King’s Cross Pub

Established in 1874 the Kings Cross became Cardiff’s first true gay pub in 1972, and was the city’s oldest when, in 2011, it ceased trading under that name and reopened as a “gastropub”.

The Kings Cross was approaching its hundredth year when, in 1972, it became Cardiff’s first true gay pub, and in the following decades it went on to become a mainstay of the city’s LGBT+ scene. It closed its doors for the last time in 2011, eventually reopening as a gastropub named the Corner House. In its final years, in what was almost certainly a knowing gesture, the Kings Cross sign facing down Mill Lane featured a portrait of James VI & I, believed by many historians to have been gay!

A legendary and long-running gay pub on the corner of Mill Lane and Caroline Street. There was a huge campaign to save it when the owners planned changes, and devastation when they went ahead with it.

“It was the only pub to go to in the daytime – but there was always the chance of being seen by somebody who knew you, which was quite exciting. When the pubs closed at 3pm we sometimes went to the coffee shop at Howells, lacing our coffee with drink until the pub reopened in the evening.”