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6 Queer and lesbian bars in Brighton

Robyn Exton

Sep 16, 2022

6 Queer and lesbian bars in Brighton
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  • Alright, folks: what’s better than a night out? A night out in a hot spot entirely dedicated to the queer community. The community of queer nightlife creates an environment where we, queer people, can stay safe and party our faces off. Lesbian bars are particularly special, as they’ve been, historically, chill places for women to connect with other women. 

    Sadly, there’s been a decline in lesbian bars post-pandemic… but that doesn’t mean there still aren’t places for our sapphics to enjoy a well-deserved night of fun in a queer-friendly space. To help ease your search, we’ve assembled a list of LGBTQ+ bars in Brighton.

    Dance club with foam parties? Check. Artsinally crafted cocktails? Yep, we’ve got those too. Brothels turned queer pubs? Wow! Drag? Of course. Whether you’re trying to spend all night to 80s pop or prefer a night sitting down with a slice of pizza (or several), we’ve got options.


    Velvet Jacks

    If you’re looking for a more “sit-down-and-chill” sort of Queer Night Out, Velvet Jacks is a fabulous option. This intimate bar is known for its cocktails (espresso martinis, anyone?), but it’s also got mouthwatering dishes, like pizza and toasties. 

    While not explicitly a lesbian bar, it was voted Best Women’s Bar and is very popular among a femme crowd. For added fun, the bar hosts monthly quiz nights, live music, and themed fancy dress parties. Bring a date or a small group of friends for a night of cosy fun. 

    Best for: a chill night in or a starting place to begin a wild night out. 


    The Actors (Formerly The Marlborough Pub and Theatre)

    If you can’t resist a salacious past, you’re in luck. What was once a brothel and “pleasure garden” (yes, this is actually what they were called), the Actors is now a relaxed, historical, and most important, very queer bar.  

    The Actors’ (formerly known as the Marlborough) LGBT+ roots stem from when it served as the meeting place of the Sussex Gay Liberation Front, formed by University students in February of 1971. They held weekly meetings, fortnightly discos, and myriad other cultural, queer events that helped foster a stronger LBGT+ community in Brighton. 

    It also served as a performance space for hundreds and hundreds of LGBT+ artists, including Travis Albanza, Lucy McCormick, Harry Clayton-Wright, Big Freedia, Mykki Blanco, David Hoyle, and so many more. 

    Although there was a brief pause during the pandemic, The Actors continues to live up to its colourful history. Swing by for open mic nights, trivia, DJ sessions and classes, theme nights, and pizza!

    Best for: a solo date or dinner with a small group of friends 


    Club Revenge

    If sequin tops and platform dance shoes are more your vibe, then head on down to Club Revenge. And yes, the spot lives up to its very badass names. Club Revenge is a three-floor venue known for its foam parties (what?), UV parties (yes, please), and theme nights (count us in). 

    But the fun doesn’t stop there. Since the club is divided into three floors, visitors always have something new to explore. Capture memories at the magic mirror photo booth, celebrate a special occasion in the VIP booths or take in the oceanic horizon from the rooftop bar. But do not, we repeat, do not go swimming if you’ve been drinking Having fun = safety first. 

    One final note: While Club Revenge is not explicitly a lesbian bar or club, it’s incredibly queer-friendly and a great option if you feel like partying until the sun comes up. 

    Best for: wild nights out, big groups of friends, ending a night. 


    Charles Street Tap

    Got a thing for pub fare? Look no further than Charles Street Tap. We’re obsessed with the menu here. Between freshly-stretched pizza, fish and chips, tapas, Sunday Roast, and bottomless brunch, the menu at Charles Street Tap is so extensive that it’s easy to find something you are guaranteed to love. 

    But the menu isn’t the only thing Charles Street has to offer. Whether it’s their famous cabaret, award-winning DJs, or drag-led quiz nights, there’s always something fun (and gay!) to do. 

    Craft beer, a collection of gin, an award-winning cabaret, and a wide menu of mouth-watering fare… What more could you want? At Charles Street Tap, you’ll find everything you could possibly need for a fabulous night (or day) out.

    Best for: groups, birthday parties, a unique date. 

    Note: they have a strict no hen/stag party policy! 


    Arcobaleno

    Part café, part bar, part restaurant, and part event space, Arcobaleno is one of those LGBT+ joints designed to satisfy every craving your queer heart may desire. They pride themselves on their pizza and, well, their Pride! 

    As is implied in its namesake (archobaleno means rainbow in Italian), the spot was founded by the same family as Across Rainbows, an LGBT+ organization designed to help queer people find and claim their sense of self. (And we STAN a bar with a mission, ya’ll.)

    And their calendar of events?? Pshh, don’t even get us started! From drag queen smackdowns to quiz nights to cabarets, there’s a little slice of everything at this queer, Brighton staple.

    Best for: literally anything! 


    Brighton Bent Double Comedy

    While not necessarily a lesbian bar, Brighton Bent Double Comedy is MC’d by lesbian comic Zoe Lyons (seen on at the Apollo and on BBC, Celebrity MasterChef and Mock The Week) and well worth a visit, especially if your ideal night out includes uncontrollable fits of laughter.  

    Brighton Bent Double Comedy is also a fabulous way to see and discover some of the best LGBT+ comedy acts that the UK has to offer. Make a night of it and stop by one of the aforementioned bars for dinner and end the evening by laughing your panties off with the comics at Brighton Bent.

    Best for: a night with friends or a unique date

    Robyn Exton

    Robyn is the CEO & Founder of HER the world's largest brand for LGBTQ womxn & queer people. Also runs London Queer Fashion Show. Find her on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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