NYC Gay Venues Julius' Bar and Therapy at Risk of Permanent Closure

by Kevin Schattenkirk

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday July 22, 2020

Two of New York City's longest running gay venues, Julius' Bar in Greenwich Village and Therapy in Hell's Kitchen, are at risk of permanently closing.

The history of Julius' Bar dates back to the 1960s when the venue refused to serve gay patrons. As a consequence, the 1966 "sip-in" found those patrons challenging the bar's discriminatory practices, a pre-Stonewall protest memorialized on a wall at Julius. The venue has started a GoFundMe page.

Opening its doors in 2003, Therapy established itself as a standard of the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood, hosting Sunday drag brunches and performers from RuPaul's Drag Race including Bianca Del Rio, Bob the Drag Queen, and Monét X Change.

Both bars cite the city's shutdown during the pandemic, lack of tourism, and mounting bills as factors in their looming shutdowns.

Kevin Schattenkirk is an ethnomusicologist and pop music aficionado.