White Swan

White Swan

East Londons leading gay dance bar

Average Reviews


The White Swan on Commercial Road has long been a beloved staple of London's gay nightlife. Renowned for its unique character and lively atmosphere, it's more than just a bar – it's a cultural icon with over 30 years of history in the LGBTQ+ community.

The White Swan, affectionately known as BJ's White Swan, is famed for its eclectic and entertaining offerings. From camp DJ club nights and drag shows to piano singalongs and bingo, the venue ensures a diverse range of activities for its patrons. Its celebrated basement club, known for its late license, hosts a variety of promoter-presented parties, adding to the bar's reputation for fun and inclusivity. Special nights like the "Way Out Club" cater to a broad spectrum of the LGBTQ+ community, emphasizing a safe and welcoming space for all.

But it's not just about the entertainment. The White Swan's history is woven into the fabric of London's LGBTQ+ scene. Icons like Michael Barrymore and Sir Ian McKellen have graced its space, adding to its allure. The venue's décor, though not overly quaint, contrasts its industrial, warehouse-style aesthetic with lively elements, such as soft-porn videos that add a cheeky charm to the atmosphere.

The bar's clientele is as varied as its entertainment, with a mix of local East Enders and visitors from Essex and beyond, creating a vibrant and energetic crowd. The White Swan's amateur strip contests and drag performances are particularly noteworthy, drawing both young and bold participants and enthusiastic audiences.



