Lisa Menichino

Lisa Menichino Courtesy Of Lisa Menichino

Cubbyhole might just be one of the best bars in the world although owner Lisa Menichino admits she might be a little biased. She hadn’t started out with the intention of becoming Cubbyhole’s owner; she’d simply taken a job as a bartender while contemplating her career as a social worker. From bartender, she became manager, and then temporary owner. Now, she is the full-time owner and has no regrets about her career shift. The New York lesbian and queer community has no regrets about it, either; anyone who has been to Cubbyhole has experienced the magic. We’ve missed this magic over the past year, but thankfully, Menichino was able to sustain Cubbyhole’s space through the pandemic and reopen this spring. “There has always been a connectivity between the lesbian bar and the celebration of our identities,” she tells GO. While the reasons why lesbians frequent bars may have evolved, “they still represent a safe space in which to gather with other lesbians, to enjoy milestones, or just an ordinary day with other people like us.” However, she notes with caution that we can’t always expect that they will be around, a lesson the pandemic has made painfully clear. These spaces “depend on you to nurture and support them, or they will not survive,” she says, “and with their loss a vital part of our visibility, contributions, and history fades as well.” —NT

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