Following a series of recent attacks, a legendary London LGBTQ+ bar called G-A-Y Late will close its doors on December 10, 2023.
In a heartbreaking letter posted on social media on November 24, owner Jeremy Joseph said, “It is with great sadness that I’ve made the decision to close G-A-Y- Late on Sunday 10 December. I know this will come as a shock to a lot of people, and many loyal customers will feel saddened by this news.”
Joseph identified several reasons for the closure including a series of recent attacks that staff and customers have faced when leaving the venue late at night. He said, “Despite so many attempts to get police to visit and support G-A-Y Late, there are no regular checks on the venue.”
The letter also referenced the impact of building development in the surrounding area which has created a series of safety issues blocking the bar’s entrance and fire exit.
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Last year, the nightclub owner created the G-A-Y Charitable Foundation to support LGBTQ+ charities and give back to the queer community. He said, “Owning an LGBT business is more than a business. It’s part of a community, it’s a legacy for generations to come.”
Joseph says he did everything in his power to keep the venue open, but it was beginning to take a toll on his mental health.
G-A-Y Late performers and regulars shared their thoughts on social media, reminiscing about their own memories in the late bar, expressing their sadness about the closure, and thanking the iconic spot for giving a platform to queer talent over the years.
G-A-Y Late was the first LGBT+ venue I’d ever been in. Very sad to see it go and the long trend of decline in nightlife, particularly LGBT+ nightlife, in the UK continue. https://t.co/gz2ZsGPSBg
— Joe Vinson (@JoeVinson) November 24, 2023
Trip to London for one last night at G A Y Late?
— Ben (@defenestr8rboi) November 25, 2023
LGBTQ+ bars are essential safe spaces fostering queer community and inclusivity, and several venues in the UK and Ireland have closed their doors in the aftermath of Covid-19 lockdowns.
While it feels like the end of an era for many, the owner has plans in place to continue to support the English capital’s queer community. Thankfully, Joseph owns two other venues in London and despite the disappointing news about the closure, all staff will be given new roles at G-A-Y and Heaven.
Customers have plenty of nights ahead to look forward to with G-A-Y set to extend its licence until 1am, and work is being done to expand Heaven’s capacity, and make the venue wheelchair accessible.
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