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About this listing

A neighborhood bar

Place Details

Borough : Manhattan
Neighborhood : West Village
Commercial, Food & Drink

Place Matters Profile

Written by Patrick Stancil for Place Matters and the Fall 2015 Local and Community History course of NYU's Archives and Public History Program

Located at 159 West 10th Street in Greenwich Village, Julius’ Bar is at first an unassuming drinkery occupying the first of three floors of a stucco-clad building at the corner of Waverly Place. Often referred to as the oldest gay bar in New York City, Julius’ is perhaps best known as the site of the April 21, 1966 “sip-in” for which it earned such a title. That fateful evening, three members of the Mattachine Society of New York, one of the inaugural organizations formed to protect the rights of gay men, staged a protest against a recent ban by the State Liquor Authority (SLA) on serving gay patrons in bars. With several reporters in tow, and following several unsuccessful visits at other locations in the Village (at...

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On The Web

Julius' website


Chris J. Marchitello

It is a walk back in time - through decades of Greenwich Village history. It is a very friendly, predominantly older and male, eclectic gay bar. It is one of the oldest gay bars in the city, if not the oldest. There is also evidence that it was a maritime bar at some point. Toasts in several languages. Famous gay writers have been patrons, e.g., Walter Winchel and Edward Albee.

The interior is unique, and the physical details of the place matter very much, such as: the frame of the house; old fashioned cash registers; wagon wheel light fixtures; brass foot rail around the bar that has a linked basset hound motif; and numerous old photos of celebs, patrons and, over the bar, of racehorses. In the future, there are plans to install a bishop's crook lamp on the corner of West 10th and Waverly to be partially financed by Julius's T-shirt sales! (Feb. 2005 and May 2007)

For more information, see the text below, taken from

"Originally a speakeasy where Fats Waller sometimes played--check out the peephole in the side door. Later became a low-key gay bar, where people like Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams and Rudolf Nureyev hung out. Edward Albee met a young man here, an archaeologist married to the daughter of his college's president, who inspired Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?.

In 1966, three members of the Mattachine Society held a "sip-in" here, declaring themselves to be gay before ordering a drink. The bar's refusal to serve them led to the overturn of laws forbidding serving homosexuals. Three years later, patrons here are said to have sympathized with police during Stonewall riots."

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