With the closure a few years ago of the notorious Coleherne in Earl's Court, Compton's on Old Compton Street (the high street of the Soho gay village) became the last of the old-school 'booze and cruise' pubs that used to be the rule rather than the exception. Dimly lit, wood-panelled and bare floored, Compton's is about as manly as a gay bar gets, its pumping Europop soundtrack the only concession to the frothier elements of the scene. Although not officially men-only (thanks to a pesky thing known as 'the law') girls are generally about as welcome as crabs at an orgy and to be honest probably wouldn't enjoy the testosterone-heavy atmosphere anyway.

Drawing in an older, butcher (at least in appearance...) crowd than many of its neighbours, Compton's is an immaculately-kept traditional boozer but no-one comes here to appreciate the decor. The drinks offering is pretty much limited to beers and spirits: ask for a Cosmo and you'll attract looks for all the wrong reasons. Grab yourself a pint, find a spot facing or propping up the horseshoe-shaped bar and see if you can catch the eye of some rough-handed brute before getting to know each other in one of the more secluded alcoves around the room. There's an upstairs lounge for those who do just want to drink, but downstairs is where all the fun, and BarCock, is to be found.

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Summers Ln, North Finchley, London N12 0QG, UK Tel: +44 20 3238 0163


Mon - Thurs: 12pm - 11:30pm, Fri - Sat: 12pm - 12am, Sun: 12pm - 10:30pm


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