In our second piece on London’s top gay and gay-friendly bars #Drag are venturing south.
349 Kennington Lane, SE11 5QY
There’s not much of an ‘About Us’ section on the Eagle’s website, but the pictures reveal all. The Eagle Weekday Cruise
bar is open weekdays with free entry b4 10pm, £3 after 10pm and on Saturday 27th Club R18 is back. There’s definitely never a dull night, and there’s plenty to choose from.
131 Grange Road, SE1 3AL
According to Time Out, the Fort is “billed as ‘the bar no one admits they visit’. It’s an underground cruise bar, with plenty of sleaze and debauchery to keep you occupied. We couldn’t find a website, so we’re not sure if it still exists…or it’s just super selective and secret.
2 Blackheath Hill, SE10 8DE
Tube: Overground Deptford Bridge
There’s plenty to keep you entertained here. The George & Dragon is a late-night bar in the more traditional British pub style, offering a variety of the best drag cabaret at weekends and on special occasions. It’s also this year’s official host venue for South East London’s Drag Idol.
The interactive calendar can fulfil all your cabaret needs. Click here.
Arches 47B & 47C South Lambeth Road, SW8 1RH
This popular men’s dress-code bar takes attire seriously. In order to qualify for entry visitors must dress in either leather, uniform, rubber, industrial, skinhead, full sports kit and finally boots and jocks. The dress code applies to all nights, except where specifically stated, and the doorman’s decision is final. There’s also a strict footwear policy: remember your boots! Trainers, sports shoes or shoes of any other kind will NOT be acceptable unless specifically stated or you are attending ‘SBN’ meaning Stark Bollock Naked or ‘NBN’, Nearly Bollock Naked. Obviously.
50 Clapham High St, SW4 7UL
Tube: Clapham North
This is south London’s premier gay bar, featuring top DJ and Video Jock’s and daily drinks promotions. It’s also home to Clapham’s biggest street party each June. Kazbar is part of the Kudos bar chain, adding a gentle touch of Soho to south London. It’s recently been refurbished with wraparound glass windows, making it a fair bit lighter than before, and slick, if slightly sterile. There’s also a cosy balcony upstairs with comfy chairs. In the main bar, punters dance in time to the giant video screen, usually blaring with manufactured pop. Warmer weather brings the outdoor tables into demand. On Google it’s been given two “excellent” grades, and one “very good”. What more do you need?
98 Kennington Lane, SE11 4XD
The Little Apple is a rather welcoming, gay-friendly pub on the corner of Chester Way and Kennington Lane. We say it’s absolutely ideal for a relaxing Sunday lunch.
1 Crooms Hill, SE10 8ER
Tube: Overground Greenwich
The decor inside the Victorian Rose & Crown is tall, dark and handsome. It consists of high ceilings, a sturdy oak bar and tables, with period details such as etched glass. It almost looks as if it shouldn’t be in London. It’s part of the Taylor Walker Pubs.
372 Kennington Lane, SE11 5HY
The Royal Vauxhall Tavern were the well deserved winners of Best Cabaret Venue 2012 by The London Cabaret Awards. It’s widely regarded as a shabby chic gay legend – we all know one. The queer performance venue attracts a bit of a mixed crowd and can be best described as “gloriously faded”. It has a pretty colourful past, having once been the watering hole of choice for the gay Kray, Regina Fong and Lily Savage who got her start behind the bar. The RVT is a born urvivor.
The most famous fixture is Saturday’s seminal queer performance club night Duckie, with acts that range from live art to porn puppets. Other essential events include the Sunday show, Monday bingo night, the ultra-inclusive performance mixer Wotever on Tuedays and regular runs from the legendary David Hoyle. It’s also home to the Hot August Fringe festival.
11 Dorrell Place, SW9 8EG
SW9 is flying the gay flag for Brixton. It boasts a trendy vibe, with gastropubby fare and a unisex bathroom – how modern, and despite being tucked away down an alley, is far from sleazy. We recommend the breakfast menu with omelletes starting at £5.95 and a full English for £7.20.
114 Clapham High St, SW4 7UJ
Tube: Clapham Common
Pay no attention to this bar’s nickname , the Two Sewers, this place is far from dingy. Serving the gay community for over 26 years, there are events on every night – there’s no way you won’t find something to enjoy in the Clapham bar. It’s a definite crowd pleaser, with a mix of commercial dance music and drag shows. Regular performers include Dolly Diamond, Titti La Camp and the ubiquitous Sandra; Dave Lynn, a seasoned veteran who does his own singing.
8 Wyvil Rd, SW8 2TH
First things first, this is a straight bar. That said, it’s particularly gay friendly. Established in 2007, the VG is an independent and traditional pub which offers a rather warm and inviting to everyone. Located in a quiet side street in Vauxhall, the pub has served the community for over 150 years. The food isn’t half bad, either. The same can be said for those who frequent the venue.