KEY POINTS

  • Henrietta Hudson bar has been providing tests since Dec. 30
  • It has partnered with City Testing Services to provide the service
  • The facility allows both walk-in and preregistration online

A bar in New York City has turned into a COVID testing center, providing free tests to its customers who do not wish to wait in line for hours.

Henrietta Hudson, one of the only three remaining lesbian bars in New York City, has partnered with the federally-funded community outreach initiative "City Testing Services" to become Manhattan's first bar that functions as a walk-in testing center, which offers both PCR and rapid antigen tests, Curbed reported.

City Testing Services that runs on-site testing for schools, conferences, and sporting events, train the employees to take the swabs and run lab works of tests. 

After the new service kicked off at Henrietta on Dec. 30, seven of the bartenders were certified to administer the tests. “We’re basically a pop-up testing station with in-house swabbers," Henrietta’s owner, Lisa Cannistraci said.

“With Omicron, I knew I had to do something more. This was a good way to stay open safely. Plus, who doesn’t want to go and get tested and have a drink while they’re waiting?" Cannistraci said about the initiative that helps her business run safely during the pandemic.

The pub's new clinic functions on Fridays and Saturdays from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. and on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 6 p.m. to midnight. The testing facility also allows pre-registering online. They have tested around 400 people since it opened last week, New York Post reported.

Henrietta allows customers to wait for their COVID test results at the outdoor cabanas where they can enjoy their drinks. The customers are allowed inside the bar once they test negative.

Cannistraci said customers tend to stay longer at the bar as they feel safer due to the testing mandate. However, she clarified the idea was not just a business gimmick. "It’s about care for the community. I just felt it was the right thing to do," she said.

Cannistraci added she would recommend other business owners to also consider hosting testing clinics. "It’s not a perfect model, but we’re taking that extra step. People are so grateful,” she said.

covid testing Pictured is someone getting a COVID test. Photo: AFP / STR