Something of an institution, these are after-work drinks at a venue where you wouldn’t usually expect to have a gay night out. Think of it as ‘the best gay bar in London tonight’, a pop-up kind of affair. And we’ve done it everywhere: Somerset House, The Ace, The Sanderson, The Club at The Ivy, St. Martins Lane Hotel, Corinthia, Café Royale, The Ned… Even The Gotham in Manchester.
We take over a whole restaurant – usually a new and a buzzy one – and members come to eat, drink and table hop. Yotam Ottolenghi himself popped in to say hello at the one we had at Nopi, while Cub in Hoxton went on to feature on the cover – the cover! – of Condé Nast Traveller.
Through our contacts we bag free preview screenings of the gay films and TV shows everyone is desperate to see whether it’s the Oscar-winning Moonlight, Call Me By Your Name, Philomena or The Danish Girl or series like Will & Grace (we saw it first when they made their comeback) and Looking.
Because there are so many of us, we can take over small theatres and have the night to ourselves including having members of the cast come out to have drinks and chats with us after the show. We’ve done these at small venues like Trafalgar Studios and Kings Head Theatre but we’re looking to grow.
When we take over a shop after hours, they get the fizz on ice and the discounts at the ready. With no pressure to buy anything at all, it’s an opportunity for retailers like Paul & Joe, Coach and Bally to showcase in as creative a way as they can, often with a goodie bag and a prize to go with it. Oh and the fizz.
Not that Dame Joan Collins needs us to showcase her talents but she did turn up at The May Fair, tell stories, read from her book, submit to an interview by our founder (and her friend) Ivan Massow, take questions from us and then go upstairs to mix, mingle, sign books and get selfies done. Then we had singers Josef Salvat and Peyton all to ourselves at The Ace. It’s just the beginning.
An occasional event (we’ve done four of the last five years) that usually gets totally out of hand in a venue in the thick of the action so you have somewhere to go and drink some decent quality drinks, look down on the crowd and are able to use a civilised bathroom. And if you start making out at the bar, no one will bat even an eyelid.
Coming soon… Offers and discounts with selected Jake venues and partners.