elegant cocktail den, sure, but also a destination for day-drinking brunches, fetish nights and dance parties. 

Photograph: By Jackson Kahn

The destination is made up of separate areas that include an outdoor bar, a dance floor and an open-air patio. The main indoor bar boasts a skylight that brightens up the space during the day and, at night, red mood lighting and a selection of top-shelf liquor will make you feel like you’re in a classy Manhattan bar, without all the uptightness. 

Although the queer community obviously needs the sorts of dive bars that it holds dear, it also deserves a wider range of options when it comes to going out: ANIMAL is just that.

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