Restaurant Brighton's guide to
LGBTQ+ bars Brighton
Our top picks
Club Revenge is arguably the most famous LGBTQ+ nightclub in Brighton, hosting shows from the biggest stars from RuPaul’s Drag Race to international pop stars and DJs. Spread out over three floors, the nightclub offers a large main room with state-of-the-art LED screens and lighting systems, themed VIP booths, and a magic mirror photo booth. The upper-level dancefloor is equipped with a breath-taking LED lighting array, Berlin-inspired décor, dancing cages and more VIP areas. To top things off, their amazing roof terrace has spectacular views over the city, the sea, and the pier and is open from late afternoon. It’s sister venue, R-Bar, is just around the corner (see below).
32-34 Old Steine, Brighton, BN1 1EL
The two-level R-Bar bills itself as a ‘feisty’ place to sample ‘super cheap’ drinks, meaning it attracts a lot of students from our city’s two universities as they warm up for the night. Neon signs, pro-lighting and a DJ booth set the scene at night; the upper floor has panoramic seafront views during the afternoon.
5-7 Marine Parade, Brighton, BN2 1TA
Charles Street Tap
Charles Street Tap has been a staple of gay Brighton for around 20 years, and underwent a major refurbishment a few years ago. The bar calls itself ‘The Queen of Craft’, nodding to their array of craft beers and rare gins. Like many queer venues, cabaret is at the heart of the entertainment, but there are also DJ nights, drag bingo and quizzes to keep you on your tippy toes following a fill of their fresh stone-baked pizzas.
8 Marine Parade, Brighton, BN2 1TA
Replacing the saucy after-dark Subline venue, Nautilus is a grand-piano brandishing chillout venue with live singers and comfy sofas in underwater-themed surroundings. Surreal, cavernous and oddly decorated, it offers great cocktails and service and is well worth a visit. We can’t promise you’ll meet your sailor, but get ready to dive in just in case.
129/130 St James Street, Brighton BN2 1TH
If you can sing the showtunes and adore treading the boards (or pretending to) then this musicals and cabaret-focused pub-bar is your ‘On Broooooadway’ spot. Refurbished inside and out for 2022, it’s a roaringly good time and busy on the weekends. Get your best voice on and prepare to be entertained!
10 Steine St, Kemptown, Brighton BN2 1TY
This sleek cocktail space burst onto the scene to offer Icelandic ice bar-like lighting, a friendly mixed crowd and a penchant for quality spirits, as well as drag cabaret, in a welcoming venue. Booking is advised Thursday to Sundays.
129 St James’s St, Kemptown, Brighton, BN2 1TH
Centre Stage Brighton is new for 2022. Formerly called The Amsterdam, the venue has been, well, centre stage in Brighton’s seafront series of gay bars for decades. The recent name change and refurbishment has breathed new life into the place, sprucing up the interior and the sizeable sea-view terrace out front. Musicals and movies are prominent themes within, most of them aimed at a gay male clientele, who are in store for some drag cabaret and live music showtime.
11 Marine Parade, Brighton, BN2 1TL
The Queens Arms
The Queens Arms something of a Brighton gay institution, with its brightly painted pink exterior which is adorned with rainbow flags and depictions of the city’s legendary drag acts. Glittery, camp and fun, it’s a must-visit for a right-royal gay-ol’ knees up.
7-8 George Street, Brighton, BN2 1RH
Slap bang in the centre of St James’s Street is Lé Village, with its front terrace providing a great people watching spot. Drag nights are almost every night, as is Thai food, to be washed down with an array of cocktails and beers.
2-3 High St, Kemptown, Brighton BN2 1RP
A bedrock of Brighton’s gay pub partying since 1979, The Bulldog is a karaoke and poptastic dancefloor pub with dark corners and disco lighting. It’s a no-frills kind of place and all the better for it, with great drinks deals and an up-for-it, mixed crowd.