White Swan
Based on 81 reviews
Marcin Pajor
18:18 03 May 24
It says they are open from 5 pm on Fridays, but when I got there at 7 pm, it was closed.
James Clark
10:11 13 Apr 24
what ever happened to the white swan! I used to go here about 25 years ago and it was rammed. Why has our community abandoned this place!? Could it be the £10 entrance fee, the excessive security, the retro decor? I went on Friday night with two friends and we were the only people there 😳
Laura Ella
23:49 06 Jan 24
Website and google state that it’s open when it’s not. Wasted £25 in taxis. Tried to call the number numerous times but no answer. States open til 3.30am but not open when we arrived at 11.30pm.
Ibrar Khan
23:16 04 Jan 24
I want to make a LGBT membership card please.ca you tell me please
Amy H
03:06 19 Nov 23
The bouncer looks like the Rock named shazz helped me and my friends when she got a but drunk and management good too. Love shazz
Grant Whelan
17:23 13 Nov 23
I my self am straight but I went with a few mates and 2 of which are lgbt+ so have no problem in going it was a night out for he’s birthday after all you pay 10£ to get in and the place is empty until a couple of hours before closing and when you get it the stuff try to get you to buy drink after drink being pushy I assume coz it’s empty and they try to make as much money of each person as possible they had a go at us when we wasn’t drinking and buying fast enough and this made us uncomfortable and in the end we called our losses and left but defo don’t recommend
Christopher Styles
01:30 13 Oct 23
Amazing bar / club space. Very friendly staff, and top atmosphere 👌
Eudis Anjos
00:16 08 Jul 23
I moved to Limehouse 7 months ago. I came here three times and in all of them I paid 10 pounds for an empty place. Maximum of 5 people. So please take this into considerations if you come.I give up! It is always empty and that is not what I like when Ingo out for drinks. It is sad since my old friends told me this was a very busy and good music bar.Note: why the door men are so rude?what is the point? Put people away?
Paul Durie
19:14 30 Apr 23
Smaller space up top with larger club space downstairs. Staff are friendly and drinks aren't overly expensive
Alexandra Hughes
07:40 22 Apr 23
Amazing night - staff super friendly, drinks were great and music was 10/10.
Tyler Kit Lee House
11:10 25 Sep 22
£10 entry, wasn't a problem it's what I'd pay to get into most clubs, gents were clean, however the bar was dead, heard so many stories of this being the place to go to end your evening, however the venue must have only had about 20 people inside, maximum, which is confusing as on the door I was told it was an event night. Didn't stay long, not the best clubbing experience.
Zionna D.
14:35 13 Sep 22
Best Sex Vacation Package with pussyred.com 1. Book Now Sex Resort2. Night Club!!3. 4-24 hr. Companions4. Complitmentary Drinks/ Cigar On Arrival5. 20%...
Thomas J R
15:33 31 Jul 22
Venue is still fun and convenient for the east London gay crowd but the security are miserable and often looking to pick fights with punters in the way you expect from straight venues. Prices are insanely high but that might just be the general inflation BS.
Janet Luzy
19:34 28 Jul 22
This is a place that warms my heart, I have been coming here for many many years and met my amazing partner Suzanna here. It has been renovated about 8 years ago and I like it, air conditioning makes a massive difference from when I first came over 20 years ago. Just want to say thank you White Swan, lovely friendly staff, always great music and Djs. Keep up the good work x x
Thom P
10:50 16 Jul 22
Usually £10-15 entry and then £10.35 for a single JD & Coke. So hit or miss depending on the promoter/ event night. Would be better to run entertainment/ nights themselves rather than using promoters to ensure consistency and price. Security never seem friendly or welcoming, however the bar staff do serve quickly which is good. Can often be empty so they only use one space within the bigger club.
wayne horridge
14:34 28 Apr 22
Went on Saturday evening to be charged £15 to enter and £6 for a pint of Fosters. Sadly I won’t be returning. This was the first ever LGBT venue I started using as I was coming out.
David Gerome
12:34 07 Nov 21
Had a great time .will be back
Alex Who
00:58 30 Oct 21
10£ entrance6£ for a ciderCame for the basement, closedMore than half straightDecor hasn’t been change for 20 yearsReally not what I was expectedCan be approve
Sheerie Griffiths
12:30 29 Oct 21
fantastic night out would definitely go again
Juan Lucci
23:35 01 Oct 21
Bad music, always empty and very expensive drinks (and bad quality)
13:09 25 Jul 21
Fantastic bar. Friendly and so much fun x
Robert Mann
16:19 10 Dec 19
I been coming here over 30 years a go they always make me feel welcome great venue nice Decor great Entertainment friendly bar staff great Atmosphere
John Glynn
11:33 05 Apr 19
i do miss the older layout but it is what it is havent been in a long time but never had a problem there managed properly nice friendly staff great atmosphere 👍
Robert M.
09:47 02 Dec 18
I been coming to this venue over 30 years They always made me feel welcome great Entertainment Friendly staff Good DJS a great party Atmosphere we'll Recommend
Voytek Burak
16:46 12 Jun 18
Cleveland Glenn, Jr.
22:36 20 Feb 17
I've been here a couple of times for Cybil's House and always have a great time.The atmosphere is really friendly, from the doorstaff at the entrance to the queer party goers on the dancefloor and all the performances inbetween.It's a cozy venue with three rooms across two floors with comfy seating on the sides so I can easily go from dancing like beyoncé to singing-a-long to a pop classic to chatting about drag inspirations on a sofa and then starting all over again.
Mike Carr
17:41 12 Feb 17
Plus points: very clean, well finished, sound system really good.Negatives: We came on a Friday and even at 22:30 it was dead. Music was spooled playing the same tracks 9 times in one hour - this is just plain lazy (I'm not joking).Left not sure what the place is really meant to be. Is it Gay or is it Straight? It really needs to reinforce it's identity.I prefer to go to Soho or Vauxhall for a gay night out as you know what you're getting there.
Jeremy E.
09:14 24 Sep 16
Opens at 8pm on Saturday, not 5pm.I suppose I'm reviewing the Yelp review/info not the actual establishment but...
David Cheesman
16:54 19 Jan 15
I have been frequenting The White Swan for many years now and I have to say it has a special place in my heart. They always have something to offer for everyone. Music is always great and the acts are top notch. If you've never been yet then I recommend you give it a try, It's all been refurbished with a basement night-club due to be open in summer, so an exciting time!
Adrian S.
03:41 30 May 10
I am always disappointed with this place. I hate the fact that you can go on a Sunday night and there is no more than 20 people in there and they want to...

White Swan reviews from Google Maps, Yelp and WhereIs.Gay


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Last Updated

29 January 2024

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