A slightly more low-key venue than some of the other more ‘in yer face’ gay clubs in London, Vault 139 is situated beneath 139 Whitfield Street.
For those not in the know, it’s the kinda place where what happens in the basement, stays in the basement – if ya get what we mean! Just minutes from Warren Street tube, it’s easily accessible from the City, north London and a short stroll from Soho.
So, whether it’s cruising in your kecks or parading around au naturel, they’re bound to have a night that suits your style of cruising. Owner Andrew Wilkinson chats with QX about what sets the venue apart from other cruise clubs…
What makes Vault 139 different from other venues?
Before opening we said that we wanted to create a clean and safe place that people can go to, to have a great time and not feel ripped off. That’s it. We keep our prices low and try and give as much as we can for the money our customers pay.
“You can have a drink and a chat or you can lose yourself in the back and not be seen for the rest of the evening.”
How would you describe a typical night in the basement to a Vault virgin?
Absolutely terrifying for about two seconds, and then you wonder what you were so scared of. It’s a bar, not a sex dungeon. You can have a drink and a chat or you can lose yourself in the back and not be seen for the rest of the evening. It’s up to you as to what you do. There’s no pressure.
What type of clientele does it attract?
Everybody. You pick a type, we have it. We don’t try and appeal to one segment of society, that would be boring. We pride ourselves on being non-exclusionary so attract a great mix of people.
Can you tell us about one of the wildest nights…
No. We never tell! I will say though that every night, and day for that matter, is wild, bordering on feral, it’s a frenzy. The evenings are as wild as you want them to be.
Vault 139 Dirrty Diary
Open from 1pm, The Vaults Day Cruise is a great way to kick-off your week (or end your weekend) with a bang (ahem). Proving popular on Bank Holidays when those guys that don’t have work can unwind –and undress – you’ll get coat check and your first drink included in the entry price of £6. When 7pm rolls by, the venue merges into Stripped; where clientele will be checking more than just their coat – everything but their shoes, actually. Let it all hang out until 1am.
Day Cruise is like Monday until 7pm when Night Cruise takes over. An evening for those of a less exhibitionist nature to cruise with their clothes on (well, you gotta leave something to the imagination… sometimes anyway.) £7 entry after 7pm includes your first drink in case your appetite isn’t whet already.
Day Cruise until 7pm before the Lockergear Underwear Party takes over until 1am. Exactly what it says on the tin, the underwear party is for men of all ages/types wearing nothing but their locker gear. So briefs, boxers, or jocks – whatever takes your fancy. Why not break up your hectic week of working with a little play?
Enjoy a relaxed (clothes-on) cruise with friendly guys from 1pm, and only £6 entry until 7pm. After that you’ll generally find a much hornier crowd where the only clothing allowed is on your feet. Better get doing them press-ups!
FRIDAY AND SATURDAY
All day Friday and all day Saturday is clothes-on cruising, but that doesn’t mean it’s any harder to get lucky. Use the free drink with entry to give you a little dutch courage and go perusing the venue’s winding tunnels.
Sunday switches the day up a bit, with the Lockergear Underwear Party in the afternoon, for a more ‘alternative’ take on Sunday lunch. And who wants a roast when you can have a spit roast? Expect frolics in everything from jockstraps to long John’s (well, maybe not…). From 7pm Night Cruise continues as usual where you’ll meet clothed guys. How long they stay clothed for is down to the quality of your negotiation techniques.
• Vault is at 139b-143 Whitfield Street, W1T 5EN.