Friends & Lovers

A new gay-friendly bar and live music establishment opens in Crown Heights.
February 19, 2014
(Friends & Lovers)
When Eric Sosa, the co-owner of new Crown Heights bar Friends & Lovers (641 Classon Avenue), decided to open an establishment in the area, one of the main reasons was because he wanted to foster a sense of community in the neighborhood. When asked to describe the intimately lit, month-old venue in one sentence, he says that it’s “a bar with music created by locals for locals.”
Along with his business partner Diana Mora—the co-owner of Long Island City restaurant El Ay Si—Sosa is also trying to fill a particular void in the Brooklyn neighborhood, left by the closing of the gay-friendly bar Starlite Lounge, which had long been a staple of the Crown Heights community. 
“We are long-time residents of Crown Heights. We saw how quickly this neighborhood was developing and that there was a need for live entertainment in this part of Brooklyn,” says Sosa. “We are both pretty passionate about this community.”
Every Thursday, Friends & Lovers hosts the weekly queer party Starlite Thursday—an homage to Starlite Lounge—that features a rotating roster of DJs inclusing Sean McMahill, Bright Light Bright Light and Dandylion. Queer music blogger Homoground also presents a monthly queer music showcase at the bar on the first Saturday of each month.
“There is a large queer community in Crown Heights, Bed Stuy, Clinton Hill and Prospect Heights,” says Sosa. “We want to give them a place to mingle, and a weekly party made the most sense.”