Tucked away down a little alley, the Retro is one of gay London’s secret gems, a small mixed indie bar where eccentrics are welcomed. The music mixes ’70s, ’80s, New Romantic, goth and alternative, and is reflected in the decor, which features photos of iconic rock and pop figures, from Bolan to Bowie. There’s a great jukebox – think Grace Jones, Visage, the Associates – and more women than you’ll find in many gay establishments.
Manager Wendy knows how to keep her punters happy and they reward her with undying loyalty. If the nostalgic tunes don’t leave you with a warm glow, the cosy decor will: red and gold flock wallpaper, creaky wooden floors and red leather love seats. The quieter upstairs bar is a good date spot, though it’s not open every night. Themed events include board games night (Sunday) and the poptastic music quiz (Tuesday) – sort of a Name That Tune for musos. We once witnessed the entire bar singing the Carpenters’ ‘Yesterday Once More’.