The London gay scene, much like Wayne Rooney’s hairline, has fluctuated, mutated and diminished since the millennium. A plethora of happening gay drinking holes and night clubs have appeared, done a stint – then poof! Disappeared.
One bar that stood out, due to her lengthy sentence and touch of the David Bowie’s – her unique edge – is The Box.
The Box bar was perched on the edge of Covent Garden’s Seven Dials, a good distance away from tempting forbidden fruit trees and tricker-ous serpents of Soho. Faraway enough you didn’t end up attempting a Grey-Goose-infused suspended pirouette on the pole, attached to the plinth in the Shadow Lounge in the wee hours on a school night – we’ve all been there.
The Box had abundant fundamentals, she was an ever-changing art gallery – local and other UK based artists would cake the walls with their creative wares. She was a relaxed café during the day, somewhere you could pop by for a decaf skinny mocha, Bloody Mary or a cold-as-Sarah-Palin’s-love-organ pint of Stella – even a spot luncheon with chums, or indeed on your Jack, and without feeling as though you were sporting last season’s spring/summer.
At around 6pm the after-work-dollies would flock into bitch about their colleagues, moan about their boyf’s or simply lift spirits from a hard day’s vaporising from behind the Lancôme counter at Selfridges, or boast about a successful pick-up at the gym.
During the summer said swarm would spill out on to Monmouth street thus making Seven Dials and its lagoon-life your canvas.
Thursdays to Saturdays at around 9pm the tables in the centre on the bar were whisked away, the tunes were pumped up and The Box became the first anchor-drop of the night for the beefy-singlet donors, disco-bears and glitter-ball-swinging brigade.
The Box didn’t fit the stereotypical gay bar box – she was squares above the rest.
For moi and my compadres from 2000 up until The Box closed in 2009, she was the Rovers Return of our lives.
I’ve lived in the Old Smoke since 1999 with a career in fashion, fitness and events. I discovered the joys of writing beginning of 2014. Since then I’ve been tapping digits to keys. Subjects include food, theatre, exhibitions, London life and other topics that tickle my taste-buds. Other publications include Timeout, Gay Times and So So Gay Magazine.
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