By George Capsis

Julius’ is a historic gem in Greenwich Village, serving as New York City’s oldest gay bar with a rich history dating back to the 1860s. Originally a grocery store in the 1840s, it became a bar in the 1860s and adopted the name Julius’ during Prohibition.

George Capsis enjoying a non-alcoholic beer outside Julius’ and waiting for his Julius burger

The bar gained significant importance in LGBT history on April 21, 1966, when members of the Mattachine Society staged a “Sip-In” to challenge discriminatory liquor laws. This pivotal event, predating the Stonewall riots by three years, helped pave the way for more open gay bar culture and is considered a key moment in the modern gay rights movement.

Today, Julius’ remains a beloved neighborhood institution, known for its welcoming atmosphere and affordable prices. The bar’s famous Julius Burgers are a local favorite, offering excellent value in the heart of Greenwich Village. The outdoor seating area provides a perfect spot for people-watching and casual conversations with passersby, embodying the vibrant spirit of the Village. 

It’s an ideal location for a pleasant lunch or meeting friends, attracting a diverse crowd of locals and visitors alike. Julius’ unpretentious charm, historic significance, and consistently good food and drinks make it one of the best casual dining and socializing spots in the neighborhood. Its enduring popularity is a testament to its ability to maintain its character while adapting to changing times, truly fitting into the fabric of Greenwich Village.

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