Comptons of Soho

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Comptons of Soho in 2012
Comptons of Soho stands on Old Compton Street in Soho in the West End of London. Old Compton Street is regarded as the gay street in London, and Comptons is the original gay bar located on that street.

It was built as "the Swiss Hotel" in 1890, and renamed "Swiss Tavern" in the 1950s, being already known as "not entirely straight".[1]

By 1986 the Swiss Tavern had been renovated and renamed "Comptons Of Soho" as a gay bar.[2] In November 2006 it celebrated its twentieth anniversary, at which time QX Magazine referred to it as "The Grand Dame of Queer Street" [2]

It is a traditional British pub, formerly with a central bar which one could walk right around, now moved to the side to give more space to punters. It has been described as Britain's highest grossing pub for its size.

Famous people who frequented

Poets Dylan Thomas and Brian Howard (when it was called the Swiss). Film director Derek Jarman was often seen drinking in Comptons.


51-53 Old Compton Street, Soho, London W1D 6HJ. The earlier address is at 21 & 22 Old Compton Street; at 53 Old Compton Street by 1901.[3]

See Timeline of West End Bars and Clubs.


  2. 2.0 2.1