Straight-friendly gay bars
Don't want to take your lady-loving little brother to the Eagle or the Cock this Pride Weekend? These gay (and gay-leaning) bars welcome the straight folks.
Mon Jun 20 2011
Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor
This cheerful West Village dive pulls in a girl crowd, but you'll almost always find plenty of gay boys and a handful of straights in the mix. Generous daily drink specials and friendly bartenders all contribute to the laid-back vibe here. Sunday's Pride March ends just a few blocks from the Cubbyhole, making it a perfect choice for postparade cocktails. Worth keeping in mind for your straight pals: As is often the case with gay bars, the gender signs on the restroom doors are mere suggestions. 281 W 12th St at 4th St (212-243-9041, cubbyholebar.com). Mon--Fri 4pm--4am; Sat, Sun 2pm--4am.
It's not officially a gay bar, but this country-themed Prospect Heights joint keeps a rainbow flag out front—and not just for Pride Month. Here, you'll find a cute, hipsterish crowd enjoying the twang-heavy jukebox, tossing back beer-shot specials and nibbling on bar fare (the kitchen is open until 3am). The Cliks frontman Lucas Silveira recently celebrated the release of his latest album here, and male and female go-go dancers can frequently be found atop the bar. Check Branded's website for upcoming concerts, readings, burlesque shows, game nights and more. 603 Vanderbilt Ave at Bergen St, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (718-484-8704, brandedsaloon.com). Mon--Fri 4pm--4am; Sat, Sun 11am--4am.
Towering over Christopher Square, this campy, classic Village spot is a beacon for passersby thanks to its ample outdoor seating and piano-bar sounds spilling through open windows. The widely varied events at the upstairs cabaret draw an equally varied crowd, many of whom stick around after the show for cocktails. Got a song in your heart? Tip the piano player if you'd like to belt one out. 61 Christopher St at Seventh Ave South (212-255-5438, theduplex.com). Daily 4pm--4am.
If Mom and Dad happen to be in town for Pride Weekend, this friendly piano bar is a good option for a postdinner cocktail. They can enjoy a rendition of their favorite show tune by a bar staffer, or gather around the keys to sing a chorus or two themselves. If you're lucky, you might even catch a late-night song from a Broadway star. 59 Grove St at Seventh Ave South (no phone). Daily 4pm--4am.
In the mood to catch the Yankees (or Mets or whatever) rather than belt out numbers from Les Miz? Bring your pals to this giant sports bar—where English rugby champ Ben Cohen recently dropped in to promote his antibullying organization, the StandUp Foundation. The bar is stocked with jumbo televisions broadcasting local games, boasts a lengthy happy hour (two for one 4--9:30pm) and has late-night drink specials all week. Skipped dinner? Dig into the $8 "10 inches and a Bud" special (that's ten inches of brick-oven pizza, perv). 37 W 20th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-255-5082, boxersnyc.com). Mon--Wed 4pm--2am; Thu, Fri 4pm--4am; Sat 1pm--4am; Sun 1pm--2am.
Gay boys and girls often bring their straight cohorts to this sprawling Williamsburg bar, which has one of the best outdoor spaces among NYC homo haunts. Stake out a spot on the patio and flirt with passing cuties while your straight pals enjoy hipster DJs, a digital jukebox and cheap drafts from the decent (at least by gay-bar standards) beer selection. Check the haunt's Facebook page (and TONY's Gay listings) for info on karaoke nights, comedy shows, open mikes and more. Free barbecues on Sundays throughout the summer are especially popular. 559 Lorimer St between Devoe St and Metropolitan Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-599-4444). Daily 3pm--4am.