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Drink & twerk: hottest black gay hangouts in NYC

Are you a black gay man looking for safe fun spaces with other hot gay men? From lounges and bars to restaurants and beyond, we’ve got you covered on black gay hangouts in NYC.

As a black gay man, it can sometimes be difficult to find spaces where you feel safe and accepted. Even in Atlanta, a major city full of black gay men, not all spots are gay friendly. That’s why it’s important to have a few go-to spots where you know you can always find like-minded people.  You can use social media apps like Tiktok, Instagram, and Facebook to meet other gay men.  There are also gay-friendly cruising apps that you can use for hookups and casual NSA encounters. Read on to find some fun black gay hangouts in NYC.

Hottest black gay hangouts in NYC

4 West Lounge

This is a new black gay bar in Harlem.  It opened last year and has managed to stay open even during this coronavirus epidemic.  There are so many different events throughout the week including Karaoke and regular dance parties.  One of the most popular events is Trappy Hour.  It’s a black gay happy hour that takes place every Thursday.  And let me tell you it’s one of the most lit gay events in NYC.  Period!  You’ll hear trap music, r&b, and the occasional gospel songs.  What I like about the happy hour is that people seem so chill and relaxed.

Lambda Lounge

Lambda Lounge is another black gay lounge in Harlem.  I’ve been there a couple of times and it’s very cute.  It is nice, modern leather furniture and the walls have a brick finish. So if you’re the bougie type you will feel comfortable here.

What I like about Lambda Lounge is that it has a relaxed vibe.  I really don’t enjoy going to clubs and Lambda doesn’t give you that vibe at all.  You’ll find a lot of professional gay men at the venue.  No shade but this is not that bar or club for the 18 years or 21-year-old crowd. You’ll find men in their late 20s and up who are there to network and simply relax.

What I also like about Lambda is the pure fun and excitement.  When I been to Lambda the music was good and the place was jumping here was one Friday night where people were waiting down the block to get inside Lambda.

Harlem Nights

4 West Lounge is a black gay hangout  in NYC that is host to many exciting black gay events including Taco Tuesday and Trappy Hour.
credit: trappyhourharlemreloaded

Harlem Nights is another bar in Harlem where you’ll find a lot of the “girls”.  It’s a block away from Lambda Lounge and Alibi.  The spot looks like a tavern and has an outdoor patio.  There are good drink specials but make sure you get there before a certain time.

I enjoyed going to Harlem Nights when Trappy Hour was there.  However, the promoter moved the event to 4 West Lounge.  I’ve heard that another black gay promotion team, Sean Don Events, is throwing their weekly Sunday party there.  Admission is free all night which is definitely a huge plus.

Alibi Lounge

This is another black gay bar in Harlem. It’s close to Harlem Nights and Lambda Lounge.  A lot of people complain about the high-priced drinks but compared to spots in Midtown the drink prices are not that bad.

Alibi is a cute gay hangout spot.  The place looks very modern and almost reminds you of an art gallery with some of the paintings on the wall.   The lounge is small but that gives it an intimate feel. 


The Cecil is not exclusively gay but it has become one of the popular spots for trendy black gays. Joe Morris, fitness trainer, used to host his brunch day parties at the upscale venue. Cecil is in West Harlem where many black gay men live and hang out. The restaurant has a nice size dancing space and a large section for dining. I like their drink selection for brunch which includes regular and special cocktails like mimosas, bellinis, and nutcrackers. If you’re from the hood you already know one sip of a nutcracker will have you on the floor acting like a crackhead. The mimosas be hitting to and only cost about $20 for about 1 hour.

When Joe Morris used to throw his brunch parties on Sundays the black gays would flock there. Hundreds of men from all over the city would come to. I loved the crowd which was trendy, attractive, and drama-free. You would be some of the biggest black gay influencers at this brunch All the times I been there the music was on point. Joe hired some of the best DJs in the NY gay social scene including DJ Poison Ivy and DJ Smoove. Unfortunately, Joe has rebranded and is not throwing any brunch parties at this time.

Now, I’ve heard that drag brunches are held at this spot.  Joe Morris recently threw a midnight brunch party for New Year’s Eve which was lit.

Non party gay hangouts

It’s said that all gay men like to party and drink.  That’s not true. There are a lot of gay men who enjoy being at home rather than being in the social scene. If you’re one of those types there are plenty of options to meet gay men. These include speed dating mixers, comedy shows, and museums. The Center in the Village is a hub for many LGBTQ groups and meet-ups.

Why the “girls” need their own spaces?

The gay community is one of the most discriminated-against against groups in America. Discrimination against this group is legally prohibited, but there are many ways that gay individuals face homophobia without it being legal or necessarily overt. This includes difficulties in finding safe places to congregate and socialize with fellow gay people. Gay spaces are designed to provide a safe haven for gay people so they can be themselves without fear of rejection or harassment by non-gay members of society.   

Gay spaces include gay bars, gay clubs, gay events, and other similar venues which cater specifically to the needs of gay people.  In Atlanta 10th St and Piedmont is a popular gay hangout spot.  A study published in 2011 reported that 8% of U.S. gay and bisexual men were living with HIV and that gay and bisexual men accounted for 63% of new HIV diagnoses among all males aged 13 or older in 2009. Compiling statistics such as these, the Center for Disease Control has stated that gay spaces are important to help gay people connect to care and health services.

Most large cities host special events or organizations specifically designed for gay people. Some examples include Pride parades, LGBT film festivals (like the Boston Lesbian and Gay Film Festival), AIDS fundraisers (like AIDS Walk New York), and gay socials (like the Southern Decadence festival in New Orleans). These organizations and events provide a way for gay people to come together, talk about their shared experiences, and raise money for important causes.   

Gay spaces fulfill an important need within the gay community. They allow people to meet each other without fear of discrimination or harassment from non-gay individuals, and they create a “home away from home” where gays can dance, flirt, and just be themselves.

Wrap up

If you’re looking for a great time, and don’t mind rubbing elbows with some of the most fabulous people in town, then the black gay hangouts in NYC listed above are for you. Even during the coronavirus pandemic some of these places have been loyal.

So put on your dancing shoes and get ready to party! Thanks for joining us on this tour of NYC’s best black gay hangouts. We hope you’ll come back soon.