Project Update

With Bum Bum Bar Closed, Only Three Lesbian Bars Remain in New York City

March 1, 2019


Ken Lustbader, NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project
p: (917) 848-1776 / e: [email protected]


With Bum Bum Bar Closed, Only Three Lesbian Bars Remain in New York City

Just three lesbian bars remain in operation in New York City


New York, NY—Friday, March 1, 2019—After more than two decades, the Bum Bum Bar in Woodside, Queens, has shuttered. Since its opening in the early 1990s, the Bum Bum Bar (pronounced “boom boom”) has been gay-owned and operated, attracting a mixed, but mostly working-class, Latina lesbian crowd.

Along with several other gay and lesbian bars in Queens, Bum Bum provided support for the inaugural Queens Pride Parade in 1993. (more) Bum Bum was known for hosting numerous events that attracted customers from across the five boroughs and was one of only four lesbian bars still in operation in New York City. With Bum Bum’s closing (at the end of 2018), the three remaining NYC lesbian bars are Henrietta Hudson and Cubbyhole, both in Greenwich Village, and Ginger’s Bar in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

While their significance is often underestimated or dismissed by heterosexual society, bars and other establishments play a pivotal role is LGBT culture as centers for LGBT acceptance, community and activism. Through history, these spaces — whether always gay friendly or only during certain times of the day or week — have given LGBT people the freedom to be themselves in a way they often cannot be in their personal or professional lives. “These are the kinds of historic places – dating from the city’s founding in the 17th century to the year 2000 – that we are continuously documenting,” said Amanda Davis, manager of the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, “so that our project reflects the diversity of the LGBT community throughout the five boroughs.”

Other significant LGBT bars and nightlife venues in Queens include The Love Boat (more; no longer active) and Friend’s Tavern, known as the oldest active gay bar in Queens. (more) Both have been documented by the Project as historic sites.

Exterior of the now-shuttered Bum Bum Bar, at 63-14 Roosevelt Avenue, Woodside, Queens. Photo by Christopher Brazee for the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project.

About the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project

The NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project is a cultural initiative and educational resource that is documenting historic sites connected to the LGBT community throughout New York City. Its interactive map features diverse places from the 17th century to the year 2000 that are important to LGBT history and illustrate the community’s influence on American culture. The Project is nominating sites to the National Register of Historic Places and developing educational tours and programs.



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