Not all the gay bars were in Greenwich Village during the early 1960s, and uptown queens had the Ekim Bar at Broadway and 103rd Street (2696 Broadway and 221-223 West 103rd Street). The bar and restaurant had been owned by Michael J. Freeman since 1934, and experienced many incarnations over the decades. For example, during the 1950s it was known as the Ekim Calypso Dock inexplicably serving Italian cuisine, and booked acts including Gene Vincent and his Calypso Troubadours and Kert DePass and his Queen Bee. By the early 1960s it was a hot spot for the gay scene, and on September 30, 1961 an alleged hustler was busted there by Detective Vincent Leonardo from the 24th Precinct according to court records.
The detective entered the Ekim Bar at 2:05 am in plain clothes -- "I was wearing a checked suit, brown and white; also a brown tie, white shirt, horn-rimmed glasses, and a hat, a beaver hat as they call them, which is more or less on the style of a homburg" -- and the place was hopping. He testified that there were about 100 men and "one apparent female," and "the majority of the patrons, in my opinion, were homosexuals." Asked how he could tell the patrons were homosexuals, Detective Leonardo stated they were "talking in high pitched voices that would, if I hadn't seen a person speaking, I would surmise it was a female," and "I also heard some of the patrons refer to other patrons in the premises as 'Darling,' 'Deary.'"
Detective Leonardo testified that he observed gay action immediately upon siding up to the bar:
At that time, directly to my left, there were two males, unknown males, actually. At that time one unknown male walked over to these two unknown males and he was introduced to the one unknown male seated at the bar. One was introduced as "Betty" and the other as "Lois." They engaged each other in conversation. After a short period of time they proceeded to fondle one another. They then kissed on the lips for a prolonged period of time. Subsequently, they kissed some more. At about 2:15 they left the premises in each other's company.
And apparently the detective was such a hot number that two patrons -- identified as Gerald and Gregory -- could not keep their hands off him once he took a seat at the bar, and Leonardo testified as follows:
He [Gerald] kissed me upon the ear a number of times. He fondled my private parts, placed his hands upon my buttocks, and used endearing expressions to me. Also seated to my left, at that time, was an unknown male known to me only as Gregory. This Gregory engaged me in conversation. He fondled my private parts and placed his hand upon by buttocks and rubbed my buttocks. At various times either Gerald or this Gregory would place his hand on the small of my back and rub the small of my back.
The Italian boy Gregory (I've omitted his surname) won the day in vying for Detective Leonardo's affections after allegedly offering to service him -- "I can suck your prick" -- for ten bucks, and upon leaving together the ungrateful copper then arrested him:
He then started to leave the bar and he said, "Come on." He left the bar and I was immediately behind him. I said to him, then, "Where are we going?" Prior to leaving the bar he had said to me, he said, "We can't go up my place because my friend is up there." I said, "What's the difference?" He said, "My friend is up there turning a trick." I said, "Oh." He said, "Do you have a place to go?" I said, "No, I'm staying with some friends in town and I can't go there." Then we left and once outside he said, "Listen, do you have a place to go?" I said, "No. I told you 'No,' I can't go any place that I know of." He repeated that his friend was "turning a trick" in the apartment with someone else. He said, "We'll go to Central Park." We started to walk and I then placed him under arrest.
Gregory was criminally prosecuted on a Section 887-4C charge which prohibits loitering for the purpose of committing a lewd and indecent act but thankfully acquitted by the trial judge in Magistrates' Court. However, the Liquor Authority nevertheless revoked the liquor license for Ekim Bar as a disorderly premise catering to homosexuals.
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Further reading that may be of interest: