2 George Court, London, WC2N 6HH
As the LGBT scene thrives more and more, there doesn’t seem to be a great flourish of ‘alternative’ bars. Gay bars still seem to be catering to the mainstream/stereotypical homosexual that watches Ru Paul and listens to Lady Gaga. It seems odd, that in the diverse world of drinking, the gay community hasn’t catered towards those who are more inclined to throw themselves in a mosh pit instead of a pool of glitter.
After scouring the internet and streets of London, I find one just a short strut away from Leicester Square. Retro Bar has proclaimed itself London’s “only gay rock bar” and this might be true. Trying to break away from the mainstream, they host rock nights as well as the typical quiz and comedy nights.
The bar is hidden down a tight alleyway from the main road. Without the rainbow flag, it just looks like any other pub with two different levels. Inside, the crimson red smeared walls are lined with merch, signatures and photos. Soft rock like The Stereophonics is playing in the background whilst people sit around chatting. If it weren’t for the room downstairs, I would have thought it was a normal rock bar.
Downstairs the room is packed full of men in their campest get up, indulging in the Retro Bar’s quiz night. I hardly spot any women but this is quite normal with most gay bars unless there are special lesbian nights. Their quiz nights are extremely popular and you’d find it hard to grab a seat if you don’t come in early.
They stock the usual cliché of drinks including Absolut, JD and Bacardi with a few craft beers. It’s quite highly priced but not unexpected for the extortionate hole that is central London. I knock back with a bottled Brewdog IPA. This place has a real pub-style atmosphere that you could come and relax in. Great for a quiet date or post-hangover catch up.
I would recommend coming here on a night with a rock event or the weekend because it has a little more atmosphere. Tonight, it has the ambiance of a fish bowl. But none-the-less the bartenders are lovely and helpful. I call for more Gay Rock bars like this but I do wish this one was has more of rock aspect than just the interior.