New York’s oldest gay bar Julius launches fundraiser

As safety restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic continue to adversely effect many businesses across the US, Julius in New York’s Greenwich Village, the city’s oldest gay bar, has launched a fundraising campaign.

“The bills are piling up, rent, utilities, insurance, etc. and there is no set date for indoor dining,” says Julius’ owner Helen Buford on the GoFundMe page that she posted on Thursday July 2nd. “The staff and I are eager to serve you safely once again but we need your help. Any amount you can donate will help with the operating expenses.”

Can you Ever Forgive Me? Courtesy of Fox Searchlight.

Julius began to attract gay clientele in the 1950s, and in 2016 New York Governor Andrew Cuomo nominated the establishment to be added to the National Register of Historic Places for its significance as the site of LGBTQ civil disobedience fifty years before. On April 21st 1966, members of the Mattachine Society, Dick Leitsch, Craig Rodwell, John Timmons, and Randy Wicker, staged a “sip-in” to protest the discriminatory State Liquor Authority regulations which stipulated that known or suspected gay men and lesbians should not be served alcohol.

Even if you haven’t set foot in the place, it’s likely to be familiar from the TV shows and movies that have used Julius as a location over the years including including The Boys in the Band, the first season of Pose, the Oscar-nominated Can You Ever Forgive Me? starring Richard E. Grant and Melissa McCarthy, Ira Sachs’ Love is Strange and 1976’s Next Stop, Greenwich Village.

Mattachine at Julius Flyer

Among the regular events at Julius, John Cameron Mitchell, Angela Di Carlo and Amber Martin have hosted their monthly Mattachine party there for the past twelve years.

At The Queer Review we can’t resist their delicious burgers and fries.

We know that times are tough but if you can, please help keep this historic site that continues to be an integral part of the city’s LGBTQ community alive with a donation or by sharing the Julius GoFundMe page on social media. Julius t-shirts and hats are also available for purchase by emailing

Follow Julius at Twitter @JuliusBarNYC and on Instagram at @JuliusBarNYC and visit the official website at

Julius on June 28th 2020. Photograph by The Queer Review.

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