Julius’ sits at the corner of West 10th Street and Waverly Place. The watering hole became popular in the 1950s and ’60s with gay men—despite laws that forbade bartenders from serving “known homosexuals.” Today it attracts a younger generation that is out, proud and ready to have fun, but also interested in honoring its LGBTQ+ past.
Angela Di Carlo, DJ for Mattachine party, Lower East Side, Manhattan
Wendy Zhang (left) and Yihong Lu, Corvallis, Oregon
Andrew Degand, Lower East Side, Manhattan
Alex Fawcett (left), Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, and Ketak Gupta, Jersey City, New Jersey
DJ Tennessee (K. Tennessee Nichols), Harlem, Manhattan
Helen Buford, Owner, Julius’
“The challenge is that it’s an old building, so there’s always something that needs repair, but I do my best. I can be caught here drilling the tops of tables or fixing doorstops. I’m very hands-on; I carry my own drill set. I really love this place. And it’s a labor of love, so it’s easy to do.”
Conor Hassett (left), Brooklyn, and Anthony Dewitt, Jersey City, New Jersey
“If you’re 25 and broke in New York City and you have an open mind, this is a great place to get yourself a basket of fries and a cheap beer. Every time I’ve come here, I’ve had full-on conversations with absolute strangers that left me with a great story for the night.”
Heather Litteer, Lower East Side, Manhattan
“This is the first time I’ve performed here, but I’ve been coming for years. It’s like a family and a community, a place to meet up and celebrate being alive. It’s where you can be free and be yourself. It’s just so small and quaint—it has that old gay bar feel.”
A Night at Julius’
Julius’ is an old-school West Village bar that’s been serving drinks for more than 100 years. In 1966, three men from the Mattachine Society (an early gay-rights group) held a “sip-in” demanding service and helped set the wheels in motion for the fight for equality. We spent a spring night at Julius’ monthly Mattachine party to see what today’s crowd knows and loves about this nightspot.