overview

Kooky’s, also known as Kooky’s Cocktail Lounge, was a lesbian bar that operated from 1965 to 1973.

After the Stonewall uprising of June 1969, Kooky’s was the site of lesbian-led activism, which came at a time when lesbians no longer tolerated the oppressive practices found here and at other Mafia-run and/or -owned gay bars in Greenwich Village.

Header Photo
Credit: Christopher D. Brazee/NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, 2017.

Building Information

  • Architect or Builder: Unknown
  • Year Built: mid-19th century (with later additions)

Sources

  1. Arthur Bell, “To Haven or Haven Not?,” The Village Voice, August 26, 1971. [source of pull quote]

  2. Karla Jay, June 28, 2018, personal interview with Gwendolyn Stegall for the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project.

  3. Karla Jay, Tales of the Lavender Menace: A Memoir of Liberation (New York: Basic Books, 1999). [source of Karla Jay quote]

  4. Kathy Wakeham, July 12, 2018, personal interview with Gwendolyn Stegall for the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project.

  5. Martha Shelley, July 9, 2019, personal interview with Gwendolyn Stegall for the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project. [source of Martha Shelley quote]

  6. New York City Directories (1965-1973).

Curated Themes

22 Sites

Homophobia & Transphobia

23 Sites

Bars & Nightlife

17 Sites

1970s Lesbian Activism & Community

Other Sites in the Neighborhood

53 West 19th Street
Gianni’s
Bars, Clubs & Restaurants
28 West 28th Street
Everard Baths
Stores & Businesses
351 West 18th Street
Bayard Rustin Educational Complex
Cultural & Educational Institutions