why should you stare at gay guys anyway? ;-)
30 Old Compton Street, Soho, London W1D 4TP
- Leicester Square Tube Station (0.3 km)
- Leicester Square Station (0.3 km)
- Contact us:
020 7494 2756
28 reviews of G-A-Y Bar in English
Weekends become overpriced, the floors are filthy, the toilets stink, there's no gender-neutral toilet option (I don't even think there's a disabled loo), the music is too loud during the daytime, the list goes on.
One of the worst parts is the staff don't stick to the law on refusing to sell alcohol to people who are already too drunk. If I go there after about 9pm on a weekend, I always get scared I'll get vomited on by someone, because so many people are so clearly beyond their limits. People can barely stand up and they'll still get served, even though sometimes the server is visibly uncomfortable doing so. I doubt the staff get any back-up if they try to say no to a sale. They seem trained just try to get as much money out of people as possible - screw the fact that god knows how many thousands the NHS spends sending out ambulances to this place every single weekend.
Just try and get served if you're a woman on the 'main' floors. You'll wait ten minutes, get passed over at least five times, give up and get a male friend to order on your behalf. Same in their other venue, Heaven. The 'women's bar' is in the basement - next to the aforementioned stinky loos. Even on the busiest times, there will be one poor barmaid on, and like 15 people waiting to get served, when there should be at least 3 bar staff on that bar. It's like gay or bi women are really not welcome there, in a place they should feel most welcome.
Also, the manager is roundly understood among young gay students (his usual employees) to be the worst boss imaginable - shitty pay, diva mood swings, picking his favourites and treating everyone else badly, etc. There are definitely other businesses more deserving of your money.
The only reason anyone I know goes there is because they can't afford to go anywhere more pleasant. If it's the last week in the month and you're hard-up until payday, it's your only option in the often wildly-overpriced Soho area.
Overrated. Frankly, there are much better bars in London, gay or not. I only ever went to G-A-Y because my GBF dragged me there. It is very stereotypically gay, loud, full of ‘divas’, and somewhat trashy. An evening at G-A-Y is like one that you wouldn’t want ending up on Facebook.
Drinks are reasonably priced, and the music is cheesy. If you like Lady Gaga, Kylie, David Guetta, and similar genres, you’ll love this place.
G-A-Y is horrible, overly camp, the floors are sticky, the toilets are awful and the bartenders will only pay you any real attention if you conform to their definition of attractive.
Basically, G-A-Y is three floors of every cliché and stereotype going; but if that’s what you want, you won’t be disappointed. There are good drink offers five nights a week, there’s an abundance of Kylie, Whitney Houston and Steps and the walls are painted pink with video screens everywhere.
Personally, I loathe it, but that’s because it’s not my scene. I can see exactly why people like it – if you’re going to G-A-Y, you’ll get exactly what it is you’re going for. So although I do everything in my power to avoid going, it still deserves a solid four stars for the effort!
The G-A-Y bar is a very nice place, a must-see for the gay community in London. In front of it, you will be surely caught by a "tout" who will invite you to "Heaven", a nightclub near Trafalgar Square.
At the beginning of the evening, it is already crowded. Even during the week. Loud music, pink and violet neon lights, juke-box with the last hits, giant screen on the wall with sexy videoclips. Tells much!
English people scramble for the bar or chat happily with a glass on a hand.Most of them seem in a relationship...What a shame, because some boys are worth staring at!
The basement is for girls only, whereas the first floor - you have to queue up to go up there- male clients sometimes gathered at the terrace. The atmosphere is nice at G-A-Y bar, it's perfect before nightclubbing! There's only one condition: bring some fellows!
Comment 1 comment on this review
spaniardinberlin, 19 July 2010:
I've been in here once, a couple of years ago to watch Eurovision (my best Eurovision experience to date!) and it was great, the drinks were cheap and the atmosphere was awesome, I had an absolutely great time.
However, my massive qualm with this place is getting in. I haven't been let in since, because I look too straight. The time I did go in I was with a friend with short bright pink hair. Apparently one needs to wear one's sexuality in a conventionally gay way to be believed here, other times I have tried to get in they have looked at my long normal coloured hair and skirt and told me it was members only and been vague about how to become a member.
I happen to be a bisexual woman who identifies as such, by the way, not that I should need to be to be admitted. The admission attitude really disappoints me.
First point to note, week night drinks are cheap as chips - just over £2 for a vodka, lime and soda. The music is fun and loud and there's plenty of entertaining dancers to watch.
The door staff literally scaremonger you into keeping your bag pinned to you the whole night for fear of it being snatched away, I presume they must have a large number of belongings getting stolen - or perhaps more likely, a lot of people get horrendously drunk and have no idea where they left their belongings!
Toilets aren't too nice so pee early and don't venture in towards the end of the night.
All in all though it's a really fun atmosphere with cheesy music, so if that's your thing go for it. Even better if you are actually gay.
