Balans celebrates 30 years!


Balans is a passionate pantheon of porn star martinis

We all know Balans don’t we! We’ve all sat and deconstructed our nights out at 4am in the Soho one – waving a chip about and sloshing our porn star martinis everywhere, going on about how Darryl in Comptons wouldn’t snog us, and how Clive who works at Foot Locker once shagged Graham Norton.

Well NOW, Balans are celebrating their thirtieth anniversary! Feel old yet?!

After three decades, they’re still going strong – stronger than ever in fact, with a new branch having recently opened in Clapham. Aah Clapham. Home of tight t-shirts and plucked eyebrows, and drag queens named after desserts.

We spoke to Marketing Director Tim to find out about the last thirty years, and what Balans stands for today.


Hey Tim! What’s been the best moment over the last thirty years?

There have been far too many memorable moments to mention, but the best thing is being able to look back over the past thirty years, and seeing how many friends we’ve made, how many people have supported us and continue to support us, and how broad the Balans family has become.

What do you think Balans means to people?

We’ve always tried to create an inclusive, relaxed, playful atmosphere, somewhere that serves great food, not moral judgements, a place where you can have whatever tickles your fancy, whenever you fancy having it tickled. The reality was that when we opened back in 1987, this was an unusual proposition, and Balans became important to a community that was discovering what it meant to be visible. Things have perhaps changed, but the appeal of that is no less relevant today as it was then.

It’s Pride this weekend! Why is Pride still important?

Pride is a brilliant celebration of diversity and solidarity, and that’s a really empowering experience for a community that has had to fight for its very existence…and if all that can be achieved in lurex and sequins, then so much the better!

And finally, what plans do Balans have for the future?

Without ever wanting to lose the spirit of who we are and become ‘corporate’ and ‘cookie-cutter’ in our approach, we’re looking to open a number of new sites across London. It’s all about finding the right place at the right time though, and that takes careful planning. We’re also working on the benefits of becoming a member of Balans Soho Society, joining forces with a number of our favourite brands to create some really exciting special offers, exclusive deals and discounts.

There are now Balans branches in Soho, Seven Dials, Kensington and Clapham. For opening times and menus, head to