Chasing 'Drag Race': How NYC Queens Capitalize on RuPaul's TV Juggernaut

Published On 02/26/2018 Published On 02/26/2018
Ru Paul's Drag Race
Ru Paul's Drag Race | World of Wonder
"We had to get started by taking that spot -- nobody was going to give it to us."
Drag Race Viewing Party | Courtesy of Albatross
It's America's Next Top Model meets Project Runway meets America's Got Talent meets your neighborhood drag night.
"Straight dudes are like, 'Drag queens are kind of OK,' and I'm like, 'Oh, bros are kind of great.'"
Brooklyn Bazaar

Brooklyn Bazaar


The Nobodies host a weekly viewing party starting just before the show airs until 10pm. A chunk of the audience leaves as soon as the show ends, but the hour after is full of subversive drag performances. Bingo cards are $2, or $5 for four cards, and winners get T-shirt or perfume as a prizes. Bring cash tips for the after-show.

Courtesy of Metropolitan



“No matter how grungy and dirty the floor looks, and the bathroom always reeks of foreskin, it will always be a great place to watch Drag Race,” Aja says. Former Drag Race competitor Thorgy Thor hosts watch parties here, as do other local queens like Heidi Glum. The party changes each week, but this staple Brooklyn gay bar always airs the show.

The Well

The Well


The bar streams episodes on two oversized HD projectors for a crowd of mostly North Brooklyn locals. Beers are two-for-one before the show from 4pm-9pm and a Glamazon Punch is $7 during the show. A new host and performer are in the works for Season 10.

The Graham

East Williamsburg

Snack on free popcorn at this weekly viewing party hosted by Sassy Frass and Suburbia. After the show, drag performances and a DJ set keep the queer energy going at this bar perhaps better known for its cheap wings and burger and beer Mondays.



Upper East Side

This popular gay bar serves RuPaul realness on Thursday nights, hosted by Brita Filter. Get two-for-one happy hour drinks from 4pm to 9pm and $6 Absolut cocktails all night.


Hell's Kitchen

Starting at 7:30, $5 special cocktails, $5 select beers, kitchen specials, and RuPaul’s Drag Race trivia during commercial breaks are all on the menu at this weekly watch party. Don’t skip out on mac & cheese pancakes before you sashay away.

Therapy NYC


Hell’s Kitchen

Better than seeing a shrink, this mainstay gay bar screens Drag Race weekly, with commentary and extra energy delivered by drag diva Monet X Change.

Courtesy of Albatross



Local Astorians crowd into this local dive just off the highway to watch live showing of Drag Race each week. Special drinks ($7-$12), like the Flaming Aja and the Trixie Pixie, are inspired by the show’s competitors. Those craving more drag can also stop in on Saturdays, when Albatross hosts live drag shows.

Hardware Bar

Hardware Bar

Hell's Kitchen

Drag is pretty much always on deck at this hub for gay nightlife, but on Thursdays, Shuga Cain hosts a watch party complete with a drag show, special drag guests, and games.