Retro Bar information

The Retro Bar is a popular gay bar near the Strand. There is a range of live events hosted for your entertainment.

Ranked #396 of 2091 pubs & bars in London

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Opening Hours
Opening Hours

12:00 - 23:00


12:00 - 23:00


12:00 - 23:00


12:00 - 23:00


12:00 - 23:00


14:00 - 23:00


14:00 - 22:30

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What did you think of Retro Bar?

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Retro Bar reviews

By Andrew M.

Retro Bar is genuinely a fantastic place. I've been coming here for over a year now and love it. They have quiz nights here on Tuesdays (can be quite competitive), and they also do karaoke. Retro Bar has a wide range of regulars and it is a good gay/straight bar. You are guaranteed a good night at the Retro Bar and won't be ready to leave at closing.

By Diogo C.

I'm only gonna give it a 3-star rating for one simple thing, it's difficult to understand how, when and why is upstairs open. Otherwise, I believe I would give it 4. The ground floor is fairly small and I've been there on a couple of nights with a friend, we just wanted to sit down and relax and, in the end, the tables on the ground floor were full, upstairs wasn't open and we chose to go elsewhere. Otherwise, the name says it all, this is a vintage place, playing old tunes, paired with a nice decoration and an incredibly sunny staff.

By Suzanne D.

Brilliant, rare gay bar filled with alternative charm. Staff are friendly and drinks are extremely reasonable for central London. Retro by name, retro by nature, the pictures and music make this a real gem and a breath of fresh air from Soho. I was only visiting London when I discovered Retro Bar but will definitely be returning when I move to London later in the year. Very chilled, laid back bar where people actually talk to you! Looking forward to checking out a few of their dj nights, the music when I was there was brilliant! After 2 hours, not one song was played on the jukebox that I didn't enjoy. Very rare as I tend to be fussy when it comes to my music tastes!

By L.

The friendliness of the Retro Bar is astonishing. For a London bar to choose its staff based on their competence and friendliness is something of an innovation these days but the staff at Retro Bar seem genuinely pleased to serve. They're transparently fond of the bar they work in. On top of that, the music is not your typical gay fare, showing a stripe of intelligence and crediting the customers with the same. On Karaoke night (Wednesday), Quiz night (Tuesday) and DJ nights (Friday and Saturday) nights, there's always the more chilled out upstairs bar to escape to. Wendy (the manageress) has given the place such a strong sense of personality that you'd never guess it was owned by a corporation. Retro Bar is the best bar in London, whether you're gay or not.

By John G.

This alternative gay scene favourite offers a great antidote to the Soho mainstream with cheap drinks, good music and astonishingly friendly staff and punters.

The Venue
Located in a bit of a grimy alleyway just off The Strand, The Retro Bar is a short walk from Embankment or Charing Cross tube stations. Identified by small black signs, it’s easy enough to find if you look out for the alleyway at the corner of the entrance to Superdrug. Once inside, it’s split into two bars. Downstairs gets packed from early on with the after work crowd, soon joined by nighttime revellers, but if you want to escape the noisy music or are looking for somewhere to sit, there’s usually room upstairs. Decorated with gay friendly, black and white pop icon prints, there’s a shabby chic feel with mismatched seating and a slightly grubby vibe.

The Atmosphere
The Retro Bar attracts a varied crowd with everyone from skinny jean clad hipsters to middle aged ale drinkers. It’s largely gay, with a good split between men and women, and the vibe is friendly and sociable. The bar staff are a particular delight, they take pride in where they work and enjoy stopping to chat with their regular customers whenever the busy bar allows.

The Music
Eschewing the usual, The Retro Bar plays a retrospective of '70s and '80s pop with Blondie, Depeche Mode and David Bowie all on heavy rotation. As well as weekend DJ nights, there’s a quiz night on Tuesdays and karaoke on Wednesdays.

The Drink
With regular drink promotions throughout the week and prices for draught lager at under £3, The Retro Bar is a bargain for such a central location. You can also expect a fully stocked bar of alcopops, wine and soft drinks.

The Last Word
The Retro Bar is well-loved by its regulars for its justifiably proud and friendly staff, classy music choices and fair drinks prices. An alternative venue that can please everyone.

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