It’s got to be gay, London tells developers

Gay bars in London are closing down at such an “alarming” rate that the redevelopment of the Joiners Arms, the east London gay pub, will only get the go-ahead if it includes an LGBT club venue. The mayor’s office will send an inspector to make sure it is gay enough!

Tower Hamlets council has told the developers of the Joiners site that their plans for offices and nine luxury flats will get planning permission only if it includes a pub that will “remain a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender-focused venue for a minimum of 12 years”.

Your Activist thinks that this is the first time such a condition has been included in planning approvals.

Gay pub goes integrated


Craig and Leon | Kent Online | 17068

The Queen Anne in Maidstone, Kent, has been a gay pub for many years but the new proprietors are a gay couple who have renovated the pub into a pub for the whole wider community, hopefully to enable the pub to survive.

Craig Burns remembers the Sittingbourne Road venue as the beating heart of Maidstone’s lesbian, gay community when he and his husband Leon used to drink there a few years ago. He said: “This is quite a nice challenge for us. A number of people have come and gone over the past few years and the pub and community need some stability. We used to drink here quite a lot when Ricky and Darren were in charge. It was thriving then and we want to make it the heart of the gay community in Maidstone again but are opening the doors for everyone.”

Royal Vauxhall going, going, nearly gone…

Faucet Inn, the pub chain which closed the Black Cap in Camden is in talks to buy the Royal Vauxhall Tavern.

Faucet Inn owns 11 bars in London, confirmed it was hoping to buy the Grade II listed gay pub from its Austrian owners.

A two-year campaign led by Amy Lamé and Sir Ian McKellen, Graham Norton and Paul O’Grady tried to save it as a gay pub. Only recently Lambeth council awarded the pub “sui generis” classification, giving it further protection and prohibiting the top floors from being turned into flats.

Immovate is trying to sell a controlling interest of shares in the holding company, rather than the building. This means that the pub’s ownership can be transferred without triggering Asset of Community Value legislation which would give the community time to raise funds to buy it.

Steve Cox, Faucet Inn’s managing director, said talks with Immovate were in the “early stages” and that it was conducting “due diligence”. He said: “If we did acquire the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, we would invest in the premises and look to improve the existing operations.”

Manchester gay club may close

Napoleons, thought to be the oldest gay nightclub in Manchester, might be about to close its doors for good after the owners put the venue up for sale for £800,000.

The current owners, Anne and Melvin Taylor, have run the club for nearly 30 years, after buying it from Frank Foo Foo Lammar in December 1972. They also own Cruz 101 on Princess Street.