The emphasis is firmly on chilled entertainment

Venue Review by Philip Savage | 15 Feb 2006
It's a brave move on anyone's part to open a new gay bar in Glasgow, given the firm grip that the long-established G1 venues have on the scene. As Revolver has shown, however, offering some variety can pay dividends. Icon is the latest bar to throw itself into the fray, and it's a welcome addition. It has a charmingly relaxed air about it, lacking the cruisy atmosphere that can make other gay bars an uncomfortable experience at times. Instead the emphasis is firmly on chilled entertainment, be that enjoying the reasonably priced drinks with friends or partaking in the regular karaoke on offer. The music can be rather schizophrenic, but it's never intrusive and on a good night you can find yourself relishing quality deviations from the unwritten rule that gay bars must play chart pop. Its location - smack bang in the centre of the Merchant City - makes it ideal for a pre-club drink, or indeed for some quiet people-watching. It can be rather empty midweek, but it's still finding its feet and more than deserves to establish itself firmly in the scene. Well worth a visit. [Philip Savage]
24 Candleriggs, Glasgow. Daily 11am-midnight. http://icon-bar.co.uk