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“A shadow of its former self”
Review of The City of Quebec

The City of Quebec
Ranked #949 of 1,284 Nightlife in London
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The City of Quebec is a traditional late night London pub with a night club bar down stairs. We serve food 12 to 6pm mon to Sunday. Our club bar is also available for private hire.
Useful Information: Food available for purchase
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“A shadow of its former self”
Reviewed 3 August 2014

I am afraid I have to agree with patrick o. This used to be a near-legendary venue, a cruisy and busy gay bar catering for the age ranges that had grown out of their Soho years (charmingly nicknamed 'Elephant's Graveyard' for that reason), and still wanted the occasional fun night out - maybe along with a few younger patrons, representing the commercial-minded spirit for which our capital has always been famous.

At some point (one of the many changes of management?) they started to 'tidy up' their act, invested in some new furniture and lighting, to give it the ambience of an upmarket Whetherspoons/down-market All-Bar-One, and got rid of the murkier corners that used to make it a fun place for the gay crowd that was there for a pick-up. They introduced a few drag show nights, to make it listable in 'respectable' gay publications, installed CCTV in the loos and started to encourage straight shoppers to visit by 'toning down' the gay side, and now the downstairs bar is largely closed on the fewer and fewer occasions I happen to drop in. That may all be understandable from a management point of view in the time of an economic crisis, but it has effectively destroyed a great gay venue.

Unfortunately their cost-saving policy has also resulted in constantly low staff levels, with high staff turnover, so that you're often served by total (miserable and stressed-looking) newbies who can make you wait for anything up to 20 minutes on a not particularly busy afternoon or night. In the early evenings there are now often more groups of jolly women than men (nothing wrong about that, just a bit strange, considering that this place wants to be a gay venue), and I have seen it half-dead on a Saturday night, and I'm not picking up the Elephant's Graveyard image again. There will always be the groups of gay OAPs for whom this has been their regular for decades, making a half pint last the whole evening, but even their numbers seem to be shrinking. So maybe, as a consequence, they should just get rid of that rainbow flag at the entrance altogether, and start to market themselves as an extension of Primark?

Visited July 2014
17 Thank Aloysius O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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121 reviews from our community

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English first
Canterbury, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Gone downhill”
Reviewed 26 July 2014

This used to be a great gay venue, with mainly older clientele, and always crowded. Last Saturday it was dire. Just six customers dotted about the place, despite outside heaving with people on a very hot and traffic-ridden Oxford Street. I was charged £2.20 for a small glass of Coke which wasn't even filled beyond four fifths full. What a rip-off. Just two staff, one female, clearly not enjoying her job, and one much older guy, neither of whom were especially customer-orientated. Where did all the young men behind the bar go, that used to be here?

The toilets were dirty and dowdy, and the whole place looked like it desperately needed a makeover. Is it actually still a gay pub? Apart from a few odd gay mags at the side, one would never know.

After years of occasionally dropping in, it being one of my favourite pubs when in London, no more. That was the last visit, unless someone tells me I just hit a bad day.

Visited May 2014
11 Thank patrick o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Abingdon, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 June 2014 via mobile

We found this pub after a long say out and about in London. Clean and tidy, helpful staff, music was just loud enough but not obtrusive, stayed for a few drinks.
Be warned the side street is like a wind tunnel.. But in the summer it will be a welcome relief from the heat.

Visited June 2014
Thank JayJLB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David B, Manager at The City of Quebec, responded to this review, 24 November 2015
Thanks for your respond hope to see you soon
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“city of quebec”
Reviewed 13 June 2014

This is an old London gay pub there is not many in London like this one, its in a great place and the set up is quiet good , upstairs a normal pub, down stairs a disco and a nice quiet area where you can drink and relax yes its for the older people and that's its charm, of course you get the younger people that looks for the older person and why not if it works for both parties, on a Friday Saturday it closes at 3am.

This is the only real place in London where the older crowded gather and can feel comfortable, yes this pub/disco is old style but if you try to change it then it will be destroyed, and the older crowed that go there will simply stop, this is old gay London at its best, I have seen on many occasion an 75 year old on the the dance floor dancing like there is no tomorrow, and may I say he is a great dancer, I look at him with respect and I only wish at his age I will be as fit as he is

There is no other place in London the older gay crowd can go and feel normal,

barmen come and go some good some bad, that's life. if your 60 and want a good night out with nice people then visit this place, as in my eyes, pub/disco like this is a dieing breed, not to be missed.

Visited March 2014
7 Thank darren k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 10 May 2014 via mobile

This place seemed really empty when I entered, even though most of the tables were taken. Interior design would need to be redone! The variety of beverages are average at best and the bar staff polite. The kitchen seemed to be closed by time I got there. The clientel seemed to be relatively nice and the location are really great near Oxford street. All in all, it's an average pub that I wouldn't return to, unless it's greatly improved...

Thank Emil G
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.

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