A Gay New Time

XL at the Out NYC.Photo: Richard Burrowes


The Alterna-Gay Danceteria:
WestGay at Westway

Tough door, drag queens, go-go boys, dancing, singing
This midweek throwdown at a former strip club—a straight bar every day but Tuesday—draws art students, transsexuals, Lena Dunham, and the occasional CockyBoys porn star. Cameos by fashion heavyweights Alexander Wang and the Proenza boys have inspired comparisons to the old scene at Studio 54, and as at that one, dancing is practically mandatory. Tuesdays at 10 p.m. 75 Clarkson St., nr. West St.; 212-620-0101.

The Come-As-You-Are Afternoon Mixer:
Scissor Sundays at the Rusty Knot

Dancing, singles scene, fun for straight people
Taking a cue from the Pines’ popular afternoon parties, lesbian icon J. D. Samson (of Le Tigre and MEN) co-founded this pansexual get-together last June. The D.J.’d events got rolling early enough at the Hudson River–abutting boîte to showcase the stunning summer sunset; now that it’s winter, the sunsets may be less pretty, but hip women and hirsute men continue to hit it up, trading barbs over umbrella-shaded cocktails and laid-back games of pool. Sundays at 4 p.m.; 425 West St., at W. 11th St.; 212-645-5668.

The Avant-Garde Eden:
ElevenEleven at Open House

Drag queens, dancing, singles scene, fun for straight people
All it took was one party in November for Open House to become the new standard for gender-bending club kids looking to dance till 4 a.m. The music—primarily house—is often manned by Cielo favorite D.J. Honey Dijon, and the aesthetics are set by promoter Ladyfag’s entourage of outlandishly costumed misfits. For now, the party is still easy to get into, with no dress-code woes or tough door. Starting after January 25, the monthly goes weekly. Fridays at 10 p.m.; 244 E. Houston St., nr. Ave. A; 917-225-9018.

The Loungey Throwback:
Penthaus at Copacabana

Dancing, singles scene, fun for straight people
Copacabana, once the steamiest spot north of Havana, reopened in 2011 and, since last month, started hosting a weekly gay party in its glass-encased rooftop supper club. The luxe space, normally reserved for corporate events, features three bars (with bottle service from $100, if that’s your thing) and a retractable roof—a boon come springtime. While there’s a dance floor where younger guys let loose to pop music, the older patrons tend to kick back on the leather banquettes, making for a pleasantly adult outing. Fridays at 11 p.m.; 760 Eighth Ave., nr. 46th St.; boiparty.com.

The Daytime Den Of Iniquity:
Happycock Hour at the Cock

Go-go boys, singles scene
The legendary East Village dive has seen its fair share of sleazy late-night shenanigans. But starting this week, the Cock will open at a respectable 4 p.m. Frankie, a popular bartender at gay-bar-next-door Urge, has joined the “cockcrew” for “Happycock Hour.” As with the night parties, expect cash-only drink specials and go-go boys. Tuesdays through Sundays, 4 to 11 p.m.; 29 Second Ave., nr. 2nd St; 212-777-6254.

Phoenix FridaysPhoto: Courtesy of David Flores

The Fashion Insider’s Fashion Party:
Phoenix Fridays

Tough door, dancing, singles scene
It used to be that dollar-beer Wednesdays were the best thing the 13-year-old gay bar Phoenix had going for it—until a new owner bought and overhauled it last year. Now Friday is the night to go, thanks to publicist-D.J. Mark Holcomb and promoter Michael Cohen jamming the low-ceilinged room with discerning editors, modeling agents, and cute interns in motorcycle jackets. Top 40 pop—including Rihanna’s new album before it was released—makes up the soundtrack, and vodka-and-sodas are the drink of choice. Fridays at 10 p.m.; 447 E. 13th St., nr. Ave. A; 212-477-9979.

The VIP Sanctum:
Les Garçons at Le Baron

Tough door, dancing, singles scene
Once a week since October, a bow-tied young promoter named Michael Fragoso has ushered dandies-in-the-making, rich architects, and the unemployed artists who love them into Le Baron’s townhouselike environs. On all three levels, electronica and deep house thrum and well-groomed scenesters swill Champagne with people who don’t just read V magazine but aspire to be in it. Wednesdays at 11 p.m.; 32 Mulberry St., nr. Bayard St.; lebaronchinatown.com.

The North Brooklyn Art Rave:
Ova the Rainbow at the Spectrum

Drag queens, dancing, fun for straight people
When Ova parties go down at this hybrid yoga studio, theater, and art space, the Spectrum morphs from an average-looking storefront into a pop-up rave. The wildly attired, mixed-gender crowd usually dresses in prerequested colors or themes (most recently yellow and clear), and proceeds from the door and ad hoc bar help support the venue’s queer-minded arts programming. E-mail thespectrum6@gmail.com to RSVP. 59 Montrose Ave., nr. Lorimer St., Williamsburg.

