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Bethnal Green Working Men's Club

Nightlife, Cabaret and burlesque Bethnal Green
4 out of 5 stars
(6user reviews)
Bethnal Green Working Men's Club
Emmanuel Kihomano

Time Out says

Sticky red carpet and broken lampshades perfectly suit the programme of quirky lounge, retro rock ’n’ roll and fancy-dress burlesque parties here. You might get to watch a spandex-lovin’ dance duo or get hip with burlesque starlets on a 1960s dancefloor. The mood is friendly, the playlist upbeat and the air full of artful, playful mischief.



Address: 42-46 Pollard Row
E2 6NB
Transport: Tube: Bethnal Green
Price: Admission free-£10
Opening hours: Opening times vary
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Users say (6)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.2 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

A huge group of us went to the Working men's 'Girl Power' night as part of some birthday celebrations, and we had a great time!

The venue itself is a bizarre, grimy juxtaposition of its historic function and its current focus on diverse and eccentric club nights; the drinks are on the affordable side and there is no pretension: it's just a good night out, if a bit of an odd one for this particular section of East London.

Worth your time if you don't mind travelling off the beaten track a bit.


I really wanted to like this place. I've heard so many good things about it for so long (it is an East London institution, after all). Sadly, our experience on Saturday night was underwhelming. Let me break it down.

Given the proliferation of easily accessible clubs in Hackney (including some with free entry), if I must spend 10 min walking inside council estates and pay the entrance fee, I expect an experience that is at the very least on par with the ones available closer to civilisation or in the very least bus stops and free. The venue itself is rundown and tired. Don't get me wrong: I love the venues that feel like a discovery of something history has forgotten (Dalston Boys Club, I hail you!). Yet this one just feels like a place history has forgotten for a reason. The stage design is actually not tacky and kitsch enough, if you ask me (for the right amount of kitsch head to The Glory). The music was boring (how do you even achieve that when your theme is 90s Birthday Party?). The games instead of being revoltingly fun were just revolting. Their wardrobe guy, who looked definitely old enough to remember the venue when it was actually a working men's club before reopening as a night club in the 90's, first forgot I have already given him a pound coin for my bag, and then that my friend gave him a tenner, not a fiver. He was actually very sweet and cute but I am not sure they are doing either him or the guests any favours here, as I am assuming more intixicated people can be less understanding. 

We stayed for half an hour and left for another venue. I don't think I would be returning as I can think of a lot better places to go to locally.


We visited the basement pub here known as 'The Workers Arms' - drinks weren't badly priced and the barman was very friendly although he said he was just filling in for a friend that night.

It was a Saturday night and the big event in the next room 'Buttmitzvah' was on that night so we had all sorts of drag queens and men dressed up in incredible gear - the ladies looked awesome too. They piled into the pub before their night started which was highly entertaining for those of us dressed in woolly coats and trainers!

The bar food here is pretty good, we stuck to bar snacks, all were pretty tasty, different varieties of chips with toppings and standard plates of warm chorizo and garlic mushrooms. 

It had a nice vibe in the pub, wooden chairs and tables and dimly lit with quirky old clocks and radios dotted around the place. I'd definitely come back, and would love to attend Buttmitzvah!


There are many peculiar places that sadly had to go due to commercialisation of East End. Working Men’s Club is one of those that survived gentrification without the need of changing its old-school feel and quirky style. I’ve been coming here for years and had some of the best parties in town here, form 1950s Coney Island bashes o to Trash Italia 80s celebrations. It’s always eerie, it’s always full on and it’s always a night to remember. The place looks like it has not changed since the 1970s, but this is its charm. Carpets, cheesy décor and real East End bar ladies rather than trendy hipsters, it all contributes to its uniqueness.

There are usually at least two rooms with the best tunes of a specific decade or theme and the clientele is as original as the place itself. The decorations are always prepared with a great attention and the entertainers fitting perfectly for the particular night. It’s always worth checking the upcoming parties as the advanced tickets are always much cheaper. With the departure of a few kooky spots in the recent years, it feels like WMC is the last one standing, and hopefully the one here to stay.


What can you say about this place other than it's a total gem! The place just keeps on giving and hosts a wide variety of club nights, events and happenings across two, and sometimes three floors with a bar on each of the lower levels. The place has hosted and launched countless artists and performers since it's renaissance as a quirky club venue in the late 90's which has allowed it to survive as one of the few genuine old East End Working Men's Clubs. You will struggle to find a friendlier place or a better night out anywhere!

Staff Writertastemaker

Such a little gem of a venue- but dont the staff know it.

It's so rare to find a place anywhere in London these days (snore-groan) that doesn't feel like it's had a fresh coat of Pinterest, BGWMC certainly doesn't, everything feels like it did when your dad took you for a sneaky pint after the food shopping. It feels like the East End. As a result the younger staff, brought in to manage events, can be a little... pompous. Avoid them and enjoy the atmosphere.

Drinks are basic, but sometimes we need to be reminded of  a time before craft beer.

There is always a great roster of weird and wonderful events on here so keep an eye out and take a punt.

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