Any given weekend, on the corner of Sketch and Edgy, the only things that seem interesting around midnight are Dunkin’ Donuts and Center Street Lounge. When it comes to queer nightlife in New Haven, there aren’t too many options, but this place offers a nice change of pace from the low-key neighborhood bar or the banality of a night at Toad’s.
While the generally friendly crowds might seem initially intimidating to the average Yalie, the crowd comes from several towns over, often for the drink specials and good dance music.
On gay nights, Center Street has shot boys who make the rounds in their skivvies. While this might seem intriguing at first, don’t forget that this isn’t New York, and these guys aren’t slinging drinks until their next modeling gig. They often have the appearance of being underfed and over-intoxicated.
Luckily, this locale isn’t just for guys. The lesbians come in droves to hang out. Although they can just as bro-y as any of Yale’s fraternities, they really make the environment relaxed; they bring no drama and neutralize any sense of snarkiness that can ruin a night out at a gay bar.
In general, the club is small and has a funny shape. The bar is hard to get to and gets crowded easily. There is a place near the front of the club where people can sit with their friends and enjoy their drinks, although most choose to stand and chat. The dance floor is the largest part of the club. Most people choose to remain there because it is the easiest part of the club to navigate (on nights when the club is at capacity, it can get really hot). Center Street also features a rather spacious outdoor patio where people can smoke and cool off.
While it’s not “Gotham” sketchy, Center Street definitely offers a chance to get out of the Yale bubble and into a more happening queer scene.