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Lesbian Nightlife: NYC

Updated on June 11, 2007

Written by: Jaclyn Popola

In this day and age it's easy to find a gay club or bar in most major metropolitan areas. New York City has the Cubbyhole, Therapy, and GYM Sports Bar. Philadelphia is home to the infamous Woody's and Club Shampoo, and San Francisco has End Up and The Stud. Although none of these places expressly forbid females from entering, we need places to call our own where we can meet likeminded women and dance the night away shoulder to shoulder in a sea of lesbians.

1.) Henrietta Hudson's 438 Hudson St. @ Morton -- 21 to enter

The hottest lesbian joint in the city and my personal favorite, Henrietta's is open seven days a week (Mon-Fri 4pm-4am & Sat-Sun 2pm-4am). Two bars, comfy bench seating around the perimeter, a pool table and an outdoor patio make this an enjoyable place to see and be seen. Owned and operated by Minnie Rivera and Lisa C., Henrietta's has been a pillar of the lesbian nightlife community for nearly sixteen years. Every Friday night there's a girl meets girl singles party, Wednesday is Latina night featuring salsa, merengue, bachata and reggaeton music, and Thursdays and Saturdays are hip hop and r&b. Henrietta's isn't only a nightclub, however. If you're in the area during the day, visit their outdoor patio for a bite to eat or pop inside for a nice cold one and a game of pool.

Henrietta Hudson's is located in the West Village, NYC
Henrietta Hudson's is located in the West Village, NYC
Cattyshack is Brooklyn's hottest lesbian club
Cattyshack is Brooklyn's hottest lesbian club

2.) Cattyshack 249 4th Avenue (between President & Carroll) -- 21 to enter

Although it's fairly new to the lesbian nightlife scene, it didn't take long for Cattyshack, located in Brooklyn's Park Slope, to establish itself in the lesbian community. Owned by Brooke Webster (formerly of the infamous but now defunct "Meow Mix") Cattyshack is open seven days a week (Mon-Fri 2pm-4am & Sat-Sun noon-4am ). But what sets it apart from other local lesbian clubs is the games. Every Tuesday night there's a trivia game complete with prizes and, unlike other bars, there's no cover charge. In fact, Cattyshack is probably the most affordable place in New York with cover charges ranging only from $2-$7 most nights, $10 for special events like Pride weekend. Karaoke Wednesdays and Drag King Thursdays are great, but my favorite time to go is Sunday night when they play GLBT movies at no charge from 9pm-4am. The two-floor bar also features old school video games like Pac-Man, and a full size rooftop deck that's great for lounging around on during hot summer nights.

Club Heaven hosts a lesbian ladies night every Friday
Club Heaven hosts a lesbian ladies night every Friday

3.) Heaven 579 6th Ave (between 16th & 17th) -- 21 to enter

Heaven receives mixed reviews on the days it operates primarily as a gay men's club, but the lesbian ladies night held every Friday could not be hotter. Open from 9pm-4am, the $10 cover charge will give you access to great urban beats--hip hop on the lower level, reggae on the upper--an eclectic crowd, and open bar from 11pm-12am make Friday nights, well...heavenly. Beautiful women of all races, shapes and sizes crowd the dance floor, but the space is a little small so, like most clubs in the city, it tends to get a bit overcrowded.

4.) Rubyfruit 531 Hudson St -- 21 to drink

Rubyfruit is the place to go if you're looking for an older, more mature crowd (think over 35, give or take a few years). You'll find it most crowded during the summertime, when basketball fans gather to watch New York's 'The Liberty' WNBA games and women's softball teams stop in to celebrate for an after-game drink. Rubyfruit also doubles as a restaurant, serving appetizers, burgers, pasta and seafood in their romantic downstairs dining room. There's a DJ that spins on Friday and Saturday nights, live music on Sunday, and the friendly bartenders and courteous restaurant staff are an extra treat. Rubyfruit's hours of operation are Mon-Thurs 3pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 3pm-12am, and Sun 11:30am-12am. Bonus: It's only a few blocks away from Henrietta Hudson's.

Rubyfruit Bar & Grill airs WNBA games and "The L Word" episodes almost every night of the week
Rubyfruit Bar & Grill airs WNBA games and "The L Word" episodes almost every night of the week


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    • Scarlett Black profile image

      Scarlett Black 

      8 years ago from New York

      The 1980s had a lot more places. Odd that in the 2000s there are less. There are plenty of gay friendly places in Chelsea.

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      10 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

      The Rubyfruit Jungle just reopened in New Orleans (after Katrina). It's in the 1100 of Decatur Street in the French Quarter.

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