The Backstreet (Closed Temporarily)

 
93% love it
  14
GayCities Members report that The Backstreet is temporarily closed, let us know if it has re-opened
London's oldest leather bar
Practically untouched since its April 1985 opening (with dusty boots dangling from the ceiling to prove it), John Edwards's bar Backstreet abides by its strict fetish dress code, and the pay-off for its loyal leather and rubber clientele is an unfussy, dark and atmospheric cruising space — the closest thing London has to an old-style European leather bar, complete with red-lit and blue-lit sections. Its one concession to the 21st century is a candlelit and part-heated outdoor smoking zone with an industrial, storage-area feel. From here you get a view of the rest of the building above, and it quite aptly resembles a ruin. Post-10pm Friday and Saturday hours enforce the dress code, while the 6–10pm slots cater to special interests including office-wear enthusiasts Gentlemen (first Tue). From February 2019 Backstreet staged its first ever totally casual events, Backstreet Unzipped, now every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 6pm–10pm: Wed and Sat = naked, while Sun = naked, underwear and fetish. In January 2014, following a period of relatively lacklustre attendance, leather, rubber and cigar aficionado Brew Hunter hit big with new night Mastery ('leather, smoke & submission'), albeit with an upped entrance fee. Mastery has inspired other regular nights including the DJ-led Meat Rack. Online-led event Rubbermen of London (younger and shinier) launched in December 2017 but in 2020 was replaced by MJ Palmer's LTX. Formal-wear leather specialist org BLUF also stages its events here, plus fetish- and cigar-friendly Ignite. MuscleBear (same strict dress code) debuted late November 2019. Plus fetish-themed Fridays including sports, skins and pups. In short, London's finest fetish establishment, with leather waistcoats available to borrow should you arrive in only textiles. Beware very strict boot policy, though these too are available from the ever friendly and accommodating cloakroom. Naked club Buff moved from here to Bunker [see entry] in January 2019. Developers have been trying to give Backstreet the boot for many years — the rest of the building is dormant — but it appears to be chained to the premises (thanks to a sympathetic local council). In 2019 Backstreet won yet another stay of execution, with a certain fanfare in the press, but the future remains uncertain. Located just a minute's walk from Mile End tube station on the District and Central lines.

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    • DavidOPerson
      DavidOPerson Over a year ago
      Loves it

      The ultimate den of iniquity for rubber and leather pursuits, whether 40 in attendance or 240. Organic, a bit festery, nice.

    • CKDexterHaven
      CKDexterHaven Over a year ago
      Loves it

      Atmosphere. Music. Patina.

    • chriskingry
      chriskingry Over a year ago
      Loves it

      Loved it
      A real leather bar with real leather men!

    • Mattbb
      Mattbb Over a year ago
      Hates it

      what a disappointment
      20 years ago this was the fetish place to be. Now its almost empty apart from a few guys talking about opera. The scene has moved on this place hasnt

    • Henrik
      Henrik Over a year ago
      Loves it

      Nice and relaxed leather bar

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