31 St James’s Street, Brighton, BN2 1RF
The Camelford Arms
Seconds from the sea and serving up massive-portion pub grub comforts, The Camelford Arms is a bare brick, double-fireplaced LGBTQ+ venue with a long bar and a friendly vibe, with a quirky Moroccan patio at the rear. Expect a fun, over-30, mixed-but-mainly-gay-male crowd.
30-31 Camelford Street, Brighton, BN2 1TQ
A sun trap queer bar thanks to its large sea-view terrace, Legends Resort Brighton is now under new ownership, sporting a new wood-panelled décor and a refreshed seating and bar area. A popular afternoon drinking destination by day, its cavernous Basement Club is the after dark party spot, offering resident nights including the eclectic-tunes of Glitter Curious (often mixing Dua Lipa with Dolly Parton, Beyoncé with Blondie) and Friday Night Shift with more upfront dance anthems.
31-34 Marine Parade, Brighton, BN2 1TR
Fresh on the scene from June 2022 is Arcobaleno (which means ‘rainbow’ in Italian). As the name suggests, it’s a welcoming LGBTQ+ venue with an expansive garden and a beautifully designed bar, which serves some mean cocktails! Local drag acts strut their stuff, inviting you to laugh, wine taste, win quizzes and so much more. Arcobaleno also runs workshops for our communities on a range of topical issues.
120 St George’s Rd, Brighton, BN2 1EA
With a name this like, you’d expect some relation to performing arts, and The Actors is located below the theatre in in the iconic Marlborough Hotel building in Brighton, which has a long history of staging LGBTQ+ productions. Relaunched just a few years ago, the décor is deep colours and wooden panelling, and the bar is split right down the middle into two distinct rooms. It’s chilled, warm and friendly – no drama, despite the name! And the pizzas are delicious…
4 Prince’s St, Brighton, BN2 1RD
The Kemptown Klub
Tucked away on an unassuming residential road, The Kemptown Klub is a small private members venue, open to new members at no charge, and to over-25s only. The ground floor offers a tranquil lounge bar, serving up cocktails (the Aperol Spritz is a winner) and a good selection of continental beers as well as Cornish cider. Downstairs is a small nightclub where 80s and 90s-themed night run regularly. Owners Peter and Rachel are known faces on the Brighton scene, having run LGBTQ+ venues across the city over many years. They trade on a warm welcome and, if you want to hear some gossip from gay Brighton gone by, this could be just the place…
75 St George’s Road, Brighton, BN2 1EF
Near Brighton’s main train station and bordering the famous North Laine quarter, Ironworks is the city’s Brighton Pride-owned LGBTQ+ performance space and TV studio. It offers a frankly incredible programme of musicians, comedians, drag queens and poets alongside emerging theatre productions. It is the home of one of Brighton’s best comedy nights, Stephen Grant’s Forge Comedy Club, with its roster of top-class comedians that have included Ramesh Ranganathan, Russell Kane, Sarah Pascoe and Zoe Lyons. All productions also support LGBTQ+ charities and community groups, including the Brighton Rainbow Fund, the Pride Community Foundation and Pride Cultural Development Fund.30 Cheapside, Brighton, BN1 4GD
31-34 Marine Parade, Brighton, BN2 1TR
West Brighton Queer Quarter
The Bedford Tavern
Housed in a mock-Tudor building, this cosy pub has wooden beams and snugs to see in the evening. Catering to a mixed crowd, it hosts an array of fun-filled events, including the infamous Bonkers Musical Bingo. Its Sunday roasts are popular, so it’s best to book. There are even sort-of-sea views from its small outdoor terrace, which it’s best to use only when the sun shines.
30 Western St, Hove, Brighton BN1 2PG
Under new ownership from spring 2022, The Grosvenor has undergone a complete refurbishment and is a sister bar to St James’s Street’s Affinity. Small, welcoming, glisteningly new, it offers regular drag entertainment and a mixed crowd.
16 Western Street, Brighton, BN1 2PH