Putting the Bush in Bushwick

courtesy Jenille Nikke Alleyne

New York’s newest dyke bar is carving out its own niche.

When 333 Troutman Street’s blue lights pour out from its unassuming front door, queer energy beams into the Bushwick night. The vibes, quite literally, radiate out the door. Once you garner the confidence to saunter up to the cool-looking femme bouncer, you’ll breathe a sigh of relief that the cool-looking femme bouncer is actually very sweet. Welcome to The Bush, which is, as its owners say, “a dyke bar for the queers.”

“The vibe is everything,” says actor and the Bush fan Carmen LoBue, who played Dre on The L Word: Generation Q.

The space itself is understated. It gives the vibe of an apartment that isn’t quite all moved into but has its priorities straight: good lighting and a stocked bar. A quick scan of the menu reveals cheeky drink names such as The Pillow Prince (bourbon, cyan, sweet vermouth, and lemon juice); Guest Star (mezcal, passion fruit, Aperol, lemon, and Tajín); and Island They (rum, hibiscus, lime, ginger, beer, bitters, and mint).

A trip to the bathroom uncovers a drugstore-worthy display of dental dams, condoms, gloves, tampons, and pads.

“I am constantly seeking affirming, safe places for us,” LoBue elaborates. The busy actor and filmmaker spends their off hours mingling at The Bush.

“The Bush has great vibes, great music,” LoBue adds. “The scene is very over 25—mature people who are interested in having conversations beyond just being queer. There’s a queer person for everyone there, and that’s what I really like.”

Once a queer girl passes the age of 25, it’s hard not to feel like an octogenarian at the other popular LGBTQ+ party spots. Luckily, The Bush gives women who might feel ancient at other NYC clubs (like The Woods) a space where they can down martinis and casually dish about current affairs, beloved pets, newfound back pain, and who is dating whom.

The owners agree about The Bush being a joyful, safe space for all. “The Bush is a labor of love, inspired by and built for our community,” says co-owner Jenille Nikke Alleyne.

We might just have the answer to the age-old question, “Where are all the lesbians?” Well, the cool, inclusive, 30-something Brooklynites, at least, are at The Bush. @bushdykebar

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