A Christopher Street crawl should start where it all began. The bar’s momentous queens-versus-cops riots kicked off the gay liberation movement circa 1969, so even if you won't find a trace of nostalgia within this bi-leveled club, it remains a must-stop for any serious gay tourist. Stonewall caters to economical travelers (and thirsty locals) with a two-for-one happy hour (daily, 3 p.m.-9 p.m.). Thursday’s college-friendly Detention party brings in a young crowd eager to hear every Madonna/Janet/Britney remix imaginable.
53 Christopher St., between Waverly Pl. and Seventh Ave. So., 212-463-0950; Daily, 3 p.m.-4 a.m.
Next door to Stonewall is one of New York's longest running cabarets. On the first level, the piano bar showcases singers with exclamatory Broadway cred (Mamma Mia!, Wicked!, etc.) and amateurs with Broadway aspirations. Upstairs, the game room provides some escape from the belters and the crooners via a rotating list of drink specials, a console with dozens of video games, a pool table, and a jukebox that gives equal stature to pop and show tunes. You can decide which bar you’ll hit next by watching the crowd pass by while you’re seated at a lawn chair on the outdoor patio.
61 Christopher St., at Seventh Ave. So., 212-255-5438; theduplex.com; Daily, 4 p.m.-4 a.m.
Before crossing Seventh Avenue, back track a few paces to Pieces, where you'll get a heavy dose of sparkly rainbow décor replete with multiple disco balls. The extremely perky (and boyishly cute) staff hosts a different party every night, each with a different theme: Gay Games—like Connect Four and Operation—on Monday, karaoke on Tuesday, and Martini Madness on Wednesday. The Liquid Brunch (Sun.-Mon., 2 p.m.-8 p.m.) gets you Bloody Mary's, Mimosas, and Long Islands for four bucks or less.
8 Christopher St., at Greenwich Ave., 212-929-9291; piecesbar.com; Sun.-Mon., 2 p.m.-2 a.m.; Tue.-Sat., 2 p.m.-4 a.m.
Boots and Saddle
This Old West-style watering hole feels like a ghost town: It's so quiet, you expect tumble weeds to roll by. The crowd skews older despite management's efforts to attract younger guys with a 100-CD jukebox, flat screen TVs, and a newly abbreviated name (B&SNY). The only studly young cowboys here are those depicted in the graphic prints lining the back wall. Wandering drifters can enjoy Beer Blasts on the weekend—$2 cans and drafts and $3 bottles from 3 p.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday and 3 p.m.-midnight on Sunday.
76 Christopher St., between Seventh Ave. So. and Bleecker St.; 212-929-9684; Daily, noon-4 a.m.
The story goes that this old-school tavern was named after its head bartender. Ty no longer serves up the beer, but the tradition still lives on each night of the week—happy hour with Daniel and John happens Mondays and Tuesdays from 4 p.m.-8 p.m.; Joel's Thursday night drink specials include $2.75 beers and $1 shots. Like most bars on the trail, the crowd is laid back and the men are in their mid-to-late thirties and above. But on the second Tuesday of every month, wet dreams become red hot reality when Ty's throws a party for FireFLAG/EMS—a city-wide association of gay firemen and paramedics.
114 Christopher St., between Bedford and Bleecker Sts., 212-741-9641; Mon.-Fri., 2 p.m.-4 a.m.; Sat.-Sun., 1 p.m.-4 a.m.
What the Hangar lacks in design (aviation gray-color scheme), it makes up for with a lack of attitude and reasonable drink prices (Tuesday's two-for-one happy hour lasts till 2 a.m.). The guys are similarly modest in attire; bared Chelsea muscle is restricted to the go-go boys on stage in the back where you'll also find a pool table. The latter may generate more excitement than the former as the Wednesday night tournaments award a $100 first prize.
115 Christopher St., between Bleecker and Hudson Sts., 212-627-2044; Mon.-Fri., 3 p.m.-4 a.m.; Sat. 2 p.m.-4 a.m.; Sun. 1 p.m.-4 a.m.
A late night kitchen serves up burgers and wings to this bar’s predominately African-American gay male crowd. Monday night’s karaoke skews more towards earnest R&B than camp; and who knew that the gay hip-hop community had a thing for Bingo (Tuedays)? But the main event is Sunday, when the two-for-one drinks begin at 2 p.m. and last all night long.
135 Christopher St., between Greenwich and Hudson Sts., 212-462-0027; Daily, 2 p.m.-4 a.m.
Exposed brick, red neon, a pool table, and TVs constantly tuned into the game may not sound like much but this dive is paradise on earth for Bear and Cub fans. In gay speak, that’s the large and hairy subset of the gay community, not Chicago sports teams. Metro Bears, a social organization for the big and furry, holds weekly gatherings Friday nights; Sunday is Beer Blast ($2 per plastic cup of Bud); Monday is movie night; and every other Saturday has a Latin theme.
185 Christopher St., between Washington and Weehawken Sts., 212-242-9113; Daily, 4 p.m.-4 a.m.