COVID has had a grave impact on the local bar and restaurant scene, and, even before these hard times, queer haunts have historically struggled more to stay afloat. A haven for LGBTQ+ talent and “Drag Race” viewings, multiple North Brooklyn gay bars have, like so many others, pivoted to meet these challenging times. With bars and restaurants now open at limited capacities, we uplift just some of the local queer-friendly bars that add character (and glitter) to our community.
3 Dollar Bill (260 Meserole Street)
A bar and performance venue, 3 Dollar Bill is as queer as its name. As their website notes, “We’re a space for joy.” That euphoria often manifests itself via Friday Night Drag Race screenings. During COVID RSVPing in advance to put some bass in that walk and secure a seat for the show . 3 Dollar Bill is also taking bookings for events of less than 50 people.
The Rosemont (63 Montrose Avenue)
What’s not to love about a bar who boasts Big Patio Energy? This Williamsburg bar is offering a variety of drinks to go and partners with Chata’s Tacos to serve Tex Mex on the weekends. Uniquely, this bar now offers Drag Delivery: DM the bar’s Instagram account and drag queens will deliver the bevvies (and perform a quick show!) on Fridays and Saturdays between 7 and 10 PM.
The Exley (1 Jackson Street)
The Exley may not be formally known as a gay bar, but with queer flags flying high and a strongly LGBTQ+ clientele, this converted garage is a welcoming Williamsburg spot with great outdoor seating out front. The bar is not yet offering indoor seating, which is a shame: its industrial-chic flair is a nice touch. Outdoors you can enjoy craft cocktails that are more affordable than most Williamsburg bars.
Macri Park (462 Union Avenue)
A laidback watering hole, Macri Park is a beloved neighborhood cranny with understated decor and a simple outdoor space that has benefited smokers sharing a light and drag queens in need of a place to cool off after working the crowd. Currently, the bar is on hiatus, but plans to return soon. “We’ve gone through a lot. Especially lately. But Macri Park has been standing for a long time. We will get through this too. Can’t wait to see you all soon,” the bar posted on Facebook in October.
Metropolitan Bar (559 Lorimer Street)
A stalwart presence since 2002, no list of New York gay bars would be complete without Metropolitan, Sadly, the bar has been closed since the start of the pandemic, but there’s hope that, come warmer weather, the bar will reopen so patrons can enjoy its spacious backyard. A now-closed fundraiser for the space and staff launched in March of 2020, and the bar has promoted various digital queer events and crowdfunds in the interim.