There's no shortage of great gay-friendly bars, clubs and venues in Birmingham, from flamboyant party spots in which to let it all out, to understated bars and cafes to relax and meet likeminded souls. With a growing scene centred around the Gay Village in Southside, Birmingham's LGBT community is served with pride. Let Time Out guide you through some of the city's best gay venues.
Fancy a quality tipple or two along the way? Head to one of the best cocktail bars. For a budget bite to eat try our cheap eats list.
Birmingham's best gay bars and clubs
From very humble beginnings, and after relocating three times, The Nightingale has now grown into one of the UK’s most popular gay superclubs, with bus-loads of LGBT revellers and their friends flocking to the club from all corners of the Midlands for the monthly ‘Midlands Big Gay Night Out’
Fancy a night out on a Tuesday? No problem. It’s no exaggeration to say that The Village Inn is lively whatever day of the week it may be – with something happening every night, Monday through to Sunday. Whilst others flitter in and out of identity crises, The Village Inn has stood true to form as one of the longest-established and most popular cabaret bars in the ‘gaybourhood’
Perfectly placed in the vicinity of Chinatown and the Gay Village, the Loft Lounge is a decadent and fun bar that provides the perfect launchpad for a night on the town. Situated in Bromsgrove Street, close to a host of other gay venues including Sidewalk, The Village and the famous Nightingale, Loft Lounge is also within easy reach of Chinatown’s restaurants and the Hippodrome theatre
Originally a 1930s car showroom, Sidewalk was officially ‘turned’ in 1996 under the name ‘Laurie's International Club’, in time for Birmingham’s first ever gay pride. Little do people know, this venue is somewhat of a historical cornerstone; with glass panels from floor to ceiling, the bar was the first in the gay village to be opened up to street views, protesting people’s attitudes during a time where gay people were seen as deviants and perverts
Missing is here, and glaringly queer - greeting revellers as the very first point of call upon entering gay town. Together with a larger than life statue of Marilyn Monroe (which has somehow found its way onto a rooftop ledge at the front of the building, how did they even get it up there?), a rainbow flag that spans the entire length of the venue and Hurst Street’s iconic lifesize glittery rhino just opposite, Missing certainly takes extravagant to the next level
Previously known as The White Swan, the venue was refurbished and renamed in 2008 – thus Eden was born and has been going strong ever since. Along with being one of the favourites amongst gay men and their friends, Eden also hosts ‘Lip Gloss’, a monthly event which supports Birmingham’s transgender community
Located right in the middle of Hurst Street, Equator is hard to miss with its large glass frontage and charming interior. Equator is a particular favourite amongst men and the transgender community, with social group, ‘Outskirts’ regularly meeting at the bar on the first and third Monday of every month
Open until 6am on a Friday and 8am on a Saturday, Chic is Birmingham’s longest running after hours club and has been going strong since 2001, playing all the very best in deep house, electro and dance. Fast becoming Birmingham’s best Friday night out, Chic plays host to some of the best DJ’s in the Midlands, supplying relentless tunes each and every Friday
‘An eclectic French dining experience’ is what Le Truc promises – and boy does it deliver. The restaurant is adorably wacky, poking fun at the seriousness of Gallic gastronomy, while still serving up a culinary tour de force. Le Truc is an oasis of Francophilia in the midst of Chinatown