Having been driving all around by the Feel Good Cafe looking for this bar which is apparently on the same street, I finally found it on the Mao Tse Tong Blvd end of 21 Street at the back of the Russian Embassy. Why did it take me so long to find it? Well, it had been advertised on Grindr, but only its name – 21 Bar – was given, together with a short piece of copy saying “New Gay Bar”.
Anyway, so with only the number 21 to go on, I felt pretty good when I actually found the place. So, is it a new gay bar? Well . . . No. Not really. So, you’re probably wondering why we’re listing it, right? Well, here’s the thing: it is gay-owned, managed and staffed; the clientele was more than half gay; the drinks were awesome; the food was good; and we had a great time!
The bar is stylish and caters for a middle-class and upper clientele who like to dress up. Here, it is the customers who are encouraged to look good, so while the staff are certainly not ugly, please don’t expect to find them running around with no shirts on. Even though the bar has not yet officially opened, I spotted a princess and a prominent politician while I was there. The bar is also already busy and very mixed. We looked around the place and guessed the ratio of about 60% gay to 40% straight.
This is the perfect venue if you want to spot the odd celebrity, impress a date, network, take your friends and meet for dinner. And, while it looks expensive, it is not: the super-strong cocktails won’t cost you more than $3.5; a glass of draft beer is $1.25. There is also food coming to the menu, featuring a tasty menu that skips comfortably from burgers to salads, to $1 each oysters. It was certainly comprehensive enough for us at our table, and the quality was very good, and it should be, as the owners of this bar also own the very fashionable and popular caravan restaurant.
To sum up, this bar is a great alternative to what is otherwise on offer on the traditional gay scene and will definitely give you a different and unique experience.