Julius’, an LGBTQ+ bar located just minutes from the historic Stonewall Inn, was designated a New York City landmark on Tuesday. Three years before the Stonewall riots, the bar was the location of what became known as the Sip-In, a 1966 protest against the closure of other bars in the city for serving people who identified as LGBTQ+.
At the time, bars and restaurants in New York City could be raided or closed if they were deemed “disorderly”, which included buying drinks for other men, according to the National Park Service. In an effort to build a case to challenge the interpretation of the law, several men from the New York City chapter of the Mattachine Society, the largest gay rights organization at the time, went to several bars and restaurants with the intention of enforcing the order. drinks after clarifying that they were gay.
The first location he tried was closed, according to the NPS, and the next two locations served him. Dick Licht, Craig Rodwell, John Timmons and Randy Wicker, along with several reporters, visited Julius. According to the bar’s website, the bar was recently raided and the bartender refused to serve them.
The bartender covered one of the men’s glasses with his hand, a moment that was photographed. The New York Times then ran a story titled “3 Deviants Invite Exclusion by Bars.”
The following year, according to the NPS, courts ruled that being gay, flirting and kissing was not enough to rise to the level of “disorderly” conduct.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams said in a press release, “Honoring a place where New Yorkers were denied service simply because of their sexuality, that should already be clear: LGBTQ+ New Yorkers’ Welcome anywhere in our city.”
Julius’ was added to the National Register of Historic Places back in 2016.