The Retro Bar

LGBT London
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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’.


Venue name: The Retro Bar
Address: 2 George Court
Transport: Tube: Charing Cross
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  • House, disco and techno Saturday April 28 2018

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Average User Rating

4.6 / 5

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Retro bar is a cosy and chilled gay bar a block away Charing Cross station on a secluded street/alleyway off Strand. It’s a gay bar that caters for all, a pub that’s a lot warmer and welcoming than some of the other gays bar in Soho. The upstairs area is great! It only opens at a certain time. The few times I’ve visited, the upstairs area tends to not have long queues at the bar and enough seating. Always a great atmosphere, a great alternative to the normal Soho bars.


The Retro bar is on a little side street off The Strand and offers a welcome break from the general hustle and bustle of the gay bars in Soho. It’s pretty chilled, with a small bar, comfy seating and wooden floors. It has a very homely, almost ‘locals’ feel to it, which is pretty ironic as it is slap bang in the middle of central London, and next to one of the busiest streets in the country. It is a friendly place, and always offers a warm welcome. Punters pile onto the street outside so do be prepared to have a wait at the bar. They offer quiz nights hosted by some very funny drag queens and board game nights are on Sundays. More of a places to take your friends, rather than a place you’ll meet new ones, but none the less, a great place to go if you want a change from the usual scene.

Retro Bar is possibly one of my most frequented haunts in London, by far. Being a slightly more alternative member of the LGBTQ community, I find the ambience and crowd really appeal to my tastes. Drinks are very reasonably priced for a watering hole in Central London and you also tend to avoid the tourist crowd, what with it being tucked down a little alley way off of the Strand.

The decor is some of the best in London. Wall to wall celebrities gaze over you as you drink, and there is always a new oddity to discover, such as the newspaper lined walls by the upstairs toilets to the legion of snow globes sitting above the bar.

For a safe haven away from the crowd, I can't recommend this place more. There's a reason I have my birthday here almost every year!


A nice little bar that has somehow survived in the middle of the city and is always packed in the evenings. The upstairs bar is sometimes a little quieter if downstairs is busy, or if the weather is nice, you can stand out the front.