Last Dance: Memories of Splash Bar in NYC
These Are the 50 Best Gay Bars in New York City by Neighborhood
Opened in , the bar is known for its nightly drag shows. Barracuda opened in Chelsea Pontarelli and Heighton had previously co-owned Crobar, a venue in Manhattan's East Village , where a weekly drag show called "Star Search" began in Through the early s, Barracuda was a popular destination for high-profile names and promoters in the entertainment industry. A New York Times article said, "[T]his neighborhood gay bar keeps drawing celebrities, who often appear free, along with record executives, Broadway show promoters and perfume designers in search of the elusive holy grail of cool. Actor Nathan Lane used to visit Barracuda weekly.
Navigating New York City's gay nightlife scene can become a part time job. Attitude, judgment, ease of getting a drink, and finding your Mr. Right—or Mr. Right Now! It was a personal choice I made so that the places wouldn't lose their liquor license.
On Tuesday social media were abuzz after the iconic New York City gay bar Splash posted an online notice about shutting its doors after 22 years of go-go boys, stiff drinks, and general gay debauchery. It was a smart move to post the note online, as most of the folks kvetching about the pending closure would have never noticed the actual note had it been posted on the door of the West 17th Street club itself. Splash has had a great run in the fickle world of New York City nightlife, but as any gay man and it is mostly gay men who frequent Splash who actually resides in New York City could tell you and boy will they tell you , the bar has largely fallen off the radar in the past few years. International tourists using dated print gay guides to Manhattan, slightly-past-their-prime visitors from the Midwest eager to go back to the '90s, when Splash and they were at their most powerful, and of course a steady stream of bridge-and-tunnel clientele kept the place in business, but actual New York gays had long migrated to Hell's Kitchen, Brooklyn and points far beyond the '90s gay enclave of Chelsea. This was the first reaction on Facebook , Twitter and other social media platforms on Tuesday: The closure of Splash is the final nail in the coffin of gay Chelsea following the recent and not-so-recent shuttering of other gay haunts, like Big Cup, the Roxy, Rawhide, Food Bar and [here is where Facebook commentators would insert their business of choice that reminded them of when Chelsea was less about women and strollers and more about vodka sodas].