Respect Equality

Historic gay bar designated as New York City landmark

Julius’ Bar in Greenwich Village officially became a historic landmark on Tuesday.
Julius’ Bar in the West Village. ( Photo via Wikicommons)

Story at a glance

  • The New York City Landmark Preservation Commission voted to grant Julius’ Bar in Manhattan landmark status on Tuesday.  

  • Julius’ is the oldest gay bar in New York City.  

  • The bar was also the scene of the very first planned acts of civil disobedience for LGBTQ rights.  

New York City’s oldest gay bar is now officially a city landmark.  

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to grant the designation to Manhattan’s Julias’ Bar on Tuesday.  

Julius’ is located on West 10th Street in the center of Greenwich Village and just a few minutes away from the Stonewall Inn, which was the site of the 1969 riot that started the modern LGBTQ rights movement.

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Apart from being the oldest gay bar in the city, Julius’ is also a special place in LGBTQ history as the scene of the first planned actions of civil disobedience for LGBTQ rights, according to a release from the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.  

Three years before the Stonewall Riots, Julius’ patrons stagged a “sip-in” in protest of discriminatory laws and regulations against gay bars and other spaces that LGBTQ New Yorkers.  

The “sip-in” was based on the 1960s “sit-ins” at Southern lunch counters in protest against segregation. 

“The ‘Sip-In’ at Julius’ was a pivotal moment in our city and our nation’s LGBTQ+ history, and this designation today marks not only that moment but also Julius’ half-century as a home for New York City’s LGBTQ+ community,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams in a statement.  

“Honoring a location where New Yorkers were once denied service solely on account of their sexuality reinforces something that should already be clear: LGBTQ+ New Yorkers are welcome anywhere in our city. Let this designation serve as an important reminder to everyone that LGBTQ+ history is New York City history and that, like Julius’, the City of New York will always serve as a safe haven for LGBTQ+ people to be safe and feel safe.” 

The LPC will continue to work on identifying and designating places across the five boroughs that played a role in advancing the LGBTQ civil rights movement.

Earlier this year, the LPC released an interactive story map featuring Julius’ bar highlighting landmarks connected to people and organizations that worked to advance gay, lesbianand transgender rights in the city.