First Look: Legendary Event Producer Opens Multilevel LGBTQ Nightclub in Hell’s Kitchen

The Q brings four floors of old-school grit and glam to Manhattan’s queer nightlife scene.

Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist
Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist

When we last spoke to Frankie Sharp in early 2020 to get his expert input on a guide to queer NYC, he let us in on a little secret: He was preparing to open a multi-floor LGBTQ nightclub in Hell’s Kitchen that would redefine the genre as we know it. 

Sharp, an award-winning event producer, nightlife curator, and DJ, had to put his new business venture on hold when COVID-19 forced New York into lockdown, but over the past several months, he and his business partners—Boxers co-owner Bob Fluet and party promoter Alan Picus—made up for lost time and pieced together The Q, a game-changing queer venue that caters to every interest.

With Fluet’s construction and design experience—and help from celebrity investors like Billy Porter, Zachary Quinto, Charlie Carver, and Jake Shears, who represent various pillars of queer entertainment—the space came together without a hitch.

Now, The Q is officially welcoming guests after marking its grand opening with a series of sold-out events that closed out Pride Month.

Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist

Located in an Eighth Avenue building near West 48th Street that once housed Social Bar & Lounge, The Q is now the largest queer-owned and -operated nightlife venue in Manhattan, according to Sharp. Designed by Jasin Cadic, it boasts four stories and five unique areas that allow for a full night of bar hopping under one roof.

Approaching this new endeavor, the owners wanted to build a club that reflected the diversity of New York’s LGBTQ community—not only in terms of race, gender, and sexual orientation, but in terms of passions.

On the ground floor, you can enjoy live shows from performance artists and musicians. In the second-floor lounge, you can kick back with a drink or meander to the secret “Gentlethem’s Club” nestled behind a tufted wall. If you find yourself on the top-floor club, you can dance under 20-foot ceilings and find yourself entranced by the grandeur of a suspended catwalk.

Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist

While The Q revives some of the grit and allure synonymous with classic NYC gay clubs, it arrives with an added emphasis on respect and inclusion. The bar makes a point to provide an “affirming, welcoming space for all to enjoy,” according to its website. “Violent rhetoric or action, non-consensual touching, or any form of racist, homophobic, transphobic, sexist, sizeist, ageist, ableist conduct will not be tolerated.”

Sharp, who specializes in putting on a show—he has hosted “BOYS” at REBAR, “MetroSensual” at Metropolitan, and “Dreamland” at Dream Downtown’s rooftop—and co-owner Picus, another notable promoter in the city, are using their industry connections to create a diverse lineup of recurring events. The two have already established a handful of weekly acts, featuring rotating stand-up comedians and prominent local entertainers like jazz musician Richard Cortez and drag queens Lagoona Bloo, Jasmine Rice Labeija, and Kizha Carr.

Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist

To stay on top of the latest happenings at The Q, follow along on Instagram and Facebook. If the turnout for the club’s opening weekend is any indication, The Q is on its way to becoming a roaring success in the queer nightlife world.

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Kyler Alvord is a contributor for Thrillist.