El Gay Sombrero



My blog really appreciates comments! Åsa has shared some memories from our time in London in 1972 and it gave me a flashback or two. Still very dim it touches on the subject of gayclubs in London. What I remember is that I went there once with one of my waiter colleagues at Tramp’s. He was Spanish and perhaps called José. I really do not remember. I do recall that he had on a very flashy and glittering top when we walked in to this cellar place at 142 ,Kensington High Street. It was the basement underneath a restaurant called El Sombrero.

This was a disco and it did not take me long to realize that it was meant for rather expressive homosexuals!

 Åsa recalls that together with her boyfriend Desmond we had decided to meet there and that the couple tried to get in but was denied entrance. They stood there and couldn’t really understand why they couldn’t’ get in! I honestly do not recall playing this prank on Åsa and Desmond, but she does, and consequently I have but to admit that we must have done it to have some fun! Åsa has googled and found out that this joint was really called “Yours or mine”.

One of its particularities was that in order to spend a night there consuming drinks and to comply with the law everyone was served a thin slice of pork and some coleslaw on a paper plate!

Reading on it was visited by well known people in the London music scene such as Mick and Bianca Jagger, Angie and David Bowie, etc.

Sorry Åsa!

4 thoughts on “El Gay Sombrero

  1. Hi Joao,
    I enjoyed reading our posts especially as it may have some relevance to my mis-spent youth.
    El Sombrero or ‘ Yours or Mine’ was my favourite haunt in my 20s. I loved the place and the culture there. All the beautiful people that just seemed to flit in and out of the place randomly and at will. I was one of the very few straight males that ‘discovered’ the club and was allowed in on a very regular basis.
    I loved the clothes, the dancing, the perfumes and after-shaves that the people wore. They all seemed to be just so stylish and ahead of its time and that of the rest of ‘straight’ society. In fact I found the ‘normal’ clubs so boring and vulgar afterwards.
    I remember Amadeo the doorman, who dressed exquisitely and was always the perfect host. We became good friends to the point that he would bar any girls that came to the club looking for me if I was with another girl. Always on the pretence “Sorry ladies, men only night, tonight”. They knew he was lying but they couldn’t do anything about it.
    I was dating a girl called Josephine at the time and we became very close with one of the waiters there. A small, stocky Spanish or Portuguese waiter called Jose’. He lived somewhere close by and we often went out for meals together.
    So, if this post rings any bells with anyone of that period I would love to hear from them. Jose’, Josephine, Amadeo,
    Some of the happiest times in my life were spent there and I missed it so much when it all came to an end.
    Kind regards,

    • Hi Keith. Glad you found it interesting. I Believe I was working at Tramp’s when I visited Sombrero. If my memory does not fail me it was another waiter (spanish) that took us there.
      All the best.
      Do you know of any litterature about this period late sixties/ early seventies in London?

      • Thanx for posting Joah , I think the first time I went to the club with my best friend was when I was about 21 during 1975, we used to visit quite often and I remember how packed it used to get late on a Saturday night, we had some really good times, poppers an all !!, there was a DJ who I think was called Rudy and he played Louis Batista’s Anchora Tu quite a lot so that must have been about 76 when I stayed in South Kensington. I went back for a farewell visit the evening before I was due to leave the UK in Nov 1978 and the DJ was still there, he was great and even put me up that evening after the club closed . Lost touch with everyone after that, they were great times without a doubt.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.