Join GayCities, the fun way to discover the world
See where your friends and people like you are going and what they say about places and events worldwide.

Male-dominant Soho institution
Cruisy, non-precious two-floor pub attracting non-perfumed guys, including leathermen in day wear, bikers and bears. Consistently busy, with men often spilling out onto the pavement. Now a bit like the now-defunct and glorious Coleherne, but not quite as convincingly sleazy. In short, vanilla in the rough. Upstairs bar is decidedly more decorative and sit-down/relaxed. Great for standing with a drink outside, watching the catwalk in action. Managed with aplomb on and off between 1998 and March 2017 by popular guv'nor Neil Hodgson, whose attention to detail included a carpet woven for Comptons from a pattern used aboard the Titanic and sister ship the Olympic. Hodgson left London, but the carpet remains. The building, which dates from 1890 and was damaged during the Second World War, originally housed The Swiss Hotel, which then became The Swiss Tavern and, in 1986, Comptons (originally with a bar down the middle dividing the room into two spaces). Nearby compatible watering holes include the King's Arms and the less cruisy Duke of Wellington [see entries]. In May 2017 Comptons changed hands, now under the domain that also includes the Duke of Wellington, King's Arms, Admiral Duncan and Rupert Street. In June 2017 the hugely popular Monday deal — £2.50 for most drinks, from 5pm ― shrank to a mean minimum, limited to the not so gay-popular Carling lager and various spirits. Leather Alert: monthly, friendly and cruisy all-ages Leather Social, started up by Simon Allen in early 2013, meets every first Sunday from 5pm until 10.30pm in the upstairs bar.

Tags: Mostly Men, Leather, Bears, Cruise Bar, Pub/Tavern, Smoking Area, Outdoor Patio

53 Old Compton St (Wardour St)
London, England W1D 6HN

(207) 096-5470
Mon to Thu noon—11.30pm; Fri and Sat noon—midnight; Sun noon—10.30pm