Chez DeepPhoto: Rebecca Smeyne

The Radical-Drag Night:
Chez Deep

Drag queens, dancing, singles scene, fun for straight people
Last August, Colin Self and his merry band of hyperintellectual performance-artist drag queens—no wigs, no punny names—began taking over the basement of Santos Party House for a revue and dance party. The semi-monthly affair draws all types—straight people included—and even surfaced at the last Art Basel Miami with the theme of “Tropical Transcendence.” The next party is slated for February 6 at Santos Party House, 96 Lafayette St., nr. Walker St.; facebook.com/chezdeep.

From left, This N That and The Dalloway.Photo: Benjamin Norman; Courtesy of Creative Brand Company

The Subterranean Disco:
Sweet Fox at Lit Lounge

Dancing, singles scene, fun for straight people
When Boy Wonder Events moved its East Village lesbian-leaning party, Hot Rabbit, to the Monster in the West Village last summer, it left a void in the old neighborhood—one the production team filled with Sweet Fox. Held weekly in the basement of Lit Lounge, the lady-centric gathering has an international roster of techno, pop, and dubstep D.J.’s, a late-night happy hour starting at 1:30 a.m., and good-looking revelers clad in neon and leopard print. Thursdays at 10 p.m.; 93 Second Ave., nr. 6th St.; 212-777-7987.

The Uptown Bro-Down:
F#%K It at No Parking

Drag queen, go-go boys, dancing, singles scene
“A downtown dance club meets an uptown gay bar” is how promoter Kedwin Zapata describes this Monday-night party when promoting it via Facebook. A mix of guys from nearby Washington Heights and not-so-nearby Bedford-Stuyvesant head there for two-for-one cocktails, weekly themes (tribal house, say, or “glow in the dark”), and nearly naked go-go boys turning it out under the pulse of neon lights. Mondays at 5 p.m.;4168 Broadway, nr. 176th St.; 212-923-8700.

Bars & Clubs

The Occasionally Dancey Dive Bar:
This N That

Drag queens, dancing, singles scene, fun for straight people
Brooklynites already have Metropolitan for lounging and Sugarland for dancing. The latest joint from those spots’ co-owners opened last summer as an in-between option: a gay-and-lesbian Cheers where regulars casually flirt, swill PBR (yes, still), and dance to M83. The vibe is low-key and notably welcoming toward heterosexuals. 108 N. 6th St., nr. Berry St., Williamburg; 718-599-5959.

The Campy Crowd-Pleaser:

Drag queens, dancing, singles scene, fun for straight people
Absurdism reigns supreme at this ten-week-old bar, located in a former electrical-supply store and retooled with clubby décor by the owners of Village mainstay Pieces. Near-nightly D.J. sets and performances by drag divas like Peppermint and Porsche draw large crowds, while periodic Monday parties play mostly artists from the Eurovision Song Contest. 697 Tenth Ave., nr. 47th St.; 212-924-9885.

The Chic Lesbian Lounge:
The Dalloway

Singles scene, fun for straight people
The former Lani Kai space, which opened in November, routinely packs in fashionable lesbians for dinner and after-work drinks but reaches critical mass on Thursdays around 10 p.m. That’s when reality stars turned co-owners Kim Stolz and Amanda Leigh Dunn (of America’s Next Top Model and The Real L Word, respectively) herd their lipstick-lesbian friends—many of them models—into a small VIP area, while everyone else vies for space at the basement bar. 525 Broome St., nr. Sixth Ave.; 212-966-9620.

The Casual Sports Bar:

Drag queens, dancing, singles scene, fun for straight people
The happy-hour crowd at this new-this-week watering hole can be found watching the NFL playoffs, Stella in hand. The only indication that this isn’t your average-Joe drinkery are the bartenders—clad in little more than the nightspot’s namesake. What distinguishes the Hell’s Kitchen outpost from the Flatiron original is an expansive rooftop terrace, an in-the-works fire pit, and a basement venue, the Dog Pound, which opens as a club around 10 p.m., with D.J.’s, strobe lights, and a 30-foot music-video wall. 742 Ninth Ave., at 50th St.; 212-951-1518.

XL at the Out NYC Photo: Richard Burrowes

The Modern Megaclub:
XL at the Out NYC

Tough door, drag queens, go-go boys, singles scene
When this “straight-friendly” hotel opened off Times Square last year, the first floor was converted into an eighties-era discotheque, complete with three bars, a stage for performances by the likes of Cher Lloyd and Carmen Electra, and an impressive Dan Flavin–esque bathroom. At 14,000 square feet, though, even muscled-out Chelsea men and their bulging tees have trouble filling Friday’s pop-and-top-40-heavy Rockit party; Sunday’s Latino Night is more popular. 512 W. 42nd St., nr. Tenth Ave.; 212-239-2999.

A Gay New Time