There is a brand new gay bar in New York City, and to say it’s fabulous is an understatement. Thirst Bar opened on Thursday, March 10th in Hell’s Kitchen. The beautifully designed queer watering hole is not only stunning to look at but immediately feels like it has been part of the neighborhood for years.
The opening night party was literally a who’s who of New York City nightlife with too many names to mention here, but we will give it a go! Seen were club owners Frankie Sharp and Ted Arenas, along with promoters Sebastian Rau and Bro.Bae. Adult industry hunks Boomer Banks, Owen Hawk, and Xavier Blanco were seen mingling with drag royalty Zeta Jones, Gigi Cutina, Adriana Trenta, and host of the evening Adrogyny. We also caught a glimpse of Lady K, Diego Androsio and Antonio Cedeno.
I had the pleasure to speak with Thirst owner Franco DiLuzio at the opening night party, discussing everything from how Rebar, the other queer bar he owns in Chelsea, got through Covid and how long it took Thirst to come to fruition. DiLuzio, who had dreams of opening a bar for years, is not only personable but so damn good-looking it was difficult to stay focused on the interview! The story of Thirst begins way back in 2015,
“In addition to my corporate job I worked in nightlife for almost 15 years. Part of my experience was working as manager of productions and promotions, as well as floor manager for G Lounge from 2005 to 2014. After I departed from G my business partner Facundo and I were trying to open a bar back in 2015. We tried many spaces in HK with no luck. This space was one of the first spaces we bid on but couldn’t get it. The way opportunities lead when G Lounge was closing, the owners approached us at purchasing the business, so that’s when we opened REBAR in the old G location”
As fate would have it DiLuzio and his business partners would find their way back to HK,
“We decided to keep Rebar closed until there was a vaccine to make it safe for our staff to come back. We stayed closed for over a year, but we were still working: we were looking for new locations in HK to expand our business. Low and behold the space became available again, this time without the ridiculous key money that made it impossible to take it over. It was a straight bar called Perdition, and we completely gutted the entire space.”
I mentioned to DiLuzio how much I loved the look of Thirst and he smiled saying,
“When I presented the color palette to my business partners, you should’ve seen the look on their faces: pink and gold? The complete opposite of Rebar! I jokingly call Thirst the non-binary sister of Rebar!”
Word is the legendary Amanda Lepore will be showing up to a host a night this coming weekend and Monday nights the always funny always flawless always entertaining Saline Dijon will be performing!
DiLuzio and business partners Facundo Rodriguez, Michael McGrail, Bobby Barbero, and Pedro Gonzalez are, “so happy and grateful to be bringing our talents to Hell’s Kitchen, and look forward to quenching the thirst of the community.” As I was talking to DiLuzio someone came by to tell him,
“This is a true safe place for all of our community. Where you can go and be yourself without being judged for who you are.”
“That’s the best comment anyone can give us,” DiLuzio gushed. Thirst Bar is located at 692 Tenth Avenue, between 48th and 49th streets.