One of the premier gay bars in Clapham, Kazbar may be a little cheesy for some tastes but its loyal following speaks for itself.
Kazbar isn’t the biggest gay bar and club in London but it makes a big impact on Clapham High Street. The large front windows offer a perfect look at what’s inside and a good-sized outdoor area sits at the front, complete with a few benches always filled to bursting with attractive gay guys in the summer (and even in the winter when posing is a must, whatever the weather). Inside, it’s all unashamedly camp with disco balls and a wall of TVs showing cheesy music videos by Madonna and Lady GaGa. There is booth seating, sofas and high stools but there is still plenty of floor space for dancing, which seems compulsory here. The bar is a real centrepiece, backlit in a wide array of vibrant colours, calling out to you to have ‘just one more’.
Kazbar has a clearly defined role as a gay bar and although everyone is welcome, it’s mainly attractive gay men who party here. Although there’s a slight meat market vibe to the place, it’s nowhere near as bad as many of the tacky bars and clubs that line Clapham High Street as the area increasingly starts to resemble Ibiza Uncovered on a bad night. There are clearly a lot of locals who frequent this place, making this their local haunt, and everybody seems to know each other, which is refreshing for London.
The music at Kazbar borders on cheesy, with remixed Britney and Madonna tracks played seemingly on repeat. That said, it’s certainly toe-tapping and all floor space is quickly taken up by muscly guys in too-tight tees showing off their dancing skills.
There’s nothing that exciting on the drink menu with bog-standard wine and beer at area-average prices, with bottles of Becks and Bud unimaginatively popular. Be warned if you like to look good with a glass in hand – as the night wears on, tacky plastic cups become more commonplace. They do offer some decent deals on shooters and spirits though, so a night here doesn’t have to be expensive to be fun.
The Last Word
Kazbar has a very well-known reputation for being one of Clapham’s top gay bars and it’s easy to see why. As long as success doesn’t go to its head, Kazbar is sure to only continue to thrive.