Rupert Street Bar packs in a trendy crowd of gay men, keen to enjoy the eye-candy and fantastic atmosphere. Rumoured to be the highest earning gay bar in Soho, it must be doing something right.
Located on a corner of Rupert Street close to London gay mecca Old Compton Street, Rupert Street Bar is ideally placed to capture the pink pound, at just a five minutes’ walk from Piccadilly Circus station.
The large venue has long, tall windows out onto the street in a gesture of defiance at the gay bar tradition of darkened windows, and the crowd pick up on the sense of pride by spilling out onto the pavement on warmer evenings. Inside, the decor is modern but nondescript, and the venue is usually too packed for it to matter much.
It really can’t be stressed enough how busy Rupert Street Bar gets, with crowds at the bar at peak times making it a battle to get as far as ordering a drink. That said, once you reach the bar the staff will be ready with a grin and some friendly banter, and you won’t find yourself waiting as long as you might expect given the hordes of customers.
The punters are a nice bunch to be squeezed in with, expect media type in their twenties-to-thirties wearing anything from funky skinny jeans and Converse high tops to the suits they wore earlier at the office. Any gay bar that gets this crowded can feel somewhat cruisy, and there’s a definite element who are here to pick up some romantic action.
Although hardly the main focus, Rupert Street Bar does serve food all day long, with a wide choice on the menu depending on your appetite. Go for nachos with sour cream, salsa and melted cheese for just over £3 if you just want a bar snack, or if you’re in the mood for something more filling try the bargain fish and chips, bangers and mash, or a pie, all priced at £5-£6. The portions are hearty and filling, and there are also wraps, stuffed pittas, jacket potatoes and burgers, and there’s nothing that will set you back more than a handful of change.
The trendy, gym-toned Rupert Street crowd like nothing better than a trendy bottled beer such as Becks or a Bud, but there’s also bottles of wine for under a tenner, and a cocktail list priced at around a fiver each. It’s limited, but the three big hitters are there so there will be something for most tastes – Cosmopolitans, mojitos and caipiroskas are all whipped up efficiently by the good looking bar staff.
The Last Word
In essence, Rupert Street Bar is much more than the sum of its parts. The drinks, food and surroundings are all distinctly average, but it has won itself a loyal following of attractive and urbane gay men, and that’s why more follow them through the doors each night and keep this place so very busy.