The set list is built every morning. It alternates between men and women, from the main floor to the mezzanine, and builds a flow of slow and fast songs, with that strategic pre-bucket song really hyping up the audience. Between the sets, tracks by Destiny’s Child and RuPaul keep the energy up.
From the moment it opens at 7am, Ellen’s is pretty much always packed. Some groups stop by for a quick slice of rainbow cheesecake before a show. Others, like a group of older gents in a booth on a Saturday night, linger for hours, ordering $8 beers all night.
“It’s crazy all the time, it’s always busy, there’s always a line, and everyone’s always like ‘Why is there such a long wait?'" Brooks says. “We’re the only place [in New York] that sings for you, of course there’s going to be a wait!”