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Gay bars and clubs in Soho

All you need to know about LGBT nightlife in the capital of gay London

Soho is home of London's main gay scene and remains most visitors' first port of call, whether for drag nights or mingling. It's centred around Old Compton Street, where you can take in a singalong at the Green Carnation nightclub or down louche cocktails at bars like Shadow Lounge. Let Time Out give you the lowdown on gay Soho.

Shadow Lounge

The original lounge bar and gay members’ club has had a bit of a facelift; it’s still a hit with bona fide celebrities and gay wannabes alike.

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Soho

Freedom Bar

Freedom looks out onto the gay vortex where Brewer Street, Wardour Street and Old Compton Street merge, with the gaudy green neon boast that it’s ‘open till 3am’ above its front window.

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Soho

Admiral Duncan

A triumph of brash fun over basic flirting, this Soho stalwart attracts party-oriented punters to its one-room bar in the middle of Old Compton Street.

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Chinatown

Edge

Set on a corner of Soho Square, the Edge draws visitors of all kinds but caters mainly to a gay crowd: diners and coffee-sippers by day, clubbers by night.

Set on a corner of Soho Square, the Edge draws visitors of all kinds but caters mainly to a gay crowd: diners and coffee-sippers by day, clubbers by night.

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Soho

Ku Bar & Club

Ku’s owner, Gary Henshaw, took over the venue formerly known as West Central in 2007 and transformed a mediocre space into a popular bar and club that offers everything from film nights to comedy. The sheer variety of club nights at this Leicester Square bar is enough to impress and, with a sister branch opened on Frith Street in Soho in 2009, Henshaw must be doing something right. Check out puerile kitsch-fest Shinky Shonky on Wednesday nights or the poptastic O-Zone hosted by drag DJ Dusty O on Fridays.

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Chinatown

Green Carnation

‘The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it,’ reads the quote that runs across the wall of the reception area of this relatively ambitious, comparatively off-beat gay bar.

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Soho

G-A-Y Bar

Jeremy Joseph’s G-A-Y Bar has everything you’d expect: cheap drinks offers, a young crowd and plenty of Kylie. It’s spread over three floors, and is always busy. Some love it, others hate it.

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Leicester Square

Yard

The loft is a nice place in which to lose track of an evening: a relaxing, loungey upstairs space, it’s ideal for intimacy. Downstairs, the courtyard takes on new life when summer rolls around.

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Soho
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