Kyiv gay club scene discreet, but still lively
At a first glance, Kyiv’s gay scene might look a bit desolate: there aren’t a lot of night clubs and bars that cater specifically for the gay community. But on closer inspection of the local night spots it becomes clear that there are indeed quite a few decent places for gay people in town – it’s just that they are still mostly hidden away from prying eyes, in what is still a socially conservative country. This conservatism is probably why Ukrainian club and bars owners are usually reluctant to openly promote their venues as gay-friendly, but it doesn’t mean such venues aren’t out there – they just have to be found.
The Kyiv Post has picked out some of Kyiv’s gay nightclubs and gay-friendly places worth a visit, to drink, dance, and perhaps meet somebody special.
Pomada is one the oldest existing gay clubs in Kyiv, having opened its doors in the city center in 2005. Located within just a five-minute walk from Khreshchatyk metro station, Pomada is a luxuriously decorated place, famous for its wellthought-out entertainment programs and glittering drag queen performances. The place has three rooms. The White Room is a refined dining area serving mostly European cuisine. The Red Room is a laid-back chill out area where people can chat in a quiet, relaxing atmosphere. The third room – the Mirror Hall – is used both as a dance floor and as a stage for performances. Parties are held almost every night at Pomada. The club’s main drag queens are Frida Bucks, Bella, and Aysedora.
6 Zankovetskoi St. Open Sun.– Tues. 6 p.m. – 6 p.m. Fri. – Sat. 6 p.m. – 8 a.m. Free until 12 a.m., after 12 a.m. Hr 100
Lift opened three years ago and has since become Kyiv’s most reputable gay club. It is famous among the local gay community for its lively parties, spectacular drag queen shows and fun karaoke nights. The staff are attentive and helpful, and overall the place has some of the best service in town.
A show program is held every
night, but those who want something a bit special should visit this venue on Fridays or Saturdays for the gorgeous Grand Show on the main stage. Lift’s visitors often hang out until early in the morning, enjoying the barman’s fiery cocktails and passionate dances on the dance floor. Some of Kyiv’s most famous drag queens, like Norma Pospolita or Frida Bucks, often perform here. 72a Velyka Vasylkivska St. Open daily from Sun. until Thurs. 11 p.m. until 6 a.m. Fri. – Sat. from 10 p.m. until 8 a.m. Hr 0-150 for men, Hr 200 for women
L’Kafa Café-Lounge on Lesi Ukrayinky Blvd.
Every L’Kafa place is a mix of a lounge restaurant, a karaoke bar, and a nightclub, where everyone can enjoy delicious meals and have a pleasant conversation in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. At first glance, L’Kafa café on Lesi Ukrainky Boulevard looks like any other of the L’Kafa chain of 15 restaurants in Kyiv, but unofficially it’s the most popular lesbian venue in Kyiv, where girls can meet discreetly and enjoy each other’s company.
L’Kafa café works 24/7 and serves Italian, Japanese, Thai and European cuisine. The place regularly organizes parties and live music performances. Those who like karaoke can sing their favorite songs there on Fridays and Saturdays.
2 Lesi Ukrayinky Blvd. Open daily round-the-clock. Hr 50 for women, Hr 100 for men
Sorry, Babushka is one of Kyiv’s most popular night spots, for people of all stripes. The club positions itself as being free of any prejudices, and lesbian and gay people like to drop in there, even though the venue is not officially a gay club. This large place can accommodate nearly 800 people. Its first floor is devoted to erotic dance performances. The second floor hosts disco music parties, and a VIP lounge room offers an intimate atmosphere for relaxed conversation. The third floor is the best spot for party animals who like non-stop dancing and DJ shows.
The club’s restaurant serves European cuisine, while the bar’s extensive alcoholic drinks list will satisfy even the pickiest clients.
18/24 Dmytrivska St. Open daily from 9 p.m. – 6 a.m. Hr 100 for men, until 11 p.m. free for women, after 11 p.m. Hr 60 for women
The audience enjoys the drag queen show at Kyiv gay club Lift on Jan. 29 (Roman Sandulov)