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.”

Soho hasn’t changed much, then

A 1930’s gay bar in Soho shut by police will be brought back to life to mark the 50th anniversary of the legalisation of homosexuality in the UK.

The Caravan, “London’s most bohemian rendezvous”, located on the corner of Endell Street and Shaftesbury Avenue, was a basement club which was raided and closed in 1934 and advertised “all night gaiety”. Nudge, nudge.

The National Trust and the National Archives are going to re-imagine the “most unconventional spot in town” using police photographs, witness accounts and court reports.

Freud Café will be transformed in March for the Queer City project celebrating London’s gay scene between 1918 and 1967.

The event runs from March 2-26 and will include talks and “performances”.

Stockholm celebrates its gay appeal


Erik Nylander/TT | 16301ga

Stockholm is one of the world’s best cities for gay people. GayCities collected more than 23,000 votes from its members and named Stockholm as the winner in the Up-And-Coming category.

“Sweden has always been a the forefront of the LGBTQ rights movement, so we are proud to provide Stockholm with the Up-And-Coming award in the Best of GayCities2016,” said Tim Winfred of GayCities.

The Swedish city was picked ahead of US hubs Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Richmond and Buffalo. The only non-American location in the category, Stockholm received one-third of all fan votes and beat several other great cities.

San Francisco was Best City of 2016, with Orlando City of the Year. The only other European cities featured were London, Berlin and Madrid.

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.