I sincerely hope none of you have ever had the misfortune of being captured by an unruly band of ultra camp kidnappers who, upon snaring you, proceeded to scoop out your eyes with a melon baller, smash you repeatedly over the head with a plank and slowly gnaw off your digits one by one with their ferret-like teeth, all the while screaming nonsensical words into your bleeding, eardrumless ears as you weep, vomit and scream “WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO ME GOD, OH WHY, PLEASE, KILL ME NOW, SAVE ME THIS TORTURE”. Thankfully this trauma has never been bestowed upon me either, although if it ever were to happen I imagine it would feel similar to the excruciating pain I feel when attending G-A-Y bar.
Why do I dislike G-A-Y so intensely? A number of reasons; firstly the music is so loud and obnoxiously “gay” that not only can you not have a conversation, you actually wince as your eardrums are bombarded by Kylie [and fat gay men singing Kylie, which leads me onto my next point…]; second, the clientele is made up of the real scrapings from the bottom of the barrel- leering old men, infantile gay boys, extension clad fag hags, people from ESSEX, all gather in this dark, sweaty bar to revel with each other/generally annoy me; drinks prices are very cheap during the week and then skyrocket on the weekend, making a double go from £3.40 to £9, not exactly student friendly. There is also the fact that the “girls” bar is in the basement right by the toilets, which reek to high heaven. I only go here when forcibly dragged by gay men, but luckily once we get in they normally remember that G-A-Y is in fact an apocalyptic vision of a future entirely populated by morons and we get to make a sharp exit. Go anywhere else in Soho. Honestly. Please.
One of my favourite Gay clubs in London, reliably cheesy and unchanged, you can always luxuriate in Kylie on the ground level and some more indie gay gal music downstairs in the bar they have hilariously (?) named Girls Go Down.
Fun on Pride you can stay there for hours and have no idea what time it is.
A cheesy poppy place full of possibilities but never any good realities!
This is your quintessential gay bar in London. cheesy music, relaxed atmosphere (no matter how the queens of Soho get you) and a bar full of alcohol.
During the weekdays ,apart form Friday, the prices are fantastic and you can have a session in there one evening on a thursday and still come out with change from a tenner.
The only two (quite major) problems I find in here: The prices at the Weekends and the Volume. This is a bar. I love seeing the video ukebox play all random cheese from the 60s-00s but the volume gets to me. I like to hang out there with friends without the need to scream at them all night to make myself heard. The prices are stupidly expensive at the weekends. Value for money gets forgotten about and suddenly you’re haemorraging money faster than you can drink!
Another one of those venues everyone has heard about, but never been to.
In all honesty it’s not bad at all, small setup, friendly people and roof terrace for the smokers. Drinks are average, taste and cost but the vibe is always buzzing.
Music will be blaring on most days, so if you’re after a quick chat and catchup expect to lose your voice.
Good location to start and move on from!
Ok, we all know what are we going to when we go to this place!!
It’s the perfect place to go if you’re gay and single a)- because they always have plasmas showing classic and the latest cheesy pop so you never look bad if you just having a pint looking at them by yourself
b)- because the drinks are so cheap it’s so easy to get a bit tipsy and pull someone for the night…
Of course you do have to be in the mood for this otherwise after a slap of reality you just find yourself in a very old bar surrounded by the campest teenagers trying to sing mariah and struting their stuff with the latest Christina hit.
Resuming get drunk as fast as you can and you’ll have the time of your life!!!
Why oh why do they insist on dumping lesbians in the basement? This particular basement is cunningly called 'Girl Bar’. Smart. If you are indeed a Sapphic sister or a loyal friend of the aforementioned, sit back and contemplate the narrow selection of watering holes reserved especially for lady lovin’ chicks that exist below ground level. Are we a family of ferrets, a collective of chipmunks perhaps? A 'loft’ is now considered the epitome of attic cool, in England we appreciate the heat rising in winter but please proprietors of gay drinking establishments, note that a basement should be the proud jurisdiction of the lavatory (in this case, the men’s is bigger and less smelly than the ladies). Oh, and don’t bother with this venue if you’re over 19 or detest Britters/Madge or their ilk.
On the plus side though, if you’ve got the Beer Goggles clamped on and you’re feeling frisky, it’s a good spot for picking up a foreign exchange student by ploughing him/her with 1.50 vodka mixers! Good value all round I say.
I really don’t see the attraction - in the 00’s surely we shouldn’t need stereotypes?
G.A.Y. (as did the nightclub) just reinforces the image that all gay men are camp and effeminate.
This place reminds me of a roadside café and the selection of music that blares out in the “background” seems to come from some naff regional radio station.
For a London bar the prices and choice are not bad but there are much better places to hang out.
If you like euro pop, commercial over produced music and camp effeminate gay men then this is the place to go.
If however you are ordinary, down to earth (gay or straight) - then there are much better places to grab a drink and a chat in Soho.
Ok love the place!
good vibes good music not so many woman! can be quite bitchy but thats why we love the place!
cheap drinks especially the cocktail jugs!
make sure you go early and dont turn up with 50 woman and one man you wont be getting in!
but one of the ledgendary places in London i love! always a great night! unless they dont let you in for being a girl :(
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