The Little John Pub Castlegate York - Reviews

Three star rating imageUnfortunately due to two police raids on this pub and the landlord being found to be in possession of illegal substances it has had to shut its doors. Rumours have it that it may be opening its door again but until this happens its had it. Such a pity for the gay community. Shame on you Chris!

Three star rating imageAndrew and anonymous commented: Some nice people here and lovely staff however it is a pity the gay community don't really support this place. It is a bit cliquey. You tend to be ignored by most of the clientele and bar staff if you are not to their liking. I wish it were a friendly pub tbh. It would be nice as a stranger or local to go in and get a friendly hello. Aw well.

Five star rating imagePeter Last name removed as this is a family oriented website commented: I'm sitting in the Little John as I write before going back to my dull empty room at the Hilton round the corner. York is lovely and this pub is friendly, cute, and has reasonable bar prices. I had double brandy and ice for a reasonable sum! Yay. Shame it's not busier (shocking attempt to pick up locals also removed, sorry). would definitely recommend this bar, it's really nice. And no, it ain't just the brandy talking...!

Five star rating imageJoe commented: The little john is not gay and lesbian friendly... it is a GAY bar. It is york's only gay owned and gay run gay bar for gay folk. And it needs our support.

Webmasters comment: I understand what you are saying and not trying to be to pedantic about it mate, but a GAY bar will be gay friendly.

Five star rating imageGraham Garth said: I visit York quite often and I visited the Little John for the first time in April this year. Brilliant place, friendly staff, very nice atmosphere. I shall defo pay a lunchtime visit again whenever I am in York!

Five star rating imageAlex said: I popped in today for lunch. I found it has a nice atmosphere and great service from friendly staff. Defo worth a visit in my opinion!

Five star rating imageLittle John response: Well If you remember you were actually hanging on to your friend for dear life. And no we don't have a men only policy. If you managed to focus when you walked in you would realise that the place was already full of happy lesbians. Regulars actually.

One star rating imagedisappointed lesbian tells us: If you are a lesbian don't go here. I come from Leeds to meet friends in York sometimes. When I do I like to show my support for the only gay bar in the village. NOT ANY MORE!

My friends and I were turfed out by the manager before we'd even got a drink. He claimed we were to drunk to be served! Yes we'd had few drinks but we certainly didn't fall through the door and why if that's the case did the bouncer let us pass and the bar staff start serving us? My guess is, it was full of men and he wants to keep it that way. They don't welcome lesbians. So lesbians be warned this is not the place for you!!

Five star rating imageEddie emailed us to say: I have made numerous visits to the Little John and find the management and staff to be most friendly people around. Great nights out for all not just gay. Good food at very reasonable prices and you are made to feel welcome. Good luck Chris, Dom and your team hope to be there again soon.

Three star rating imageKevin Ireson tells us: With recent management changes this pub has now become a Gay friendly pub and a haven for Lesbians in York. The camp management told me they are not really aiming to get the gay crowd in, more the lesbian crews. Bottles of rose wine seem to be the tipple of the day when I last visited. Reasonable selections of the usual beers and spirits are also available. It is not easy to find if you are not a local but, then again, perhaps that's the way the girls like it.

I used to go in here occasionally to meet up with a friend of mine Sonia. As city centre pubs go on a weekend there is usually not much room but can be more here than elsewhere as it is off the beaten track really. There is the main bar up stairs a quiet snug (which as I remember was non smoking) and a down stairs. I don't think I ever made it downstairs but from what I heard it was supposed to be quite cozy down there and dimly lit ... ah ... love is in the air how nice :)

It seems the atmosphere in here is different each time. You can get friendly chatty helpful bar staff. But, you can also get unfriendly, unwilling to help staff as well. I working in a pub for years when I was 18 - 25 years of age. Simply being attentive, noticing who is coming to the bar in which order is a very useful skill some of the staff could use training in. Even in a busy pub one does not expect to be at the bar and watch people come and get served while you are still waiting. Maybe it is the customers who could use learning manners. However, it really is up to the bar staff to notice I feel.

Glynn Roden says: I would like to make a comment, I was visiting York on Monday afternoon and called into the Little John Pub on Castlegate. I asked for a certain brand of lager which they had on the pump and was told that they hadn't got any. So I chose another brand and was told that they hadn't got any of that either. I was just about to give up when the barman mentioned that they had got Fosters. I replied I won't bother and walked out.

What I would like to mention is the fact that I have just looked this pub up on the Internet and it mentions that they have several types of lager and beer. So why was only one brand available? Usually when this happens the barman says the barrel needs changing and goes to do this. Yet this wasn't even mentioned, so a pub without a choice of lager, was I impressed? NO. Will I go there again? NO. Well would you?

Dave, who comes from the York area, sent us in his review of the Little John.

The Little John boasts a 300 year history dating back to the days of Dick Turpin (it's said that his body was laid to rest there), and is now the more livelier of the 2 gay bars in York (the other being the York Arms). The gay/lesbian clientele is admittedly on a 40/60 ratio, but there's always a happy crowd and a buzzing atmosphere.


The pub has survived the smoking ban by having a smoking yard at the rear, complete with heating lamps and chairs. One of the best features is the state of the art digital jukebox, which plays everything from the present number 1 to the Scooby Doo theme tune.

What's on in the Little John

The bar is stocked with every kind of shot, lager or snack imaginable, and also has a slushy-machine (double vodka and bubblegum slushy for 2.60, yum...). Busiest nights are always the weekends, but also Sunday (Toffs continues gay night after the bar has closed), Thursday (karaoke) and Tuesday (quiz night).

Funky little cellar bar downstairs.

There's also a funky little shot-bar downstairs in the cellars. The staff are friendly (and flirtatious.!), nearly all girls. Beware the one gay barman (think his name was Steve) with his tight jeans, big chest and naughty smile, I nearly ended up single... ;-) All in all a great bar and a vast improvement to it's early days last year, I will be visiting again.

Sarah Fletcher sent us in a review of this public house in York. Went to the little john last week while in york for the weekend, lovely staff, very friendly and welcoming the food was lovely, v. big portions and good old traditional pub with hearty fare, well worth a visit!

Please mention Hotels in York website when you call. Thanks.

The Little John Inn
Castlegate, York, North Yorkshire YO1 9RN
Tel: 01904 659557


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