4pm-9pm; most cocktails half-price
E, F, M, R at Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Ave.; 7 at 74th St.-Broadway
Opened in 1989, Friend’s Tavern was well into its second renovation when most Chelsea gay bars were slapping on their first coat of paint. However, Jackson Heights’ oldest homo hangout is certainly not its dullest. The long, narrow space brims warmly with the usual curio of gay life—white-painted ionic columns and more smoke-and-mirrors glitz than a Marlene Dietrich talkie—and gets an added shot of charisma when it’s filled with Latin American pop music. True to Jackson Heights, the bar maintains a diverse mixture of smiling locals and full-bellied, muscled and sleeveless gay Manhattanites stopping off for a drink after dinner at one of the nearby ethnic eateries. The happy hour—presided over by bartenders who greet you with a handshake—lasts from 4pm–9pm every day.
Picnics with a view, roller-skating nostalgia, and a party for gay headbangers.