Julius' Closed, For Now

Julius’, a West Tenth Street gay bar that dates as a tavern to 1864 and played an iconic role in the history of opening up public spaces to homosexuals, has been shuttered by the city health department for code violations.

According to the department’s online restaurant inspection information database, the establishment was closed after investigators visited on December 30.

A photo of the health department order placed on the establishment's door shows that a passerby scrawled “DEATH TO TYRANTS!” on it.

A speakeasy during Prohibition, the bar attracted a gay crowd as early as the 1950s, though its owners often ejected them rather than run afoul of State Liquor Authority rules that barred serving alcohol to homosexuals. In 1966, the Mattachine Society staged a sip-in at Julius’ and took pictures of the bartender denying them service. An ensuing lawsuit ended the prohibition on selling drinks to gays.

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