Sip-In Anniversary at Julius’ 55 Years Later
In 1966, gay patrons demanded a drink and made history
Julius’ on the 55th anniversary of the “sip-in.
Instagram, but in real life!
There are no hands covering their glasses!
A bartender who will actually serve you!
Artist Tyler Wallach (center) with friends in their outdoor COVID bubble.
BY MATT TRACY
A small group of patrons
made their way to Julius’
Bar on April 21 to
commemorate the 55th
anniversary of the 1966 “Sip-In,”
which protested the State Liquor
Authority’s policy targeting bars
serving LGBTQ customers.
It was just a few years before the
Stonewall Uprising when members
of the Mattachine Society descended
on a series of bars, including Julius’
at 159 W 10th Street and tried
to buy drinks in an effort to shine a
light on the policy preventing bars
from serving LGBTQ patrons.
At the time, liquor licenses were
pulled from establishments serving
LGBTQ customers since they
were perceived as “disorderly.”
With a news crew in tow, Dick
Leitsch, Craig Rodwell, and John
Timmons went to multiple bars as
part of a publicity stunt that concluded
at Julius’, where they were
joined by Randy Wicker. While
some bars served them and others
were closed, they fi nally got rejected
at Julius,’ where a photographer
snapped an iconic photo.
The men stated, “We are homosexuals.
We are orderly, we intend
to remain orderly, and we are asking
The request prompted the bartender
to put his hand over a glass
to deny them drinks.
“Only Julius’ refused to serve
us that day,” Wicker, who was in
attendance at the April 21 event,
said in 2016.
“Several others willingly obliged
our request for a drink, but Julius’
did not want to become a known
gay bar,” he said. “They would police
the door and if it got to be too
many males inside, they would not
let a man in unless accompanied
by a female.”
The protest, however, successfully
contributed to changes and
paved way for the rights of out queer
people to drink at bars in the city.
Julius’ is believed to be the
oldest LGBTQ bar in New York
City, but the spot has faced fi -
nancial diffi culties during the
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