Gay Guide to New Year’s Eve in Philadelphia

A bar-by-bar guide to Philadelphia's gayest NYE celebrations.

If you’re the type who likes to paint the town pink on New Year’s Eve, this guide should have you covered. We scoured all Philadelphia’s gay bars to see what they’re up to on the last night of the year. Here’s what we found out …

The Bike Stop

If the idea of ringing in your new year with shirtless, hairy men, rampant pheromones and sex dungeons strikes your fancy, this is the place for you. (See you there!) No cover. 

Employee dress code will look something like this on NYE at Boxers PHL |

Employee dress code will look something like this on NYE at Boxers PHL |

Boxers PHL

The Boxers PHL bartenders are trading in their red mesh shorts for black boxer briefs and a bow tie (think: Chippendales), for our newest gay bar’s very first NYE celebration in Philadelphia. DJ Kevin Kong will be spinning tunes to take you into 2015. No cover. 


Icandy is throwing its third annual New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball, with a champagne toast at midnight, buffet, and one of the sweatiest, best dance spots in the Gayborhood. Tunes by DJ Dominic Romeo. (Hint: You can get in for a discounted price if you’re wearing a mask.) Call for price. 


Unless you already have a ticket, don’t worry about what’s happening at Knock on New Year’s Eve. I put a call in to the bar and was told they are sold out!

Stir Lounge

Nothing special going on here, said the man on the phone when I called, “Just free champagne, hats and noise makers, stuff like that.” No cover. 

Tabu Lounge and Sports Bar

Once again, Liberty City Kings Drag and Burlesque (LiCK) are taking over Tabu on New Year’s Eve for their Glitter Gayla. The evening starts with dinner at 7 p.m., a four course menu with entree options that include mushroom ravioli, hanger steak and chicken parmigiana. LiCK goes on at 9 p.m., right up until midnight. After that it’s dancing and celebrating till closing time. You can choose to stay from dinner till close, or just come for the show and dancing. You better hurry, though, tickets are selling out fast. To buy them, go here. If you’re not interested in the entertainment, Tabu’s downstairs bar will be open with no cover and $6 Absolut drinks all night.

Tavern On Camac

As always you have two options at Tavern: Piano Bar and Ascend Lounge. In the former, Dena Underwood will begin the night with soulful, jazzy tunes on the piano, followed by Gosha, who will tickle the ivories through the new year. Upstairs, DJ Jimmy DePre will be spinning till close. No cover. 

U Bar

In typical U Bar fashion, U Bar will be U Bar on New Year’s Eve. You know what you get: Strong drinks, masculine, older dudes, and a great jukebox if the right people are popping in quarters. This is an ideal spot for pre-drinks if you need liquid motivation to brave the more-crowded spots later. No cover. 

If you're looking for a ladies party, Stimulus will be taking over every inch of Voyeur on NYE | Facebook

If you’re looking for a ladies party, Stimulus will be taking over every inch of Voyeur on NYE | Facebook

Venture Inn

Venture Inn is rolling out a three-course menu for the dawning of 2015. Expect appetizers like shrimp Louise and oyster Rockefeller, and entrees that include seared filet mignon and pan-seared scallops. Then, according to the bartender who answered when I called, “when the dining room closes, it’s going to be a madhouse in here.” So business as usual when the midnight hour hits. Dinner seatings available at 6, 8 and 10 p.m. Pay as you go. 


If you’re wondering where the lesbians will be bringing in the New Year, it’s Voyeur. Stimulus is taking over the entire nightclub with go-go dancers, drink specials and music on the main floor by DJ Kash and DJ JoviBaby. This is also one of the latest parties in the Gayborhood, going till 6 a.m. Pre-sale tickets here10 p.m. to 6 a.m., $20 (before midnight).


Nothing out of the ordinary going on at Woody’s, except it’s going to be packed, packed, packed. The whole complex—including The Suite, main dancefloor and Rosewood—will be pumping with music, and every screen in the house will screen the countdown. Call for price. 

Out of Town Options

Claridge Hotel in Atlantic City

If you’re wanting to head out of town: The newly revamped Claridge Hotel in Atlantic City is throwing a super queer bash on New Year’s Eve that is a major throwback to AC’s gay nightlife. For one night only, partiers will be able to enjoy the Divas Reunion Show, featuring some of the greatest impersonators of Joan Rivers, Patti LaBelle, and Dolly Parton, and if that wasn’t enough, Pro Bar, the gay nightclub that shuttered in 2013, is bringing back the dancefloor to Claridge for an all-night bender.The Divas Reunion Show starts at 9 p.m. at the Claridge’s Celebrity Theatre, which is a perfect location since you’ll be spotting lots of Liza, Bette, and maybe even Whitney back from the grave! Tickets can be purchased here, and there are VIP booths available. Buy tickets here. $20 to $50. —Bryan Buttler

Josh Schonewolf Presents … 

If you’re looking for a Josh Schonewolf party, you’re going to have to take a trip to New York City. Philly’s reigning king of party production is hitting up The Big Apple with The New Year’s Eve Ball at the West End. Drag queen Terra Grenade is hosting, and Philly’s DJ Javascript will be bringing the tunes. More information can be found here. No cover.