The Gates of Hell essentially acts as the item shop in Bayonetta. The player can visit the shop to purchase weapons, techniques, accessories, items for healing, boosting attack power etc. and to purchase 'Rodin's Treasures', most of which are alternative costumes for Bayonetta. The Gates of Hell can also be visited to exchange Angelic Hymns Golden LPs for weapons. Although some of the purchasable items for The Gates of Hell are unlocked by default, many items must be unlocked for purchase through various means. The Gates of Hell can be accessed from the menus in between levels or through the red portals which appear at set points in levels.
The Gates of Hell looks somewhat like a typical tavern, with a wooden floor, wooden tables and chairs and a bar across one wall, with a neon 'The Gates of Hell' sign over it. However, the tavern also boasts a church-like stone interior and has a number of velvet curtains hung in it as well. The wall of bottles behind the bar can slide away to reveal the various rare items Rodin sells. There is also a working record player placed to one side of the bar and a red portal which leads in and out out the tavern located at the back. Given the fact that a portal is required to reach the tavern, the fact that Rodin seems to be able to easily access Inferno from it and that they refer to Paradiso, Purgatorio and Inferno as outside places it can be assumed that The Gates of Hell exists between worlds but closer to Inferno than any.
The Gates of Hell only appears once in the main storyline, near the beginning of the game. Bayonetta and Enzo visit the tavern where Bayonetta orders a number of drinks and Rodin is seen discussing to her the conflicts between the three worlds and the danger it poses, however Bayonetta expresses that she has no interest in these conflicts and that she has her own problems. Rodin then goes onto say that he believes the recent tip-off Bayonetta received from Enzo seems like a setup, purported by someone from Bayonetta's forgotten past. Rodin then presents Bayonetta with a "present"; Scarborough Fair, the set of guns which become her trademark weapons in the game. An elaborate scene ensues where Rodin pours Bayonetta a drink and Bayonetta gets a feel for the guns and attaches two of them to her feet. When Rodin next turns around to pour Bayonetta a drink she vanishes and Rodin announces to Enzo that he will put Bayonetta's drinks on his tab.
It should also be noted that when Bayonetta enters The Gates of Hell there is a short cutscene where Rodin makes some kind of witty remark, usually referencing a video game.