Allan Radcliffe savours a gay venue with a difference in the capital


According to a recent study by Washington’s Urban Institute, which highlighted indicators of a city’s economic success, one of the marks of a thriving urban economy was reportedly a vibrant LGBT scene. While Edinburgh has for many years enjoyed a lively assortment of bars, cafés, shops and community resources, much of it concentrated around the so-called ‘Pink Triangle’ area at the top of Broughton Street and Leith Walk, the clubbing scene has been somewhat neglected of late, with few regular options to rival the monopoly of that venerable old labyrinth, CC Blooms.

It’s therefore hardly surprising that the opening of a quality gay venue, squarely aimed at the ABC1 demographic and bearing the stamp of the G1 Group, which also brought us such popular haunts as Glasgow’s Polo Lounge and Delmonica’s bar, should have generated lines around the block, the likes of which have not been seen in the capital since JK Rowling’s last book signing.

And GHQ doesn’t disappoint, from the eye-catching, stylish décor to the friendliness of the bar staff. The proprietors have recruited the cream of the existing scene’s DJs to provide entertainment seven nights a week and there’s plenty of space to cut a rug over two dancefloors. For those keen to kick back and soak up the atmosphere, white leather sofa beds arranged along the padded walls are thoughtfully provided. Encouragingly, the venue has so far attracted a cross-section of ages and genders.

Even better, the basement bar and nightclub represents merely the first phase of a development which will ultimately also include a boutique hotel, restaurant and cocktail bar. Added to the existing bars, pubs, shops and cafés, perhaps Edinburgh’s Pink Triangle is taking its first steps towards becoming a world class LGBT locale to rival Manchester’s Canal Street.

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