overview

From at least the late 1950s to the late 1960s, Staten Island’s popular Mayfair Bar & Grill catered to gay patrons.

Header Photo

Credit: Amanda Davis/NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, 2016.

On the Map

 
Photo Above

Mayfair Bar & Grill, January 1952. Source: "Images of America: St. George" (2009) by David Goldfarb and James G. Ferreri.

History

By the mid-20th century, this corner building across the street from Staten Island Borough Hall was the location of a popular restaurant, known variously as the Mayfair Bar & Grill, the Mayfair Restaurant & Bar, or the Mayfair Tavern.

Based on an FBI report, the Mayfair catered to a gay crowd by the late 1950s. It continued to draw gay patrons until at least the 1960s, when Mattachine Society guidebooks described the restaurant as attracting a “sweater crowd” (a white-collar crowd). Mattachine’s 1969 guidebook also reveals that the Mayfair was “mixed,” meaning that both gay and straight people came here. It appears that gay men met here in the evenings.

Since that time, the building has been extensively altered.

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