Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lesbian Nightlife in NYC Reviewed


After reading an AutoStraddle.com post featuring The Dalloway (a trendy SOHO lesbian bar that opened in September of 2012), I realized that the LGBTQ nightlife in NYC needs some reviewing from someone that is purely a patron. Luckily, I don't stand to gain anything from any of the places in NYC that I frequent, so I can be as straight forward as possible.

As a black lesbian in this beautiful city, it has not always been so easy finding a bar or club that has just the right scene. Fortunately, my circle has expanded and I have been introduced to more lesbo-centric bars and nightclubs than necessary. I imagine the perfect lesbian bar/nightclub with a hard femme decor, diverse music, moderately priced drinks (with drink specials), dance space, lounge area, hot bartenders, bar food(wings, sliders and salads) and NO COVER. That is the perfect place no matter who you want to sleep with, but since we're here for the queer, let's stick to one portion of the population.

Lesbian Bars/Nightclubs in New York City (that I have been to):

The Dalloway (outside)
The Dalloway: located in SOHO, New York City, The Dalloway is the baby of lesbian nightlife in the city. Founded by celesbians Kim Stolz(America's Next Top Model) and Amanda Dunn(The Real L Word), The Dalloway isn't short on star power. I had first heard about The Dalloway in the summer of 2012 following the final season of The Real L Word, and my excitement could not be contained.
I ventured to the bar following their opening, and was immediately impressed with the decor. All stereotypes to the side, the decor is better than what some would expect from a lesbian joint. My excitement was immediately halted once I realized it was around $14 for a top shelf drink. Bars in NYC are not cheap, but damn! Anyway, they caught me on payday so I got comfortable. The details in everything from the swizzle sticks to the lighting were well thought out, and the chalk board next to the restrooms is just too cute. As a lover of music, I do not understand why they don't invest in a house DJ.
I was lucky enough to meet Amanda, and I saw Kim wandering about in her sexy queer fashion. The women that attend The Dalloway are hot, there aren't many women of color so don't expect to see an even mixture. The best nights to go are Thursday -Saturday, and I wouldn't suggest it for an everyday after work locale.

Studio XXIlocated on West 21st street, Studio XXI is the best midweek after work location I have ever experienced. Let me clarify exactly why, no cover, two FREE drink tickets upon entry, GOOD MUSIC, and a MIXED crowd. The Wednesday GLOSSY event is hosted by DJ Whitney Day, and she does not fail to deliver. If you're looking for a midweek place to shake off the stress, it's definitely worth the trip!
best lesbian bars nyc
Studio XXI (love the bar decor)




Lexion(dance floor)
Lexicon: located on East 54th street, Lexicon, is the venue for a brand new event also hosted by DJ Whitney Day called ACE. I'm not usually a fan of the East side of Manhattan, but going to this event was definitely a good call. There's no cover, half priced drinks till 12 PM, so you can get wasted and then shake it off! DJ Whitney Day is joined by a few of her friends and they definitely keep you moving. The crowd here is fairly mixed, but predominantly white. The fashion is pretty fly, so don't be afraid to look your best.

Henrietta Hudson: located in the west village, Henrietta Hudson is a small bar with a great crowd. I'm not a fan of places with a cover over $10, but I splurged a bit for Hudson's because it's a staple in the lesbian nightlife of NYC. The drinks aren't expensive, and the decor gets you in the mood to dance. Unfortunately, my experience here was only fair, but I would go back if joined by the right group of people.

The Cubbyhole: located in the West Village, The Cubbyhole is the first lesbian bar that many newbies hear about upon visiting the city. If you're big into decor, then the Cubbyhole isn't for you. They are all about good times, cheap drinks and a good vibe. My first time going there was an unforgettable experience, as I was one of the youngest people in their at the time, they had a ball with me to say the least. They passed out free shots, someone ordered pizza and I had some great conversation. If you like to dance, then the Cubbyhole isn't the place, but it's a great bar no matter what.

Hot Rabbit at Monster: this Friday night banger is guaranteed to get your tipsy and twerkin'. Hot Rabbit is the weekly Friday night party at Monster located in the West Village, and it is one of the best events for the lesbian community right now. Admission is FREE with a password and drinks are moderately priced. Guest DJs are constantly hosting events, and the crowd is always moving. In the West Village, and in the mood for some tunes? Check out Hot Rabbit!


*Update(4/16/2013): Since this review, both Glossy and Ace have been discontinued. They will be replaced with an rooftop party for the upcoming summer 2013.

*Update (11/2013): Since this review the Dalloway has closed, but the website suggests they are simply changing locations.

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