Courtesy, Albatross Bar
Queens is, hands down, the most diverse of New York City’s five boroughs. Its thriving queer nightlife scene reflects this. Wherever you go—established clubs on the main strip in Jackson Heights or a bar in Astoria’s burgeoning LGBTQ+ scene—Queens nightlife has presence and personality. The best thing about the places we’ve highlighted is that they remain devoted to locals but are welcoming to all; read up to find out what they offer, and then check them out for yourself.
Courtesy, Albatross Bar
This welcoming no-judgement hangout for locals has sweet bartenders and a chill crowd. On the early side it’s a place where you can slowly sip drinks and catch up with friends while watching the latest Will & Grace, RuPaul's Drag Race or other must-see queer TV of the moment. Later, Albatross gets busy: on Saturdays, resident queen Sutton Lee Seymour hosts drag performances; Gilda Wabbit presides over drag bingo on Tuesdays; and you’ll find lively karaoke nights on Mondays and Fridays.
This dance club (formerly known as Club Atlantis) opened more than 20 years ago and remains an important cultural landmark for the LGBTQ+ Latino community. You’ll experience a body-shaking mix of pop, house, hip-hop, salsa, merengue, bachata and reggae on their 500-square-foot dance floor. While the crowd is mostly male, the club prides itself on being an all-inclusive place for any gender expression.
True to its name, Friend’s Tavern is a local, affordable bar. Hunky bartenders and dancers provide eye candy. The drinks are well-priced, and in the back of the bar you can shake off your week of stress. Check out karaoke on Thursdays with Mauricio, and their famed Bodylicious party on Sundays.
With a diverse crowd of all ages, races, and genders (plus some cute bartenders!), the sleek, stylish Hombres Lounge gets hopping on the weekends. The moderately priced drinks keep the clientele in good spirits. Thursdays beer blast offers $5 beers and music by DJ Jovanotti. Fridays are always a hit with their Score party featuring DJ Joseph accompanied by go-go dancers and giveaways.
Astoria is becoming the next Bushwick, where queer creatives can afford housing, thrive and survive, and Icon Bar is becoming its hotspot for local drag talent—from Magical Mondays with Boudoir LeFleur to Fabulous Fridays with JanSport to Slayed Saturdays with Rose, this fun and happening bar always has something going on (don’t forget Stay Drunk Sundays with Carmen Sidemi). Icon Bar is a training ground for future RuPaul's Drag Race stars.
Around for nearly three decades, the Music Box touts itself as the first gay sports bar in Queens. It’s a reliable spot to watch games, along with go-go dancers every night and frequent shows by Queens drag stars like Eiby Leandra. Friday night’s House Party with DJ Charlie Brown is a neighborhood staple.
A favorite bar for many on the Roosevelt Avenue strip, this spot feels like an intimate lounge and a wild party all at once. Thursdays you’ll find karaoke hosted by Victoria Chase with 10,000-plus selections (in English and Spanish); on Wednesdays it’s bingo and electro house music; and Saturday is for Rumba Latina with DJ Soley.