Liverpool has a long history with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer community and now boasts a population of over 95,000 LGBTQ identifying persons in the metropolitan area. From struggles to success, Liverpool’s LGBTQ community have suffered through adversity and come out the other side as one of the strongest minority groups on Merseyside.
With one of Europe’s largest free Gay Pride festivals, the UK’s most gay-friendly university and the only LGBTQ combined arts organisation in the North of England, Liverpool’s a great city to let your hair down and feel included.
After a turbulent history with the community, Liverpool now prides itself as a friend of the LGBT community and offers a variety of all inclusive venues to ensure that people from all walks of life are welcomed in the vibrant and modern city.
Liverpool was also the first British city to install rainbow motifs on street signs to identify the Gay Quarter and with plans for the next Liverpool Pride to be bigger than ever, the city’s flourishing LGBTQ scene is set to go from strength to strength.
Stanley Street quarter is the city’s officially recognised ‘Gay Quarter’ and offers a wide range of LGBTQ-friendly bars, clubs and pubs. We’ve rounded up the best of the big names and hidden gems of all the gay bars in Liverpool.
One of the newest additions to the thriving Stanley Street Quarter scene since it’s relaunch, Heaven is an after-hours nightclub with a vibrant drag alumni. Heaven has hosted international drag stars, including American icon RuPaul’s UK ambassador: The Vivienne.
You’ll definitely want to end the night at Heaven and with their doors not closing until the early hours of the morning, you can party until the sun comes up.
Expect a mix of LGBTQ and straight, and mingle with the varied crowd, there are loads of drinks on offer including a big selection of shooters, cocktails and beers.
Superstar Boudoir is in the heart of Stanley Street Quarter with a predominantly LGBTQ crowd but appealing to straight clubbers too.
An underground basement club with a well-sized dancefloor, let the DJs provide a ‘Cheese Camp’ and chart soundtrack to your night. Superstar Boudoir is fun and vibrant and guarantees a good night of party action, with resident Queen The Vivienne, who also has residence at Gbar.
The late-night club has a fantastic drag cabaret show that cannot be missed, the shows are always lively and hilarious and will have you coming back again and again.
Grab all your friends and get ready for Liverpool’s premier after hours party. The underground nightclub offers the best house, tech house and classic house music for dancing the night away until 7 am.
The club spans two floors with three unique rooms, choose from the Church Room with altars, holy décor and a performance space, The Bass-ment, for thunderous dance music and drum and bass or Boosh Room, where all music genres come together for the ultimate party.
Gbar attracts a mix of people, including straight but has an incredible safe and uplifting atmosphere.
Garlands is an institution and one of the most famous gay bars in Liverpool. Known for its unmistakable blend of colourful exuberance, outrageous wild entertainment, bold and bonkers performers and huge line up of DJ’s.
Hosting a mixed crowd at weekly dance nights, Garlands offers clubbers the very best of the best music across 2 large rooms and 3 bars.
Garlands set up in 1993 and became synonymous for taking risks with extreme entertainment and being the backbone of the city’s LGBT nightlife. 25 years on, the club still champions this ethos and hopes that a new generation of clubbers will be able to enjoy the magic.
A firm favourite on the LGBTQ scene, the Lisbon is a basement bar that serves tasty pub style food every day. Famed for its beautifully ornate ceiling, enjoy drinks throughout the day in the relaxed atmosphere or let The Lisbon be your venue for a late-night tipple, with doors staying open until 1 am.
Take part in their weekly Psychic Bingo, hosted by their resident drag queen Lady Sian, with a quiz and big prizes to be won.
The Lisbon’s friendly staff and weekend DJs will make sure that everyone feels welcome and accepted and having the time of their lives.
The Masquerade prides itself on being ‘Liverpool’s friendliest gay bar’ and is one of the most well-loved venues in Stanley Street quarter. Party seven days a week from 11 am with live music, resident drag queens performing every weekend and regular theme nights.
If you fancy a singing session, head down to one of The Masquerade’s popular karaoke nights and dance the night away while belting out your favourite tune.
The Navy Bar
Another staple and iconic venues, after a short closure, Navy Bar came back bigger and better than ever, with late opening hours and a glamourous refurb.
Dance the night away with top DJs and fabulous guest hosts and book a private booth for an unforgettable night with your friends.
Sample one of their signature cocktails or purchase one of their advance drinks packages for a special occasion.
A cosy pub nestled on a side street, Jupiter’s Bar spans two floors and is perfect for a relaxed post-work drink. Enjoy entertainment throughout the week with karaoke, live music and theme nights.
Take part in a pool tournament or simply enjoy the quaint atmosphere, Jupiter’s is well loved among the LGBTQ locals and is a great alternative to the abundance of late night LGBT dance clubs.
Last but not least on our guide to the best loved gay bars in Liverpool is Poste House. While not exclusively LGBTQ, Poste House attracts people from all walks of life and being in the Stanley Street Quarter, LGBT patrons are common here.
Poste House dates back to 1820 and is a beautiful building with a traditional vibe. Their title of ‘the cheapest pub in town’ is a name well earned, with house doubles for £1.55 and house trebles for £2.10.
Legend has it that Hitler enjoyed a drink here when he visited Liverpool and Jack the Ripper was also rumoured to have drank in the Cumberland Street pub.
Thankfully, the clientele has developed from dictators and mass murderers and now has a friendly atmosphere with regular live music and a sociable crowd.
So whether you fancy a drag extravaganza, a relaxed atmosphere or a crazy night on the town, there something for everyone in the LGBTQ community in Liverpool. Stanley Street Quarter will always make you feel welcomed and accepted and gives you the freedom to be yourself.
With Liverpool Pride only weeks away, check out what happened last year. Stanley Street Quarter will be the place to be after the parade, with loads of events at these best-loved gay bars in Liverpool.