the toolbox

The toolbox. Premiere Upper East Side Gay Bar


What is The Toolbox’s story? The Toolbox has been around for about 25 years and, since we the new owners took over in 2010, The Toolbox has evolved into something NYC can be proud of.

The Toolbox could never be defined. Is it a bar? Is it a club? Is it a toilet or just simply a dump? These are actual words from patrons, if you read our reviews on the Internet. Many out-of-towners try to put us in some kind of a “box”, but they’ll never succeed. One reviewer stated that we’re basically a poor excuse for a dance bar. Another even thought we were trying to be a club.

Those words are hardly The Toolbox. If anything, The Toolbox is what’s left of NYC’s glorious spirit: come as you are, you’re accepted here. The true New Yorkers and most Europeans get us. It’s impossible for us to be pretentious: we have No Cover Charge, No Drink Minimum, No Dress Code, a Buy-Back Policy, Water Is Always Free, and Customers Come First. Always and forever. We’ve put our customers in taxis at our expense when we deem it is necessary.

We’re just a local small neighborhood bar with a modest 60 people occupancy who is truly concerned about our customers and community. We provide a no-attitude and clique-free environment, and we love every minute of it. We are a pop-and-pop shop, since we’re a gay couple with a dog, plus an awesome staff. We are not bound by any corporate by-laws, and we adapt to change as quickly as we are able. We really do listen to our customers, even the ones who think we’re pretentious, and we would forego profit for the good of those customers and our staff. And because of this, we’re loved by many of the LGBTQ locals, locos, loyals, yocals, and our straight allies. We love them back.

The only rule we have for our staff is to make sure that they’re having fun while working and to keep every customer’s safety in mind. For our customers, we have two rules: Rule # 1 is to have fun. Rule #2 is don’t forget Rule #1.

However, let us not tell our customers what to do. If you want to come here grumpy and leave grumpy, that’s your call. You’re an adult, and you can do as you please as long as you don’t hurt the people inside our bar. When it comes to The Toolbox’s lively spirit, reciprocation is appreciated, but not demanded nor expected.

Remember, here at The Toolbox, we don’t care where you’ve been or where you’re headed. We’re not trying to be like any other bar; we are just doing us as best as we can. Though The Toolbox is undefinable, use us as your tool to escape the mundane, the rat-race, and the in-between. We are just glad you’re here. You are loved here.


🕒   Weekdays 4 PM - 4 AM

          Weekends 3 PM - 4 AM

☎  (212) 348-1288

📍   1742 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10128